The in-season development of Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love has very few comparisons. Yes, the offense is very young and went through plenty of growing pains early on in the season, including receivers running wrong routes and plenty of penalties. Still, it’s extremely rare for a passing game to go from bad in one half of the season to good in the season half.
Below is a table showing the Adjusted Net Yards Per Attempt (ANY/A) Value of qualifying quarterbacks this season. ANY/A is the “raw” passing stat most correlated to wins. The short story on the stat is that it treats passing touchdowns as a bonus of 20 yards, an interception as a penalty of 45 yards and also includes sacks and sack yardage, unlike passer rating. The “Value” portion of the formula is just a simple comparison to the league average. For example, if the league average ANY/A was 6 yards per play and a quarterback averaged 7 yards per play over 100 dropbacks, his “Value” would be +100 (yards above the league average.)
As you can see, no one has made bigger strides between Week 1-8 and the last five weeks of the season than Love. The only players who come even remotely close are Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, now an MVP candidate, and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, who was clearly playing through an injury at the start of the season.
If you map out this data, though, you’ll notice an even more interesting trend.
For the most part, no qualifying quarterbacks (min. 100 attempts up to and after Week 8) have really gone from good to bad or bad to good this season. Passing games can go from good to average or bad to average, but that’s about where the progression (or regression) ends. When you look at the “improving” ANY/A Value quartile, Love’s dot is very lonely. The only quarterback near him on the graph is Burrow — who, again, was playing through a calf injury early in the season before eventually going on the injured reserve for a wrist injury.
To put it simply: Jordan Love is red hot, and in a way we seldom see in the NFL. Usually, when a quarterback’s stats start rough, the best you can expect is average moving forward. Instead, Love has thrown for 11 passing touchdowns to just two interceptions (with one coming on an end-of-game play) over the last five weeks. From an ANY/A Value perspective, only Prescott, San Francisco’s Brock Purdy (the MVP favorite) and Houston’s C.J. Stroud have better stats over the last five weeks.
Get excited, Packers fans, you’re seeing something special this year. On Halloween, Green Bay was a seller at the trade deadline sitting with a 2-5 record. Now, the team is more likely than not to make the playoffs on the back of a quarterback who is seeing rapid improvement and looks to be the team’s next long-term starter at the position.