“It’s just one game.”
That’s what many fans of the Green Bay Packers likely told themselves to keep from getting too excited about the Packers’ win in Week 1 over the Bears, which featured Jordan Love’s debut as the full-time starting quarterback.
There’s a lot to be excited about in Love’s performance to be sure, but he’s still a young quarterback and the Packers have only completed around 6% of the regular season. There will be more highs but there will also be some lows. No quarterback’s development is a straight line pointed upward.
Yet there’s one trait Love displayed that, no matter what he shows in terms of decision making, accuracy, or other mechanics, should excite Packers fans the most. Simply put, Love showed the poise of a veteran starter and not someone that was just handed the reins to one of the NFL’s most storied franchises.
Nowhere did this show up on tape more than on the botched snap that turned into a long catch by rookie tight end Luke Musgrave. The ball falls out of his hands and hits the ground, yet he picks it up and is able to get his eyes back down the field to see a wide open Musgrave.
In just that short sequence, you saw absolutely no panic from Love. That is going to serve him incredibly well when things fall apart around him.
Everyone heard all off-season how nothing seems to rattle Love and it was on full display last week. As the uncertainty surrounding his predecessor raged like a hurricane from the moment he was drafted, Love kept his head down and worked on his game and grew. His teammates took notice. All those nice words about Love weren’t just fluff from teammates to build him up going into his year as QB1. They clearly meant it, and now everyone is getting to see it.
Love will undoubtedly put some bad to ugly things on tape this year. That’s to be expected. The good news is that it sure doesn’t look like he’ll let bad plays live on in his brain for too long and that’s a huge mental hurdle for many young quarterbacks to clear. If Love can keep that mindset, the Packers are in terrific shape at the most important position in football.
Almost everyone agrees Love has the physical tools to succeed. The biggest question for him was going to between the ears and how he processed what he saw on the field.
Again, “it’s just one game,” but in a game against an arch rival when eyes across the country were on him, Love didn’t flinch. That’s a massive development.
It’s still far too early to see how the Love era will go, but there’s hope in Love. Though it might sound like a tagline for a Hallmark movie but in Green Bay, it’s music to fans’ ears.