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Will Jordan Love sustain his excellent play, or was the second half of 2023 a mirage?

Is Jordan Love like, good? Not just good but like, “good, good?”

Syndication: Journal Sentinel Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Jordan Love finished the 2023 NFL regular season highly ranked in a number of important categories, and everyone in Packerland is justifiably excited as a result. However, there are some grumpy folks on the internet who like to point out that this is a small sample size, that the Green Bay Packers’ schedule wasn’t that tough, that by certain metrics the Packers were really lucky, and that therefore this could all be a mirage. Is this (since week 9) going to stick?

It’s probably not a mirage. Love can be a bit tough to parse because he’s not a rookie, but he is a first-year starter, and so comparisons to other rookies aren’t necessarily apples-to-apples. Fortunately, we don’t really need to compare Love to rookies to get an idea about how real his development has been. We can just compare him to everyone who has ever played.

If we simply sort for the numbers that Love posted, we can see what kind of comparisons Love may have. How many quarterbacks have a touchdown percentage of at least 5%, an INT% under 2%, a completion rate of at least 64%, and an average of at least 7 yards per attempt? We get a list of 27 individual quarterbacks (though some have done this many times) to hit all of these marks in a single season. Many are Hall-of-Famers or future Hall-of-Famers. Some are merely very good, but even the worst (Ryan Tannehill, Derek Carr, Geno Smith) are still pretty good!

Love Contemporaries

Player ANY/A Att Cmp% Y/A Int% TD% Season Age
Player ANY/A Att Cmp% Y/A Int% TD% Season Age
Justin Herbert 6.84 595 66.6 7.3 1.7 5.2 2020 22
Dak Prescott 7.86 459 67.8 8 0.9 5 2016 23
Deshaun Watson 6.87 505 68.3 8.2 1.8 5.1 2018 23
Patrick Mahomes 8.38 484 65.9 8.3 1 5.4 2019 24
Josh Allen 7.82 572 69.2 7.9 1.7 6.5 2020 24
Patrick Mahomes 8.33 588 66.3 8.1 1 6.5 2020 25
Deshaun Watson 8.22 544 70.2 8.9 1.3 6.1 2020 25
Jordan Love 6.67 579 64.2 7.2 1.9 5.5 2023 25
Dak Prescott 7.84 596 65.1 8.2 1.8 5 2019 26
Aaron Rodgers 7.47 541 64.7 8.2 1.3 5.5 2009 26
Lamar Jackson 7.34 457 67.2 8 1.5 5.3 2023 26
Patrick Mahomes 7.07 658 66.3 7.4 2 5.6 2021 26
Joe Burrow 6.76 606 68.3 7.4 2 5.8 2022 26
Daunte Culpepper 8.02 548 69.2 8.6 2 7.1 2004 27
Patrick Mahomes 7.93 648 67.1 8.1 1.9 6.3 2022 27
Russell Wilson 7.73 483 68.1 8.3 1.7 7 2015 27
Peyton Manning 7.35 566 67 7.5 1.8 5.1 2003 27
Kirk Cousins 7.14 543 69.8 7.7 2 5.3 2015 27
Peyton Manning 9.78 497 67.6 9.2 2 9.9 2004 28
Aaron Rodgers 9.39 502 68.3 9.2 1.2 9 2011 28
Philip Rivers 8.3 486 65.2 8.8 1.9 5.8 2009 28
Donovan McNabb 7.87 469 64 8.3 1.7 6.6 2004 28
Dak Prescott 7.34 596 68.8 7.5 1.7 6.2 2021 28
Derek Carr 7.53 517 67.3 7.9 1.7 5.2 2020 29
Aaron Rodgers 7.33 552 67.2 7.8 1.4 7.1 2012 29
Matthew Stafford 7.01 565 65.7 7.9 1.8 5.1 2017 29
Jared Goff 6.99 605 67.3 7.6 2 5 2023 29
Tom Brady 8.88 578 68.9 8.3 1.4 8.7 2007 30
Peyton Manning 7.93 557 65 7.9 1.6 5.6 2006 30
Dak Prescott 7.28 590 69.5 7.7 1.5 6.1 2023 30
Kirk Cousins 6.48 606 70.1 7.1 1.7 5 2018 30
Matt Ryan 9.03 534 69.9 9.3 1.3 7.1 2016 31
Aaron Rodgers 8.65 520 65.6 8.4 1 7.3 2014 31
Russell Wilson 7.42 516 66.1 8 1 6 2019 31
Tony Romo 7.4 522 66.3 8 1.9 5.9 2011 31
Ryan Tannehill 7.9 481 65.5 7.9 1.5 6.9 2020 32
Ben Roethlisberger 7.82 608 67.1 8.1 1.5 5.3 2014 32
Philip Rivers 7.79 544 69.5 8.2 2 5.9 2013 32
Geno Smith 6.54 572 69.8 7.5 1.9 5.2 2022 32
Tom Brady 8.25 492 65.9 7.9 0.8 7.3 2010 33
Matt Ryan 7.71 608 69.4 8.1 1.2 5.8 2018 33
Alex Smith 7.65 505 67.5 8 1 5.1 2017 33
Kirk Cousins 7.42 561 66.3 7.5 1.2 5.9 2021 33
Aaron Rodgers 7.24 610 65.7 7.3 1.1 6.6 2016 33
Tom Brady 8.25 611 65.6 8.6 2 6.4 2011 34
Drew Brees 7.51 650 68.6 7.9 1.8 6 2013 34
Peyton Manning 7.89 583 68.6 8 1.9 6.3 2012 36
Drew Brees 7.26 627 68.3 7.8 1.8 5.1 2015 36
Aaron Rodgers 8.89 526 70.7 8.2 1 9.1 2020 37
Peyton Manning 8.87 659 68.3 8.3 1.5 8.3 2013 37
Tom Brady 7.01 582 64.1 7.1 1.5 5.7 2014 37
Aaron Rodgers 8 531 68.9 7.7 0.8 7 2021 38
Tom Brady 7.48 624 64.4 7.6 1.1 5.8 2015 38
Drew Brees 8.47 489 74.4 8.2 1 6.5 2018 39
Brett Favre 7.61 531 68.4 7.9 1.3 6.2 2009 40
Tom Brady 7.56 581 66.3 7.9 1.4 5.5 2017 40
Tom Brady 7.26 570 65.8 7.6 1.9 5.1 2018 41
Tom Brady 7.53 610 65.7 7.6 2 6.6 2020 43
Tom Brady 7.41 719 67.5 7.4 1.7 6 2021 44

