Quick Analysis of Packers QB Jordan Love’s performance v. Patriots

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 19: Jordan Love #10 of the Green Bay Packers warms up before the game against the New England Patriots during a preseason game at Lambeau Field on August 19, 2023 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 19: Jordan Love #10 of the Green Bay Packers warms up before the game against the New England Patriots during a preseason game at Lambeau Field on August 19, 2023 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

Jordan Love made his Lambeau Field debut as the Green Bay Packers starting quarterback against the New England Patriots in the team’s second preseason game. Overall, his performance encapsulated well what we’ve seen in practice, with the high upside, big time throws mixed in with some ups and downs for the passing game.

Love faced the New England defense earlier in the week during two joint practices. The first day was very promising, while on Thursday, the Patriots defense dominated the day.

What was so encouraging about Love’s performance in that first practice was that he did so against a defense that gave him a lot of realistic looks. The Patriots blitzed often, used a variety of different personnel looks, and disguised coverages well—all things I expect most defenses to throw at Love in an effort to cause chaos and mistakes.

However, in the midst of all that pre-snap confusion, we saw Love hold up well. He continued to go through his progressions, protected the ball and took what the defense gave him, and was able to generate some big plays as well.

Then during the second joint practice, credit where credit is due, the Patriots secondary were all over the Packers passing game, forcing numerous pass breakups, coming away with two interceptions off Love, along with Green Bay just not executing nearly as well. This practice also provided Love and the Green Bay offense with a realistic scenario as well. While the Patriots didn’t make any schematic adjustments from Day 1 to Day 2, they were now more familiar with what the Packers scheme and concepts they wanted to run.

During the regular season, the Packers offense is going to put on tape things they are good at and things they struggle with. Defenses are going to make week-to-week adjustments based on the film, trying to takeaway what Green Bay does well, and it’s going to be up to the Packers to be able to counter. This is one of the hurdles that many inexperienced quarterbacks face, and we saw that during Thursday’s joint practice.

Given that the Packers had those two joint practices, which in some instances may be more valuable than the actual preseason game with Love able to compete against all of the Patriots starters and the play calling wasn’t as vanilla, it was unknown how much Love would play on Saturday. But when speaking to the media on Friday, GM Brian Gutekunst said it’s very important that this young offense get as many live reps together as they can.

"“It’s important for our offense to play together,” Gutekunst said Friday via Packers Wire. “You’ve heard me say a million times, (Love) needs to play, and a lot of it is to see things over and over and you develop the instincts and the callousness to know what you can and can’t do with our offense, with this particular group. It’s not just him, it’s our entire offense together. We’ve got a lot of young guys that are seeing things for the first time…reacting to them, learning from it, growing from it. That’s why. It’s not just our young players, some of veteran players, just learning how to play together and just being the best we can be.”"

After playing two series and making 10 throws a week ago against Cincinnati, Love played three series against New England, with the first one being cut short due to a fumble on a high snap. Here is a play-by-play look at his performance as a passer:

First series

2nd & 9: Play-action rollout by Love. Ended up being a failed screen attempt with nowhere for him to go and ran into pressure. Incomplete to Josiah Deguara.

Second series

1st & 10: Love hits Musgrave over the middle. He found the soft spot in the defense’s zone coverage about five yards from the line of scrimmage.

2nd & 7: Play-action rollout left. Incomplete pass—was slightly behind Musgrave.

3rd & 7: Completes pass to Romeo Doubs for a first down on an in-breaking route. A nice pass into a tight window and a good contested catch by Doubs.

2nd & 7: Complete to Musgrave on out route. Pass slightly high and didn’t allow him to turn up field as easily. Minimal gain.

3rd & 5: Out route to Reed. Was another tight window that Love tried to fit the ball into. Incomplete.

Third series

2nd & 9: Go route by Doubs down the right sideline. Well placed ball by Love and another contested catch by Doubs for a big gain.

1st & 10: On play-action, AJ Dillon picked up the blitzer, giving Love time, who throws a dart to Reed on a crossing route for a 19-yard touchdown.

Love finished the game completing 5-of-8 passes for 83 yards and a touchdown. His passer rating was 137.0. As was the case during Thursday’s practice, the Patriots secondary was taking away a lot of Love’s initial reads and forced him to make some passes into tight windows. Love was able to take care of the ball, however, something that can’t be overstated, and largely took what the defense gave him. It was another encouraging performance that featured three really nice throws from Love, with of course, some things to clean up, and a 93-yard scoring drive.