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June 20, 2024

Love Leads Packers to Dominant Playoff Win in First Career Postseason Start

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Jan 15, 2024

Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love turned in a historic performance in his playoff debut, leading the Packers to a dominant 38-7 win over the Dallas Cowboys in the Wild Card round.

Near-Perfect Passer Rating for Love as He Picks Apart Cowboys Defense

The second-year quarterback was nearly flawless, completing 78.3% of his passes for 302 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions, good for a whopping 143.7 passer rating. That mark ranks as the 3rd highest passer rating by a QB making his first career playoff start since 1950.

Love spread the ball around to 8 different receivers on the day. His favorite target was Pro Bowl wideout Christian Watson, who hauled in 5 catches for 117 yards and 2 scores. But Love also effectively used his running backs and tight ends over the middle to keep the chains moving.

“He was just on point today,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said of Love’s performance. “Everything from the reads to the throws, he was confident and decisive. This guy is the real deal.”

Love cooly commanded the offense, showing veteran poise in hostile territory by consistently beating the Cowboys’ blitzes with quick passes. He appeared unfazed by the high-stakes atmosphere, a far cry from the shaky quarterback that stumbled through his first NFL start back in 2021.

Jordan Love – Passing Stats

Completions Attempts Yards Touchdowns Interceptions Passer Rating
23 29 302 3 0 143.7

“I definitely feel way more confident and comfortable out there compared to my rookie year,” Love remarked after the game. “Having a full season as the starter under my belt was huge. I didn’t try to make this game bigger than it was.”

Packers Deliver Beatdown as Rushing Attack Dominates

While Love stole the show with his pinpoint passing, Green Bay’s ground game also imposed its will on Dallas’ normally stout run defense. The Packers gashed the Cowboys for 206 rushing yards on 39 attempts, averaging 5.3 yards per carry.

Aaron Jones did most of the damage, gashing Dallas for 150 yards and a touchdown on 21 bruising runs. The Packers offensive line consistently opened huge holes, with Jones often not getting touched until reaching the second or third level. His long run of the day went for 44 yards, a back-breaking play right before halftime that setup Green Bay’s third touchdown.

AJ Dillon served as a perfect change-of-pace complement, bowling over tacklers on his 12 carries. The 247-pound wrecking ball punched in two short goal-line scores.

Overall the Packers imposed their will in the trenches on both sides of the ball. They held Dallas to just 45 rushing yards while not allowing a single sack defensively. It was a throwback, physically dominant performance from Green Bay.

“We wanted to come out and bully them up front,” Jones said confidently after the game. “I think we did that and then some. It was just total domination.”

Love Looking Like a Franchise Quarterback

After Aaron Rodgers’ tumultuous exit last offseason, the Packers faced major questions about their future at the quarterback position. But Jordan Love has emphatically answered those doubts with his stellar play down the stretch.

Once projected to be Rodgers’ heir apparent when drafted in the 1st round back in 2020, Love’s development was delayed by the legend’s decision to return in 2021. He rode the bench that season before Rodgers again pushed back retirement prior to 2022.

Love finally got his shot to start this year after Rodgers left in ugly fashion. And the young quarterback has made the most of his long-awaited opportunity.

Love endured his struggles early on, tossing 11 interceptions in his first 11 games as the Packers limped to a 4-8 record. But he seemed to turn a corner after the Week 14 bye, posting an impressive 8:1 touchdown to interception ratio while leading Green Bay to five straight wins.

That included going toe-to-toe with Kirk Cousins in a must-win game in Week 17. Love dramatically drove the Packers into field goal range in the final minute, setting up a game-winning kick that punched their ticket to the postseason.

And he convincingly outplayed Dak Prescott on Super Wild Card Weekend, looking like a poised veteran in the national spotlight. Love is showing all the tools – the big arm, accuracy, mobility, and confidence – that coaches look for in a franchise QB.

“I’ve been preparing for this moment for the past three years since I got drafted,” Love noted. “It’s been a long road but I never lost faith in myself. Just very grateful for the coaches and teammates who believed in me.”

All the adversity Love has faced in his young career now seems to be paying major dividends. He kept working and tuning out the external noise, patiently waiting his turn. Now firmly entrenched as the starter in Green Bay, the sky appears to be the limit for the budding star.

Packers Head to San Francisco for Divisional Round Clash

The Packers will hit the road next weekend to face a familiar postseason foe. They’ll head west to take on the San Francisco 49ers, the 2nd seeded NFC squad who earned a bye week.

These division rivals have experienced their fair share of playoff drama in recent years. San Francisco knocked Green Bay out of the playoffs in both 2019 and 2021, winning a pair of lopsided games at home.

But the 2022 Niners squad that beat the Packers in the regular season bore little resemblance to the current team. San Francisco has gotten healthier as the year went on after battling injuries most of the season. But questions remain about rookie QB Brock Purdy’s ability to lead them on a playoff run after his late-season struggles.

Meanwhile, Green Bay heads to the Bay Area soaring with confidence. The emergence of Jordan Love has reinvigorated the Packers, transforming them from a middling squad clinging to postseason life into legitimate contenders with Super Bowl aspirations.

Rest assured, Matt LaFleur’s team won’t be intimidated by the prospect of facing San Francisco’s vaunted defense on the road. Not after the show of force they put on display by steamrolling the Cowboys.

Look for the Packers to unleash another balanced offensive attack centered around a red-hot Jordan Love. If the offensive line continues dominating in the trenches, Green Bay has the firepower to keep pace in what could evolve into a high-scoring shootout.

This sets up an enticing playoff matchup between two of the NFC’s staple franchises. With a trip to the conference championship game on the line, expect an intense battle that could cement Jordan Love’s status as one of the league’s rising superstars.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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