To say that the Green Bay Packers must be disappointed in themselves going into their Bye Week would be an understatement. Sure, they expected there to be ups and downs, learning/growing opportunities, and the like. But to be unable to score a touchdown in the first half of three consecutive games? That’s troublesome.
And of course, much of the blame is being piled on the throwing arm of Jordan Love, the Packers’ first year starter. Even though he has already led the Packers to their largest fourth quarter comeback in franchise history, even though he is the only quarterback in franchise history to throw at least one touchdown in each of his first five career starts, there is a vocal faction of fans that want to move on from him already.
After five games of the 2023 season, there is certainly a great deal that can be improved on this team, and that includes the play and decision making of their starting quarterback. The big question on everyone’s mind, though, is “Are these things fixable or is this the way Love and the Packers will play for his entire tenure with the team?”
Recently, Sports Illustrated‘s Bill Huber spoke with former NFL MVP Rich Gannon, who offered an honest, yet hopeful, evaluation of Love’s play so far this season.
Rich Gannon Believes Green Bay Packers Quarterback Jordan Love Can Be Special
In Huber’s article (linked above), Gannon states that, right now, the NFL game is too fast for Jordan Love. However, because he had virtually no live-game experience going into the season, that is to be expected. Gannon compares the situation to a 16-year old driver being hyper-fixated on traffic laws as opposed to a person who has been behind the wheel for years.
And, in a way, that makes sense. Sure, Love started one game before this season (in 2021), and he did get some playing time here and there while serving as Aaron Rodgers’ backup. But the majority of the time he has been with the Packers has been in practice.
There is absolutely no substitute for live-game action. Love and the Packers could practice every day during the offseason and it still would not match the speed and intensity of a NFL game. It does not matter that he is in his fourth year in the NFL. He has less than half a season of live-game experience.
Experience, as the saying goes, is the best teacher. This is why the Packers’ coaching staff and front office has preached patience all year.
Sure, the three-interception game against Las Vegas was bad. Really bad. Every quarterback has really bad games. How soon it is forgotten that Love started the 2023 NFL season with three touchdown passes in each of his first two games.
The talent, the brilliance, the reason why Green Bay risked so much to trade up in the 2020 NFL Draft to take Love is there. Inconsistency, from both Love and the rest of the offense, has made people forget about those things in recent days, though. That doesn’t change the fact that they aren’t there.
At the end of his interview with Huber, Gannon said, “But I think he’s got a chance to be a pretty special player.”
Of course, time will tell. The point is that five games into a quarterback’s first year as a starter, even if he is not a rookie, is too early to make the decision to move on.