What’s more, those three (Tanny, Carr, Smith) all accomplished the feat at age 29 or later, with Carr and Tannehill having done so during the 2020 Covid year. Love is just 25, and the only quarterbacks to have a season this impressive at 26 or younger are Justin Herbert (22), Dak Prescott (23), Deshaun Watson (23), Patrick Mahomes (24), Josh Allen (24), Jordan Love (25), Aaron Rodgers (26), Lamar Jackson (26), and Joe Burrow (26). That’s a good list.

But let’s say you don’t care for newfangled rate stats, let alone EPA or DVOA. What about just Old-School counting stats: yards, touchdowns, and interceptions? And I’m sure you, being an old-school football person also don’t want me playing any games with the 17-game season, so let’s take out the last game against the Bears where love completed 84% of his passes for 316 yards, 2 scores, and no picks.

Counting Stat Contemporaries

Player Att TD Int Yds Season Age Team G GS Cmp Att Inc Cmp% Yds TD Int Pick6 TD% Int% Rate Sk Yds Sk% Y/A AY/A ANY/A Y/C Y/G Succ% W L T 4QC GWD FantPt PPR FantPt PPR/G Pos
Player Att TD Int Yds Season Age Team G GS Cmp Att Inc Cmp% Yds TD Int Pick6 TD% Int% Rate Sk Yds Sk% Y/A AY/A ANY/A Y/C Y/G Succ% W L T 4QC GWD FantPt PPR FantPt PPR/G Pos
Peyton Manning 659 55 10 5477 2013 37 DEN 16 16 450 659 209 68.3 5477 55 10 2 8.3 1.5 115.1 18 120 2.66 8.3 9.3 8.87 12.2 342.3 55.2 13 3 0 2 2 410 410 25.63 25.63 QB
Aaron Rodgers 502 45 6 4643 2011 28 GNB 15 15 343 502 159 68.3 4643 45 6 0 9 1.2 122.5 36 219 6.69 9.2 10.5 9.39 13.5 309.5 53 14 1 0 0 1 397.4 397.4 26.49 26.49 QB
Josh Allen 572 37 10 4544 2020 24 BUF 16 16 396 572 176 69.2 4544 37 10 0 6.5 1.7 107.2 26 159 4.35 7.9 8.45 7.82 11.5 284 56.5 13 3 0 2 3 395.1 396.1 24.69 24.76 QB
Tom Brady 578 50 8 4806 2007 30 NWE 16 16 398 578 180 68.9 4806 50 8 0 8.7 1.4 117.2 21 128 3.51 8.3 9.42 8.88 12.1 300.4 57.8 16 0 0 4 4 390 390 24.38 24.38 QB
Cam Newton 495 35 10 3837 2015 26 CAR 16 16 296 495 199 59.8 3837 35 10 0 7.1 2 99.4 33 284 6.25 7.8 8.26 7.2 13 239.8 48.1 15 1 0 3 4 389.1 389.1 24.32 24.32 QB
Aaron Rodgers 526 48 5 4299 2020 37 GNB 16 16 372 526 154 70.7 4299 48 5 1 9.1 1 121.5 20 182 3.66 8.2 9.57 8.89 11.6 268.7 55.3 13 3 0 1 2 382.3 383.3 23.89 23.96 QB
