Green Bay Packers' "biggest fears" realised when Love replaced Rodgers

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Jordan Love is preparing for his first season as the starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers (Image: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Jordan Love is preparing for his first season as the starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers (Image: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur has explained how his “biggest fears came true” in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

LaFleur is getting the Packers ready for the 2023 NFL regular season, which begins this September. It will also be the first time in nearly two decades that Aaron Rodgers is not at Lambeau Field.

Rodgers was traded to the New York Jets just days before the NFL Draft in April. That move saw the quarterback’s 18-year career with Green Bay come to an end as he moved to MetLife Stadium.

Love was drafted by the Packers with the No.26 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Since then, he has been serving as the backup to Rodgers and waiting for his chance to shine in Wisconsin.

That chance is expected to come this season, with Love slotted in as the new starting QB for the Packers following Rodgers’ exit. And fans have not had much to go on in terms of how Love can perform in an NFL game.

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One such instance came in November 2021 against the Chiefs. Rodgers was sidelined due to COVID-19 protocols, which meant that Love got his chance to be a starter for the game at Arrowhead Stadium.

LaFleur has been reflecting on that game nearly two years later and revealed that he only knew that Love would be starting just four days before the game. As a result, the Packers head coach had very little time to be able to adjust his tactics.

“They zero blitzed the hell out of us,” LaFleur told . “Would they have done that to Aaron? Probably not.

“It was just a different set of circumstances because we didn’t know until Wednesday.

“What I should have done in hindsight is start over with the game plan, not to throw everything out, but just have better answers for him specifically so it took a little off his plate.

"I was worried about it going into the game, and my biggest fears came true. I’m still kicking myself about that.”

The Packers lost the game 13-7 with Love throwing one touchdown pass with 190 passing yards and one interception. It was a game that the QB himself admitted was a day he won’t forget in a hurry.

“That experience in Kansas City was an eye-opening experience,” Love said in the same article. “Like, OK, this is what it’s like now; it’s not preseason, you get in a real game, where these defensive coordinators have been game-planning for exactly the looks you might mess up on, and I don’t have the right answer for.

“And then, obviously, if you don’t pick it up in the game, they’re going to keep sending the same stuff.”

Love is busy preparing for a preseason schedule that sees the Packers take on the Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks. That is all the build-up to the Week 1 opener against NFC North rivals the Chicago Bears.

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Mark Wakefield

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