The Green Bay Packers have been facing multiple challenges in their passing game, leading to concerns about who should shoulder the blame. Is Jordan Love, the young quarterback, to blame? Are the receivers at fault? Does the responsibility fall on the coaching staff, led by Matt LaFleur, or the general manager, Brian Gutekunst? The answer, it seems, is yes to all of the above.
Jordan Love has faced criticism for his performance, ranking near the bottom among qualifying quarterbacks in various passing statistics. After a promising start with six touchdowns and no interceptions in the first two games, Love’s performance declined significantly. Over the past few weeks, he has struggled with interceptions, resulting in the Packers failing to score more than 20 points in five consecutive games.
While Love’s performance has been underwhelming, there are other factors to consider:
Receiver Drops: Love has been victimized by a high drop rate among his receivers, which has affected his completion percentage.
Contested Catches: The Packers’ receivers have struggled with contested catches, with only nine successful catches out of 43 opportunities. This has added to the passing game’s challenges.
Missed Assignments: Missed assignments, both obvious and subtle, have impacted the Packers’ offensive plays and Love’s ability to execute them effectively.
Love’s Accuracy: Love’s adjusted completion percentage, which accounts for throwaways and drops, is one of the lowest in the NFL. While some of this can be attributed to downfield passes, Love’s accuracy on shorter throws is also subpar.
Pressure Handling: Love has not been under extreme pressure, but he has struggled when faced with it, leading to low completion percentages and passer ratings in pressured situ
Defensive Strategies: Defensive coordinators have employed conservative strategies against Love, often rushing only four and dropping seven into zones. This approach limits Love’s ability to use his mobility and forces him to make quick and accurate decisions.
The Youthful Roster: The Packers opted for a youthful roster in 2023, letting go of veteran receivers. While this aligns with a long-term vision, it has resulted in a lack of experienced targets for Love.
The challenges faced by the coaching staff and general manager, Brian Gutekunst, include difficulties in developing a successful game plan and a running game due to early three-and-outs. The slow start and work-in-progress season were expected given the team’s youthful composition, but adjustments are needed to build rhythm and momentum in games.
Despite the struggles, there is hope for improvement as the Packers continue to work on their issues and gain experience. The season serves as a foundation for potential contention in the future.
In summary, there are multiple factors contributing to the Packers’ struggling passing game, with blame shared among Love, the receivers, coaches, and the team’s overall youth. Patience and growth are key as they work through these challenges.