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Packers Film Room: 4 key plays from Jordan Love in win over the Chiefs

Today we look at four key plays from Jordan Love that show his continued growth in the week 13 win over Kansas City.

Kansas City Chiefs v Green Bay Packers Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Jordan Love’s first NFL start came in 2021 in a game in Kansas City where the Packers lost 13-7 and at times the game looked to fast for Love. Fast forward two seasons, 25 months later after that 2021 game to be exact, and Jordan Love completed another game where he continued his ascension toward solidifying himself as the long-term future franchise quarterback for the Packers in a 27-19 win over the Chiefs, where it all started for him.

Love tossed three touchdown passes on 25/36 and 267 passing yards. He didn’t turn the ball over either, though there were a couple of passes that could have very easily been turnovers. But for the most part, Love was again the best player on the field for the offense as he has been for at least the last seven games.

We have covered a lot of aspects of Love’s performances here over the last several weeks but there were four plays in this game that showed his continued signs of growth in the areas of pocket movement and understanding defenses and leverage defenders play with at all levels of the field.

The Chiefs blitzed Love 16 times and generated 16 pressures on him throughout the course of the game on 39 dropbacks. Love attempted quite a few throws with pressure in his face or had to make throws by changing his depth in the pocket because of the pocket collapsing around him.

On this key third down play on their first drive early in the third quarter, Love showed his processing speed to Dontayvion Wicks for a first down conversion.

The play call is “Arches”, a shallow crosser followed immediately behind it by an “arches” route.

The Chiefs are in cover-1 “plug” in the high red zone here. They only rushed four here but they pushed the right side of the pocket in fairly quickly as Love was setting to throw. Love has to time this throw perfectly into the coverage while the pocket is crumbling because he sees there is no window to the shallow crossing route.

He confirms man coverage as the safety runs with the shallow crosser before passing him off to the low-hole defender. Love rifles the pass to Wicks as the safety begins to recover and converts to a first down.

On his second touchdown pass, Love showed patience to climb through the pocket when his first read was taken away, an ability to reset his feet, and find his receiver in the back of the end zone.

On 3rd-and-6 in the red zone here, Love drops back looking for Watson to the left. The Chiefs are in man coverage again and the safety on the hash moves toward Watson as Love’s eyes go there. He comes off the read and sees Jayden Reed triple-covered. On the intermediate crossing route.

Love climbs up in the pocket and resets to throw to Watson after seeing the safety drive down on the crosser from Reed. Climbing the pocket here also changed the leverage the offensive line had to block with up front as the pass rushers initially peeled off their lanes anticipating Love was trying to scramble through. Instead, Love planted, reset, and fired over the middle to Watson for the touchdown.

The Chiefs tried to confuse Love on his third touchdown pass, second to Watson from 12 yards out from the end zone.

Kansas City crowds the line of scrimmage, indicating they intend to send an all-out cover-0 blitz. Love checks into a new play at the line of scrimmage after seeing the alignment, likely a play that had him getting to a hot-read quick slant against the blitz. From the two receiver side to the left, Patrick Taylor is running a quick slant, and is likely the hot route against the blitz.

The Chiefs dropped a defender into the slant window but Love recognized his 1-on-1 matchup with Watson on a cornerback out to the right. If he had thrown the slant, he would’ve taken a sack as that defender dropped into the slant window. Instead, threw the ball with pressure in his face to only a spot Watson was going to catch it or no one was, up higher to the right away from the defender.

This last play essentially allowed the Packers to eat up the clock and back the Chiefs up against the wall and allowed them to eat nearly 5 minutes off the clock with just under 11 minutes remaining in the game. The defense forced a turnover on the next drive the Packers iced the game with a field goal after that.

The Chiefs are running Tampa-2 on 2nd and 16 here after a holding penalty set the offense back. The offense has a flat-7 smash concept called to the boundary side of the formation to the left with Romeo Doubs on the corner route and Kraft on the hitch route.

The left tackle gets pushed back into Love as he’s readying to throw the pass to Doubs. Love recognized that the corner, who should’ve sank with the corner route, and hook defender both sat on the hitch route underneath leaving a void for a throw to Doubs. But as Love throws, he’s nearly stepped on by the left tackle and has pressure in his face and isn’t able to step into the throw. He still threw it accurately enough for Doubs even though it sort of hung on him from lack of follow-through, showing off his arm strength.

Outlook

With a huge signature win under his belt, Love should be able to continue stacking more and more good games this season as the Packers have the easiest remaining schedule in the NFC as they work toward that playoff berth. Next up is the Giants on Monday night football, a team that gave the Packers trouble last season.