Give Jordan Love More Time: Packers Fans Have Lived This Before
Rome was not built in a day. Aaron Rodgers was on the Green Bay Packers for 48 regular season games until he made his first start. So, we should give Jordan Love more time, too.
Love made his first career NFL start in Week 9 against the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium after Aaron Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week. Arrowhead is one of, if not, the toughest places to play as an opponent in the National Football League. Still, with the top record in the league, the Packers would have been favorites in any other scenario that did not have Rodgers out.
Despite having major issues moving the Green Bay offense Sunday, Jordan Love had a handful of moments that perked my interest. I do not think it is fair to compare him to a future Hall of Famer – and arguably a top-3 quarterback of all-time – after just one career start, but I am going to so anyway because their first career starts tell a story.
Rodgers made his first career start September 8, 2008, on Monday Night Football at home against a division rival, the Minnesota Vikings. Green Bay won 24-19, but besides Rodgers being decently efficient, he was not the main reason they won the game. Rodgers finished with 18 of 22 with 178 passing yards and a touchdown. He did not turn the ball over and posted a 115.5 QBR for the game. The Vikings outgained the Packers by 38 total yards but lost the turnover battle. Rodgers’s favorite target for the night was Greg Jennings, who reeled in all five targets for 91 yards. But who did Rodgers beat in career start #1? Tarvaris Jackson.
If you would have told me Jordan Love was going to throw for 24 more passing yards than Patrick Mahomes in his first career NFL start, I probably would have called you insane. Comparing first starts, Love surprisingly outgained Rodgers, too, through the air but was far less efficient (including going 2 for 12 on third downs) and had to because the Packers were down 13-0 for most of the game. He went 19 for 34 with 190 passing yards, one touchdown, and one interception in a 13-7 loss. He tried to connect with Davante Adams 14 times, but only successfully did so six throughout the game for 42 total yards. Kansas City is not playing to the Super Bowl contender level the NFL has been accustomed to over the past few years, but let’s not forget that Love would have been tied 13-13 with the two-time reigning AFC champions if kicker Mason Crosby converted both of his field goal attempts. I think that alone should be a good enough reason for the Packers and their fans to give Jordan Love more time to develop and grow. Mahomes, the best quarterback on the planet, didn’t even start his first year, either, and look at what he has become.
We all know Rodgers’s story is a one of patience. In 2005, Packers fans trembled at the idea of drafting a quarterback in the first round. Why? Because they already had Brett freakin’ Favre quarterbacking their team. The same thing happened in 2020 when Love was taken 26th overall, and the reason he was taken so high is because he is a damn good quarterback prospect. Both California boys are products of what the NFL has done forever with young quarterbacks, and that is playing it safe and being patient; it’s just easier to be patient when the guy that is already there is a Hall of Famer. So don’t fret, and give Jordan Love more time, just like you did with Rodgers.
With differing circumstances, Love and Rodgers have now both started an NFL game. Both were lackluster, but we have seen this movie before with Rodgers taking over for Brett Favre. Jordan Love will be the starting quarterback for the Packers soon, mostly because Rodgers has reportedly wanted out of Green Bay for a few years now. Rodgers could very well miss Week 10’s game against Seattle, as well, meaning Love will start a second consecutive game. I’m not saying he will be better than Rodgers or even a Hall of Famer, but we should still give Jordan Love more time to prove himself. At least the Packers know they are not in the worst hands once Rodgers leaves this offseason, because if they don’t win it all this year, I’m 110% sure this is his last ride with the team. However, I expect Rodgers to return within a week or two and put up MVP-like numbers, because when he plays with a chip on his shoulder, there is no one better.
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