The transition from Aaron Rodgers to Jordan Love in Green Bay was always going to be a bumpy ride. Five games in, the Packers have experienced extremes of a 6G force roller coaster.
The offense has gotten off to wicked slow starts, and Love has morphed into a turnover machine over the past three weeks. Despite the Packers’ struggles entering the bye week, coach Matt LaFleur is optimistic his club can turn it around.
“We all knew there were going to be some growing pains along the way, but I haven’t lost faith or belief in the group that we have,” LaFleur said Tuesday, via the team’s official website. “I just think we can do things better. I think we can coach better, and I think we can execute better.”
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After torching the Bears in Week 1, it’s been a rough go for Love. The first-year starter threw for three touchdowns in Week 2 but stumbled down the stretch, allowing the Falcons to come back for the win. In Week 3, early game struggles led to a big deficit that Green Bay was able to overcome after Saints quarterback Derek Carr exited with an injury. In Week 4, Love got demolished by Detroit. And Monday night, the former first-round pick threw three interceptions in a 17-13 loss in Las Vegas.
By no metric has Love been up to par through five games. He ranks last in completion percentage over expected (-6.9) among 34 QBs with at least 50 pass attempts, per Next Gen Stats. Often tossing deep shots that aren’t close to connecting, Love sits last in completion percentage (55.6). He’s also 29th in passer rating (77.3) and 21st in EPA per dropback (-0.10).
LaFleur won’t put Green Bay’s early season struggles on the QB’s shoulders, noting that everyone — coaches, players, etc. — takes a share of the 2-3 start.
“There’s a lot of things we can do a hell of a lot better, and I think it all starts with the detail,” LaFleur said.
Getting Aaron Jones back full-force after the Week 6 bye will go a long way in helping turn the season around for Green Bay. The dynamite back hasn’t been healthy since suffering a hamstring injury in Week 1. LaFleur noted he expects Jones to return after the bye week.
All is not lost in Green Bay. The Packers come out of their bye to face Denver and Minnesota, two clubs currently sitting at 1-4. Stacking a couple of wins before the meat of the schedule would go a long way toward building confidence in Green Bay.
“There’s a lot of good that can come out of adversity if you stay tough-minded and persistent and you don’t let it bring you down,” LaFleur said. “And that’s what I told our guys. I was like, nobody’s feeling sorry for us and if we feel sorry for ourselves, we will regress. But as long as we take that approach like, hey, we’re going to roll up our sleeves and get back to work, then you’ve got a chance to show some progress.
“That’s what I want to see. I want to see that fight from our team, and I believe that we will.”
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