While quarterback Jordan Love tossed three touchdown passes in his debut as the full-time starter and hit some high-level throws on key third downs on Green Bay scoring drives, there is still room to improve and grow as the season progresses.
At the end of the day, Love was 15-of-27 for 245 yards and three touchdowns, a very impressive showing for the quarterback starting his fourth year in the NFL. Still, he left a few throws on the field on some passes he normally hits.
The biggest area of concern right now is his on-target throw percentage. While not yet fully charted for the rest of the NFL, he’s going to come in very low for Week 1 in Sports Info Solutions’ (SIS) “on-target” throw percentage. SIS Datahub defines “on-target passes” as “the number of times a quarterback’s throw is deemed catchable by the wide receiver, regardless of whether or not the receiver catches the pass.”
His 66.7% on-target throw percentage would’ve been better than just five quarterbacks total for the 2022 season. Despite this, the Packers' offense still put 31 points on the Bears in a division game and it’s not crazy to assume just a few more on-target throws might have yielded a 40+ point day for the offense.
I don’t really see any issue with his mechanics. There’s no heel click, he has a good wide base, and the ball is jumping out of his hand.
On this throw in the third quarter, with the play concept being the dig/spot where the dig wraps over the top of the spot route, Love is reading how the quarter-flat defender plays the zone. If he squeezes the spot route, throw the dig. If he squeezes the dig, throw the spot. 99 out of 100 times versus quarters coverage, the ball is going to the dig route.
Everything about this play is great right up until the ball sails away from him. The location of the pass is off-target and if not for Doubs deflecting it, it might be intercepted by safety Jaquan Brisker. Otherwise, it’s a very encouraging rep where Love is on-time and in rhythm.
Earlier in the game, on the same type of route concept, Love just didn’t pull the trigger when he saw the dig coming open.
He ended up checking down the pass to Jones on the left but he had an opportunity for a nice anticipation throw to the dig if he wanted it. It’s likely why LaFleur came back to it later in the game for him.
On another pass, Love left the ball just a bit inside but it was another throw with good timing and anticipation.
The receiver is running a deep out on the left sideline and Love begins his throw just as the receiver starts to break on his out stem to the sideline. Love throws the pass but leaves it inside and it goes in and out of the hands of the receiver. The receiver could have caught it but he still had to stop his momentum to make an adjustment on the pass. Love never really opens to his target until he throws and as a result, the ball stays inside.
On another out/comeback route later in the game, Love again left the pass too far inside, forcing the receiver to stop and make a difficult adjustment.
He progressed again nicely through his reads, shuffling and resetting his feet as he confirmed reads were not open. Everything was great up until the throw again. Just a bit too far inside. Reed appeared to have caught the pass but the defender coming across was able to hit him as he tried to secure the ball, knocking him to the ground and knocking his helmet with a crushing hit.
Love showed off good accuracy in the preseason but in week one, was a bit more off-target than we’re used to seeing. Perhaps this is due to the game speed going up a notch with reps against a first-team defense.
However, this was a very encouraging game overall for him as showed some really good decision-making on throws and even on these throws above. Just need to reign in the accuracy a bit more and that should come as the receivers and quarterback get more comfortable running the offense as the weeks progress this season.