After spending three years on the Green Bay Packers‘ bench watching Aaron Rodgers, quarterback Jordan Love came up “big time” in his debut as the team’s starting QB, according to head coach Matt LaFleur.
“I couldn’t be more proud of his performance, his poise,” LaFleur told reporters after Green Bay’s convincing 38-20 road win over the Chicago Bears on September 10. “There’s big-time belief in that locker room for Jordan Love, and I think the guys — they’re gonna rally around him. They’re excited for him, they love him, they respect him. He comes to work every day with a great attitude and great energy. I think you saw that today.”
Love completed 15 of his 27 pass attempts for 245 yards and a trio of touchdowns. He recorded a league-high 123.2 passer rating en route to finding six different receivers.
According to Gilberto Manzano of Sports Illustrated, Love “showed he’s ready to be the full-time starter in Green Bay.”
Love, who will turn 25 in November, even outshone — for one week, at least — the two legends he’s following in Green Bay, according to CBS Sports’ Tyler Sullivan.
Love’s three CDs and passer rating exceeded the numbers of Rodgers (1 TD, 115.5 passer rating) in his 2008 debut and Hall of Famer Brett Favre (2 TDs, 103.3) in his 1993 debut. Favre did throw for more yardage (264), but Rodgers did not (178).
“While it’s still plenty early in Love’s tenure, the early signs do indicate that Green Bay may have once again successfully replaced its Hall of Fame quarterback[s],” Sullivan wrote.
Matt LaFleur: Aaron Jones ‘Inspires Us’
Despite missing No. 1 receiver Christian Watson, who sat out with a hamstring injury, the Packers’ offense didn’t appear to skip a beat.
Veteran running back Aaron Jones rose to the challenge rose when the Packers absolutely needed him to, gaining 127 yards from scrimmage with a pair of touchdowns.
After tallying 24 yards via five carries on the Packers’ opening possession, he didn’t touch the ball again until the team’s first drive of the second half. Jones was on the receiving end of a screen pass from Love, scampering 51 yards up the right the sideline until he was shoved out of bounds inside the 10-yard line. Three plays later, Jones punched in a one-yard touchdown run. On the ensuing possession, Love found Jones on 4th-and-3 for a 35-yard touchdown that spotted the Packers an 18-point lead.
“He’s a guy that tilts the field,” LaFleur said after the win. “He’s so dynamic, so explosive — and take all of his ability as a football player out of it. He means so much to that locker room by his actions, by what he says and what he does on a daily basis. He’s a real leader in that locker room, he’s a real leader for our football team.
“He inspires everybody and he comes to work each and every day with a great attitude. I’ve said it a million times about the kind of person he is — you cannot have enough Aaron Jones’ on your football team.”
Packers’ Jordan Love Was Clutch When Needed Against the Bears
Entering the season, Love was an unknown commodity. He’d started only one other game, in 2021, but was clutch when it counted.
On third and fourth downs, he completed eight of his 10 pass attempts for 141 yards with no two touchdowns and no interceptions, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.
Aside from a fumbled snap exchange that he quickly scooped up before firing a 37-yard pass to Luke Musgrave, Love didn’t turn the ball over or commit any costly errors.
“That’s big time,” LaFleur said. “I think the quarterbacks’ No. 1 responsibility — we talk about it all the time — is taking care of the football. Anytime you have a quarterback that takes care of the football, you have the chance to win games.”
The win was the Packers’ ninth consecutive win over the Bears and the seventh straight victory by at least two scores.