Packers Film Study: Jordan Love’s performance vs Eagles

The Green Bay Packers lost yet again in Week 12 to the Philadelphia Eagles, but fans finally got an update on the development of Jordan Love.

After Aaron Rodgers exited the 40-33 loss with an oblique injury, the Packers were forced to roll out the third-year quarterback in the fourth quarter. The 24-year-old held his own, completing six of nine passes for 113 yards and a touchdown with a passer rating of 146.8. Had Green Bay’s defense been able to produce a stop, Love would have had a very real opportunity to lead a game-tying drive to force overtime.

Instead, the Packers’ defense was gashed for over 360 rushing yards with zero answers for Jalen Hurts and Miles Sanders, moving them to 4-8 on the season with the playoffs almost out of sight.

With injuries to Rodgers’ thumb and ribs, Love has a very real opportunity to start next Sunday against the Chicago Bears. Based on what we saw against the Eagles, he might be able to hold his own if he plays.

One of the things that stood out was how poised Love was when delivering his throws. Whether it was his first read or after scanning the field, Love’s footwork was terrific.

There are too many times when you watch young quarterbacks, especially ones in college, where they are too high on their toes and throwing with studs up off the dirt. As you can see on some of these strikes, Love did a great job of setting his feet with a strong, clean base to deliver with velocity and accuracy.

For a quarterback that doesn’t have elite-level arm talent like Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen, mechanics are vital to long-term success at the position. Those mechanics haven’t always looked clean for Love, but on Sunday night they were the best that we’ve seen from him in limited regular-season action.

The footwork wasn’t always perfect, however. On his sixth pass attempt of the game, Love threw a pass behind Lazard after kicking out his front leg too wide, relying on hip rotation and arm strength to push the ball through tight coverage.

Still, it was an impressive throw from Love to squeeze it into Lazard through a tight window between four different defenders.

Love looked confident when reading Philadelphia’s defense as well. On his first throw of the game, the young QB set up to throw to his primary read with Lazard running a quick out route. However, he noticed that Darius Slay was sitting on the flat and waiting to jump it, so Love bailed on the throw and found his check down instead.

Arguably Love’s most impressive read and throw weren’t even on a complete pass. After recognizing Cover 2 with Slay playing the flat, Love showed the confidence and arm talent to deliver a ball to Aaron Jones in the “turkey hole” between the flat corner and the deep safety down the sideline.

Jones ended up dropping the pass, but the confidence and decisiveness of Love to throw an accurate ball in such a tight spot was impressive from the young backup.

There was a lot to like about Love’s performance in Week 12, showing good footwork and great timing to deliver passes in rhythm. However, when the play was covered and Love had to go off-script, it left something to be desired.

Love could have had a touchdown on his first off-script play had he been a bit patient. Lazard recognized Love rolling out and adjusted his route, beating his defender vertically. However, Love had already committed to throwing to Christian Watson, missing him in the end zone.

Had Love just waited for another second, he might have recognized Lazard was open over the top.

On Love’s other off-script opportunity, he did a great job of escaping the pocket under duress but was a tick late when trying to find Randall Cobb in the end zone after he adjusted his route.

Both of these plays were timing and chemistry issues on off-script plays. That’s not a surprise considering Love normally practices with backups and younger receivers, but also is more focused on the structure and timing of plays during practice. His lack of real game time makes it difficult for him to have a feel for off-script plays in the heat of the moment.

That comes with experience, and if Rodgers can’t go against the Bears, Love will have the opportunity to keep working on those kinds of plays in Week 13.

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