By Tori Wittenbrock
Associate Sports Editor
GREEN BAY – Things have finally begun to turn around for the Green Bay Packers. After facing a four game losing streak earlier this season and a losing record, quarterback Jordan Love has led his team to a three game win streak over the Los Angeles Chargers (5-7), the Detroit Lions (9-3) and most recently the Kansas City Chiefs (8-4).
Though many were quick to turn on the young quarterback and speculation about his ability to perform among the top echelon of players in the league swirled, Love persevered and has worked the Packers up to a 6-6 record going into Week 14.
“Certainly that was a big win for us, against one of the premier teams in this league. We had contributions from all three phases,” said LaFleur about his team staying ahead of the defending Super Bowl champs all night.
“There’s nothing like playing a night game at Lambeau at this point in the season, and I can’t thank the crowd enough — it definitely made an impact.”
However, there is one aspect of the game that was clearly the difference maker in allowing the Packers to take the lead early, and maintain it all the way through posting a 27-19 final score.
“There is a trust that our quarterback is going to make the right decisions. It really takes every group to make those plays and be a little more aggressive,” said LaFleur. “Just making sure that we get the protection that’s needed, but guys in the receiver room, the tight end room, are making plays. The protection has been pretty solid.”
Love has clearly matured into the starting quarterback role, taking on a leadership role on the field.
“Ultimately, it comes down to the quarterback making the right decisions, and also trusting that if it’s not clean and the pocket’s not clean, then he’s going to get the ball in his hands and not take a negative play, and I think we’ve really seen that, especially in the last four games or so, from him really doing that. That makes it real easy, as a play caller to want to be more aggressive and to take our shots,” said LaFleur.
In a complete turnaround from his first NFL start in Nov. 2021 against the Chiefs, Love has surmounted not only distrust from spectators, but also his own mental struggles from the teams’ last meeting.
In 2021, Love got his first NFL start as a result of Aaron Rodgers being out for Covid-19.
During the game at Arrowhead Stadium, Love completed just 19/34 attempted passes with 190 yards, 1 interception and 1 sack.
On Sunday, Dec. 3, the team Love completed 25/36 attempted passes with 267 yards, 3 touchdown passes, no interceptions and 2 sacks.
Not only did he show improvement over his own stats, but also surpassed one of the best and most notorious quarterbacks in the league, Patrick Mahomes.
Mahomes completed just 21/33 attempted passes with 210 yards, throwing 1 touchdown, posting 1 interception, and 3 sacks.
“It’s just decision making, being decisive, being fast, playing fast, trusting my guys. Anytime we score these guys are going out there making plays, winning those contested catches, but there are so many things that tie into it. I think it’s just going out and continuing reps that we’re all getting. Playing together as a unit, and a team,” said Love about the difference maker.
“Getting the ball out fast just trusting myself and my team.”
However, arguably the biggest difference of the game, Love’s mom was able to watch the game from a much better seat this time around.
In 2021, when Love played his first start against the Cheifs, his mom sat in the nosebleeds. However, for this game, she had better seats.
“She was here. She had some good seats, sitting up in the suites — some better seats than the last time, that’s for sure,” said Love.