Aaron Rodgers 610 40 7 4428 2016 33 GNB 16 16 401 610 209 65.7 4428 40 7 0 6.6 1.1 104.2 35 246 5.43 7.3 8.05 7.24 11 276.8 49.6 10 6 0 0 2 380 380 23.75 23.75 QB
Patrick Mahomes 588 38 6 4740 2020 25 KAN 15 15 390 588 198 66.3 4740 38 6 0 6.5 1 108.2 22 147 3.61 8.1 8.89 8.33 12.2 316 54.1 14 1 0 3 3 374.4 374.4 24.96 24.96 QB
Daunte Culpepper 548 39 11 4717 2004 27 MIN 16 16 379 548 169 69.2 4717 39 11 0 7.1 2 110.9 46 238 7.74 8.6 9.13 8.02 12.4 294.8 53.5 8 8 0 1 3 371.3 371.3 23.21 23.21 QB
Deshaun Watson 544 33 7 4823 2020 25 HOU 16 16 382 544 162 70.2 4823 33 7 0 6.1 1.3 112.4 49 293 8.26 8.9 9.5 8.22 12.6 301.4 54.5 4 12 0 369.3 369.3 23.08 23.08 QB
Peyton Manning 497 49 10 4557 2004 28 IND 16 16 336 497 161 67.6 4557 49 10 0 9.9 2 121.1 13 101 2.55 9.2 10.24 9.78 13.6 284.8 57.1 12 4 0 2 4 360.1 360.1 22.51 22.51 QB
Aaron Rodgers 520 38 5 4381 2014 31 GNB 16 16 341 520 179 65.6 4381 38 5 0 7.3 1 112.2 28 174 5.11 8.4 9.45 8.65 12.8 273.8 52.4 12 4 0 1 1 354.1 354.1 22.13 22.13 QB
Matt Ryan 608 35 7 4924 2018 33 ATL 16 16 422 608 186 69.4 4924 35 7 1 5.8 1.2 108.1 42 296 6.46 8.1 8.73 7.71 11.7 307.8 51.7 7 9 0 1 1 354 355 22.13 22.19 QB
Steve Young 461 35 10 3969 1994 33 SFO 16 16 324 461 137 70.3 3969 35 10 1 7.6 2.2 112.8 31 163 6.3 8.6 9.15 8.24 12.3 248.1 55.5 13 3 0 1 1 348.1 348.1 21.76 21.76 QB
Russell Wilson 553 34 11 3983 2017 29 SEA 16 16 339 553 214 61.3 3983 34 11 0 6.1 2 95.4 43 322 7.21 7.2 7.54 6.45 11.7 248.9 43.8 9 7 0 2 2 347.9 347.9 21.74 21.74 QB
Matt Ryan 534 38 7 4944 2016 31 ATL 16 16 373 534 161 69.9 4944 38 7 2 7.1 1.3 117.1 37 235 6.48 9.3 10.09 9.03 13.3 309 52.5 11 5 0 1 2 347.5 347.5 21.72 21.72 QB
Tom Brady 624 36 7 4770 2015 38 NWE 16 16 402 624 222 64.4 4770 36 7 2 5.8 1.1 102.2 38 225 5.74 7.6 8.29 7.48 11.9 298.1 47.4 12 4 0 2 2 343.7 344.7 21.48 21.54 QB
Aaron Rodgers 552 39 8 4295 2012 29 GNB 16 16 371 552 181 67.2 4295 39 8 0 7.1 1.4 108 51 293 8.46 7.8 8.54 7.33 11.6 268.4 49.8 11 5 0 2 3 343.6 344.6 21.48 21.54 QB
Ryan Tannehill 481 33 7 3819 2020 32 TEN 16 16 315 481 166 65.5 3819 33 7 0 6.9 1.5 106.5 24 173 4.75 7.9 8.66 7.9 12.1 238.7 52.1 11 5 0 5 6 343.4 344.4 21.46 21.53 QB
Aaron Rodgers 541 30 7 4434 2009 26 GNB 16 16 350 541 191 64.7 4434 30 7 1 5.5 1.3 103.2 50 306 8.46 8.2 8.72 7.47 12.7 277.1 47.4 11 5 0 2 2 343 343 21.44 21.44 QB
