Jordan Love displayed promise starting the Green Bay Packers’ preseason finale versus the Buffalo Bills, but a couple of decisions exemplified a still-growing young quarterback.
Love looked comfortable early, getting through his reads quickly, finding open targets and not getting flustered. When everything was on schedule, Love looked great. Calm. Composed. Good arm.
It was when plays broke down that Love got in trouble. He made a great play on a fourth-down roll-out to hit a wide-open Dominique Dafney with a touch pass. However, Love got pressured on the ensuing play, heaving a prayer to the end zone that Micah Hyde picked off. It was the type of decision that Love must learn from moving forward. On first down, he needed to throw it away and live for another down.
Later, Love made a similarly risky decision, tossing high over the middle in the red zone late in the first half. The second-year QB again was under pressure and panicked. When pass rushers forced him off-platform, he tried to make fadeaway heaves.
The negatives displayed just how necessary these preseason reps were for the young quarterback to learn and grow. When he cleans up those decisions, Love offers a lot of promise. Facing mostly the Bills’ starting defense, Love moved the ball well and, aside from the two mistakes, looked good.
He showed good accuracy and arm strength. The 22-year-old got through his reads well for the most part. Several times he stepped up in the pocket to avoid pressure. He displayed good mobility, scrambling three times for 16 yards, and the ability to throw on the move. Love pulled a trick out of Aaron Rodgers’ bag, getting the Bills to jump offsides and hitting Malik Taylor for a good sideline throw-and-catch on the free play.
Love displayed no adverse effects from the shoulder issue that kept him out last week.
All in all, Packers coaches have to be pleased with what they saw from Love in his second game of preseason action. He finished four drives, going 12-of-18 passing for 149 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT, and a 69.0 rating. The stat line — like most in preseason action — isn’t as important as the reps gained. Green Bay will use the film for the young signal-caller to learn from as the regular season commences.
Now the Packers hope Love will be a bystander for the rest of 2021 before bigger questions arise next offseason.
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