Jordan Love’s winning streak didn’t last long.
Week 1 seems like a long time ago. On that day, Love looked great and the Packers blew out the Chicago Bears. Bears were much worse than we knew at the time. Maybe even love.
The Packers were blown out by the Detroit Lions in Week 4, and despite a terrible offensive line performance like Love had, Green Bay wanted to minimize anything Love did on Monday night. The Packers came up with a surprisingly conservative game plan, content to make it a low-scoring, close game from the start.
While the Packers didn’t give Love many chances, he also didn’t do much with them. The Packers’ offense was terrible, with Love throwing three interceptions, including a bad one in the final minute, as Green Bay fell to 2-3 with a heartbreaking 17-13 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.
The lack of offense certainly didn’t go unnoticed by Packers cornerback Jair Alexander, who told reporters postgame, “Yeah, it’s obvious at this point the defense shouldn’t give up any touches, you know? I think that’s part of it. You know, being self-critical about our defense, the offense is so young. And they’re still finding their mojo.”
“Yeah, it’s obvious the defense shouldn’t give up any touches at this point,” Packers CB Jair Alexander said. “The offense is so young, they’re still finding their mojo. Defense, we’ve got to score and keep them from scoring. pic.twitter.com/DrItb9B0c5
—Carmen Vitali (@CarmieV) October 10, 2023
The Packers aren’t going to win much if they can’t rely on their passing game. Love didn’t do much to give them much hope in that Monday night.
Raiders and Packers without much offensive punch
The Packers and Raiders each had their offensive issues, and their quarterbacks gave the other team points with horrendous turnovers.
In the second quarter, Love didn’t seem to see linebacker Robert Spillane and threw it to him. That set up Jacoby Meyers’ first touchdown of the game. The Raiders lead 7-3.
Jimmy Garoppolo gave back a little. He threw right to Packers safety Rudy Ford, who scooped it up. The Packers then drove for a touchdown by AJ Dillon.
The Packers were doing their best to cover Love on Monday night, but the broken coverage led to Christian Watson’s biggest play. Watson took it 77 yards, but came up just short of the end zone. The Packers then ran twice up the middle, Love threw incomplete on third down and they settled for a field goal. That gave the Packers a 13-10 lead but it should have been more.
The Packers’ offense allowed the Raiders to stay in the game with their game plan and execution, and Las Vegas eventually took advantage.
Packers-Raiders close fourth quarter
Josh Jacobs’ touchdown four seconds into the fourth quarter gave the Raiders a 17-13 lead. Love had nine completions on 15 attempts during that time, and 77 of his 136 yards came against broken coverages to Watson. Packers came into the game wanting to control how much Love could do by trying to win the grind-it-out game. With Aaron Jones out with an injury, that plan was even worse. AJ Dillon wanted to get 20 or more carries and try to win the Green Bay game.
The Packers needed Love to do something in the fourth quarter. The Packers moved the ball after Jacobs’ go-ahead touchdown, but Love was sacked on first down and then threw a pass into coverage that Spillane batted away for his second interception.
The Packers defense did its job and forced a quick three-and-out after Love’s second interception. The Packers returned it with a three-and-out.
The Raiders gave Green Bay one more chance with a conservative call. Vegas didn’t go for it on fourth-and-1, opting for a field-goal attempt. The kick went wide of the upright and the Packers had some life after the two minute warning. They had good field position after the missed kick.
The Packers had a chance, but the offense didn’t do much. A couple first downs in Green Bay Raiders territory. Two drops, one by Romeo Dubs and the other by Luke Musgrave, stopped the drive. Love had to make a play, but then threw the game away. He threw to Watson downfield in the end zone, and Raiders cornerback Amy Robertson picked it off. Watson appeared to be open but Love was too late to throw the ball and Robertson recovered easily to play.
The biggest story of the NFL offseason was the Packers trading Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets. Love, a former first-round draft pick, finally got his chance to shine. The Packers talked him up, and he had some good moments in the preseason and early on. It wasn’t so good after that. The Packers are losing faith in him.
The big question the Packers need to answer this offseason is whether Love can make Rodgers a long-term option. It’s early in the season, but Monday night didn’t have a positive answer to that question.