Dak Prescott 590 36 9 4516 2023 30 DAL 17 17 410 590 180 69.5 4516 36 9 0 6.1 1.5 105.9 39 255 6.2 7.7 8.19 7.28 11 265.6 51.5 12 5 0 2 3 342.8 342.8 20.16 20.16 QB
Jeff Garcia 561 31 10 4278 2000 30 SFO 16 16 355 561 206 63.3 4278 31 10 2 5.5 1.8 97.6 24 155 4.1 7.6 7.93 7.34 12.1 267.4 49.9 6 10 0 340.5 340.5 21.28 21.28 QB
Tom Brady 637 34 8 4827 2012 35 NWE 16 16 401 637 236 63 4827 34 8 0 5.3 1.3 98.7 27 182 4.07 7.6 8.08 7.48 12 301.7 52.7 12 4 0 1 2 340.3 340.3 21.27 21.27 QB
Dak Prescott 596 30 11 4902 2019 26 DAL 16 16 388 596 208 65.1 4902 30 11 0 5 1.8 99.7 23 151 3.72 8.2 8.4 7.84 12.6 306.4 52.3 8 8 0 337.8 337.8 21.11 21.11 QB
Russell Wilson 483 34 8 4024 2015 27 SEA 16 16 329 483 154 68.1 4024 34 8 0 7 1.7 110.1 45 265 8.52 8.3 8.99 7.73 12.2 251.5 50.8 10 6 0 2 2 336.3 336.3 21.02 21.02 QB
Justin Herbert 595 31 10 4336 2020 22 LAC 15 15 396 595 199 66.6 4336 31 10 0 5.2 1.7 98.3 32 218 5.1 7.3 7.57 6.84 10.9 289.1 47.8 6 9 0 1 3 332.8 332.8 22.19 22.19 QB
Aaron Rodgers 531 37 4 4115 2021 38 GNB 16 16 366 531 165 68.9 4115 37 4 0 7 0.8 111.9 30 188 5.35 7.7 8.8 8 11.2 257.2 50.6 13 3 0 1 2 332.3 333.3 20.77 20.83 QB
Russell Wilson 516 31 5 4110 2019 31 SEA 16 16 341 516 175 66.1 4110 31 5 2 6 1 106.3 48 319 8.51 8 8.73 7.42 12.1 256.9 49.6 11 5 0 4 5 328.6 328.6 20.54 20.54 QB
Dak Prescott 596 37 10 4449 2021 28 DAL 16 16 410 596 186 68.8 4449 37 10 1 6.2 1.7 104.2 30 144 4.79 7.5 7.95 7.34 10.9 278.1 51.4 11 5 0 1 2 320.6 320.6 20.04 20.04 QB
Jordan Love 579 32 11 4159 2023 25 GNB 17 17 372 579 207 64.2 4159 32 11 0 5.5 1.9 96.1 30 242 4.93 7.2 7.43 6.67 11.2 244.6 47.6 9 8 0 2 3 319.1 319.1 18.77 18.77 QB
Peyton Manning 557 31 9 4397 2006 30 IND 16 16 362 557 195 65 4397 31 9 1 5.6 1.6 101 14 86 2.45 7.9 8.28 7.93 12.1 274.8 56.6 12 4 0 3 3 311.5 311.5 19.47 19.47 QB
Peyton Manning 583 37 11 4659 2012 36 DEN 16 16 400 583 183 68.6 4659 37 11 2 6.3 1.9 105.8 21 137 3.48 8 8.41 7.89 11.6 291.2 54 13 3 0 3 3 311 311 19.44 19.44 QB
Carson Palmer 537 35 11 4671 2015 36 ARI 16 16 342 537 195 63.7 4671 35 11 0 6.5 2 104.6 25 151 4.45 8.7 9.08 8.41 13.7 291.9 52.7 13 3 0 1 4 309.2 309.2 19.33 19.33 QB
Ben Roethlisberger 608 32 9 4952 2014 32 PIT 16 16 408 608 200 67.1 4952 32 9 0 5.3 1.5 103.3 33 172 5.15 8.1 8.53 7.82 12.1 309.5 51.6 11 5 0 2 3 306.2 306.2 19.14 19.14 QB
