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Cheese Curds, 11/8: Love’s grade is incomplete amid Packers’ myriad issues

Don’t react too harshly to Love’s debut performance, but don’t give him a pass, either.

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Green Bay Packers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

If one were to grade Jordan Love on his first start, it would be difficult to justify anything other than an “incomplete.” The Green Bay Packers’ young quarterback showed both his youth and inexperience as well as some glimmers of the talent that the team saw when they drafted him, but both were tempered by the play of those around him.

Well, specifically, they were tempered by the play of those in front of him. The Packers’ pass protection against the Kansas City Chiefs’ aggressive defense was poor at best, often hurrying Love’s throws and causing him to throw inaccurately. Head coach Matt LaFleur shouldered much of the blame for that, as you’ll see in today’s Cheese Curds, blaming his playcalling for some of Love’s struggles. Remarkably, it was Love’s mobility that allowed him to stay upright despite all the pressure, as he only took one sack on the day.

Still, there are a few impressive positives to take away from this game outside of Love’s inconsistent performance. The Packers’ defense slowed down Patrick Mahomes and company to a level never before accomplished by anyone, and they managed to do it without two of their top three cornerbacks — with one being a surprise scratch. Green Bay also got a lot of help from other teams around the league, with many of the NFC’s other contenders losing in surprising upsets.

The outlook in Green Bay, for the rest of this season at least, is hardly gloomy. It’s still too early to say how the outlook appears for 2022 and beyond, however, especially if the team ends up moving to Love as their starting quarterback.

Good bad and ugly from Packers’ 13-7 loss to Chiefs | Packers Wire
There will be no surprises in here if you watched the game. But keep reading for more analyses about each of these categories.

Packers’ defense makes a stingy statement in Kansas City |
This was unquestionably the good, as Kansas City gained just 237 total yards of offense -- their fewest in any game with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback.

Green Bay Packers QB Jordan Love struggles vs. blitz in first start, but Matt LaFleur takes the blame | ESPN
Here's the bad, as the Packers had no answer for Steve Spagnuolo's blitz-heavy defense. Love absolutely struggled as he was under pressure early and often, but LaFleur said after the game that he needed to call some better plays to help his young quarterback deal with the near-constant pressure.

Love hurts: Packers' QB left 'really disappointed' following first NFL start | Packer Report
As for Love himself, it was a rough day, but he did show some promise in a few areas. His mobility helped him escape the pocket on a few occasions and turn potential negative plays into something remotely positive, while his fourth quarter throws provided a glimmer of hope for how the offense could look with him at the helm. Still, it's an incomplete performance at best.

Continued struggles on special teams cost Packers in loss to Chiefs – The Athletic
And there's the ugly. After changing up the long snapper this week, issues with the field goal operation contributed to one miss and one blocked kick. Then Amari Rodgers' mistakes on punt returns led to one turnover and probably should have resulted in two.

Jags’ Josh Allen makes history by sacking Bills’ QB Josh Allen | Jaguars Wire
In the craziest upset on Sunday, Josh Allen sacked Josh Allen. Josh Allen also intercepted Josh Allen and Josh Allen recovered Josh Allen's fumble.

Got all that?