Ah, what a difference a week can make in the life of a young NFL player. Jordan Love led three scoring drives in the first half of the Packers preseason game against the Saints. His first half stat line showed improvement (9-16/93 yards/1TD/0:INT/94 RTG). The Packers held on for a 20-10 home field victory.
The defense made enough plays (including an interception and a fumble recovery) in the first half to keep the Saints to a 59 yard field goal and a last second TD drive. The Saints last minute touchdown was only accomplished because tight end Tyler Davis made another critical error. Last week against the 49ers Davis had a throw go right thru his hands for a critical interception that led to seven points. Against the Saints, he fumbled after making a wide open catch and again it led to a quick drive for seven points for the opponent. Add in a drop for an interception at practice this week and multiple failures in run game blocking and you may have seen the last of Davis in a tight end roll in Green Bay.
Love not only had a better statistical night, his passes were on target. Every ball was delivered with commitment and only one, a second half toss to Amari Rodgers that was batted away at the catch point, was behind a receiver. Except for a couple of times where Love tried to scramble after not finding an open target, his balls came out fast and in rhythm.
The offensive line also showed improvement. Zack Tom and Royce Newman had some hole opening back side zone blocks that Tyler Goodson took advantage of, gaining 38 yards on five carries in the first half.
When the second half began, Chris Slayton made his introduction to Saints RB Abram Smith with a solid tackle for a one yard gain. Slayton seemed to be around the ball on many plays. He had five total tackles, 3 solo, but left even more on the field. If he can improve to the point he is making those extra plays, he has a chance to be a good lineman in the NFL. The defense, especially the play of the first and second team interior linebackers, has to give long time fans some small sense of relief. Yes, it is preseason and yes it is against second tier talent, but the tackling is better than Green and Gold fans have seen in preseason in sometime.
Love’s stats did not improve in the third quarter, but his accuracy and pocket presence still impressed. Accurate throws dropped by Hyman, Toure and finally Rodgers killed the Packers first third quarter drive. The long throw to Toure was especially impressive as Love put it right on the money with decent coverage by the Saints. Perhaps it was the rain, but unless the drops disappear, the top 3 wideouts will see most of the plays come prime time. The Saints Ian Book was dead to rights dead for a sack, but he slipped by Slayton and escaped, making the play and leading multiple drives where he moved the ball. Book, the former Golden Domer, had a gritty performance, at one point bowling right through Ty Summers’ tackle for a first down. Summers still seems a step slow in recognition and isn’t making noticeable special teams plays. McDuffie had six tackles and is playing ahead of Summers with the second team defense. Much has been said about the improvement of Kingsley Enagbare, the Packers 5th round draft pick. Enagbare had multiple noticeable moments of pressure or near tackles but ended the game with one assisted tackle.
The only noticeable injury was to Vernon Scott, which could leave the Packers dangerously thin at Safety.
Again, this game had no starters and it would be easy to file it away as a nothing outcome, but the improvement on both sides of the ball was noticeable and sometime during the season, there will be players that made the team tonight that will contribute in 2022. Let’s hope we see the same improvement next week. The best news is- We are watching football!!!
Hmmm…. I seem to remember at least 3 terrible incomplete passes by Love in the 2nd quarter. In fact it seemed in the 2nd quarter if you watch the tape he was locked on to his primary receiver and never once looked through is progressions. Not a good sign for a 3rd year QB.
You can see the physical gifts, the physical tools, that made Jordan Love a first round pick shine thru the fog of the mental aspect of being an NFL QB as the game begins to slow down for him. He took another step towards the goal of becoming a franchise QB. He continues to stack successful practices and preseason games. We’re not there yet, but the needle continues to point up. This in stark contrast of PF4L and Ferris, or as I like to call them, the Bevis and Butthead of amateur NFL talent evaluators. PF4L proclaiming trade Love now for a 5th round draft pick! While Ferris cries but nobody wants Jordan Love! Jordan Love will not be traded. Next off season, Love’s 5th year option will be picked up. Aaron Rodgers will play this year and next. By year three of his current contract, the Packers and Rodgers will part ways either by retirement or trade and Jordan Love will be given his opportunity. The Packers have too much invested in Jordan Love and by then he will have earned it. That’s the reality that Aaron Rodgers fans must come to terms with.
So having a first round pick sit the bench for 5 years is good use of the pick? Is that what you are saying? ONE preseason game success and he’s a franchise QB? I say sell high. Maybe Seattle believes that like they did with Matt Flynn and GB can trade Love to them while he is at his all time high in value. Love may turn into a decent player someday IDK. But my issue has always been drafting him in the 1st round. At least they didn’t take Henry Ruggs I guess.
I certainly agree he has improved. I dont know what they did in the offseason to improve his release but its quicker and he can actually throw a very nice tight spiral. I noticed in the Saints game he was able to take a little off the short passes, giving his receivers a better shot at catching the ball cleanly; compared to the 9er game where he was throwing rockets even in the 10 yard window. Again, after coming under pressure in the early part of the 2nd quarter, he then reverted to trying to force the ball to his 1st read for the rest of the half. He doesnt strike me as someone who shys away from contact so im not sure why this happened. Maybe because its pre-season and he was told not to take any undue hits and just get rid of the ball if the opposing team starts applying pressure?
I know that one of the biggest weaknesses that destroys young QB’s who were drafted to be starters, is never being able to learn the patience of looking through progressions. Ive seen it for 30 years. See Josh Rosen. Hopefully, again, this was just a pre-season survival technique and not a sign of his inability to read defenses.
Ok Ferris, you’d trade him. Then who’s your back up? 28 yr old Danny Etling? How many teams have released him? How high is his ceiling? It’s not like there’s anything left to develop. At this point he is what he is. Good luck with that. And what if Aaron Rodgers decides to call it a career after this season. He takes his witch to Peru, starts a commune, and drinks magic tea. Stranger things have happened. I could see him walk away especially if we win the SB. If you trade Love, then you have to draft another QB early and start to develop him because Aaron Rodgers has a limited shelf life. Does the drama start all over again when you draft another QB? Because it’s already baked into the equation now. For me, it makes absolutely no sense to trade him now just to start over. Especially if you think he can be a viable NFL starter and possibly more. You ask a great question. Is it a good idea to let a 1st round draft pick set on the bench for 4 or 5 years? Perhaps not. But I’d rather have a young, talented QB like Jordan Love sitting on the bench than be like the New Orlean Saints. Once Drew Brees retired they had no plan and are now stuck with the likes of Jameis Winston, Andy Dalton, and Ian Book.
“takes his witch to Peru”. That made me laugh. And Rodgers sucks. Amari, that is.