The Green Bay Packers stacked big games after big games over the last couple of weeks. After losing to the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team was 6-8, and the playoff chances were at 25%.
They needed to run the table. And so they did. Wins over the Carolina Panthers and Minnesota Vikings put the team in position to fight for a playoff spot.
On Sunday, the young team finished it off with a 17-9 win over the Chicago Bears, clinching a postseason berth. After the game at Lambeau Field, head coach Matt LaFleur ran to the field to give first-year starting quarterback Jordan Love a big hug. It was a recognition for all the pressure, all the doubts Love had to overcome.
And Love appreciated his coach’s gesture. “It’s awesome, that’s a moment I’ll never forget right there,” Love said after the win.
“I feel like it’s just a moment of everything coming together. All the work we do, all offseason, the training camp, the beginning of the season. Just everyone in the locker room sticking together.”
“Locking all the outside noise and just finding ways to put ourselves in a great position to make a playoff run.” It was a season full of ups and downs for the Packers. The team started and finished the regular season beating the Chicago Bears, but a lot of things happened between these two games.
The comeback defeat to the Atlanta Falcons, the comeback win over the New Orleans Saints. A sequence of four bad losses, dropping the team to 2-5, and then the sequence of strong wins against the Los Angeles Chargers, Detroit Lions, and Kansas City Chiefs to salvage their season.
A loss to Tommy DeVito, and the final recovery. It’s been a long season, but Love is happy about how the team reacted. “The main thing we did was stick together,” the quarterback highlighted.
“Everybody came to the building, found ways to try to get better, improve ourselves and make the team better. It’s obviously been a process for us, it hasn’t been easy.”
Jordan Love finished his first regular season as the starter with strong stats. He completed 64.2% of his passes for 4,159 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. He had the second most passing touchdowns, just behind the quarterback the Packers will face next week, Dak Prescott. Love was sixth in passing yards.
The end of the season was particularly impressive. Since week 11, Love has had 18 touchdowns and one interception in 8 games. In these eight games, he surpassed a 100.0 passer rating seven times, including the last four weeks.
But more than that, Jordan Love has shown the right attitude and mindset to be a true franchise leader. “He’s a tough-minded sucker now.”
“His family did a hell of a job raising him in terms of just what he’s all about,” LaFleur said. “He’s about all the right things. The guy just comes to work every day, has a great attitude, he’s one of the guys. He’s really improved over the course of four years. I’m just super happy for him, he’s earned it.”
Even though the season is already a success for the Packers, it’s not over yet. Next week, it’s a big challenge against the Dallas Cowboys in Texas. The Packers might be the underdogs, but Love gives them a chance.