Drew Brees 627 32 11 4870 2015 36 NOR 15 15 428 627 199 68.3 4870 32 11 2 5.1 1.8 101 31 235 4.71 7.8 8 7.26 11.4 324.7 48.5 7 8 0 1 2 304.2 304.2 20.28 20.28 QB
Drew Brees 489 32 5 3992 2018 39 NOR 15 15 364 489 125 74.4 3992 32 5 0 6.5 1 115.7 17 121 3.36 8.2 9.01 8.47 11 266.1 57.3 13 2 0 6 7 304 305 20.27 20.33 QB
Geno Smith 572 30 11 4282 2022 32 SEA 17 17 399 572 173 69.8 4282 30 11 1 5.2 1.9 100.9 46 348 7.44 7.5 7.67 6.54 10.7 251.9 48.2 9 8 0 2 3 303.9 303.9 17.88 17.88 QB
Aaron Rodgers 572 31 8 3821 2015 32 GNB 16 16 347 572 225 60.7 3821 31 8 0 5.4 1.4 92.7 46 314 7.44 6.7 7.13 6.1 11 238.8 43 10 6 0 2 2 301.2 301.2 18.83 18.83 QB
Kirk Cousins 561 33 7 4221 2021 33 MIN 16 16 372 561 189 66.3 4221 33 7 0 5.9 1.2 103.1 28 197 4.75 7.5 8.14 7.42 11.3 263.8 46.2 8 8 0 3 4 300.3 300.3 18.77 18.77 QB
Tom Brady 492 36 4 3900 2010 33 NWE 16 16 324 492 168 65.9 3900 36 4 0 7.3 0.8 111 25 175 4.84 7.9 9.02 8.25 12 243.8 50.1 14 2 0 2 3 299 299 18.69 18.69 QB
Tom Brady 581 32 8 4577 2017 40 NWE 16 16 385 581 196 66.3 4577 32 8 1 5.5 1.4 102.8 35 201 5.68 7.9 8.36 7.56 11.9 286.1 49.7 13 3 0 2 2 295.9 295.9 18.49 18.49 QB
Drew Brees 514 34 11 4388 2009 30 NOR 15 15 363 514 151 70.6 4388 34 11 0 6.6 2.1 109.6 20 135 3.75 8.5 8.9 8.31 12.1 292.5 53.9 13 2 0 2 4 294.4 295.4 19.63 19.69 QB
Donovan McNabb 469 31 8 3875 2004 28 PHI 15 15 300 469 169 64 3875 31 8 0 6.6 1.7 104.7 32 192 6.39 8.3 8.82 7.87 12.9 258.3 49.5 13 2 0 2 2 291 291 19.4 19.4 QB
Philip Rivers 544 32 11 4478 2013 32 SDG 16 16 378 544 166 69.5 4478 32 11 2 5.9 2 105.5 30 150 5.23 8.2 8.5 7.79 11.8 279.9 55.7 9 7 0 4 4 287.4 287.4 17.96 17.96 QB
Kirk Cousins 606 30 10 4298 2018 30 MIN 16 16 425 606 181 70.1 4298 30 10 3 5 1.7 99.7 40 262 6.19 7.1 7.34 6.48 10.1 268.6 49.4 8 7 1 1 0 282.1 283.1 17.63 17.69 QB
Brett Favre 531 33 7 4202 2009 40 MIN 16 16 363 531 168 68.4 4202 33 7 1 6.2 1.3 107.2 34 247 6.02 7.9 8.56 7.61 11.6 262.6 49.9 12 4 0 2 2 280.6 281.6 17.54 17.6 QB
Philip Rivers 478 34 11 4009 2008 27 SDG 16 16 312 478 166 65.3 4009 34 11 1 7.1 2.3 105.5 25 151 4.97 8.4 8.77 8.04 12.8 250.6 51.7 8 8 0 3 4 278.8 278.8 17.43 17.43 QB
Tom Brady 582 33 9 4109 2014 37 NWE 16 16 373 582 209 64.1 4109 33 9 1 5.7 1.5 97.4 21 134 3.48 7.1 7.5 7.01 11 256.8 49.1 12 4 0 2 2 278.1 278.1 17.38 17.38 QB
Tony Romo 522 31 10 4184 2011 31 DAL 16 16 346 522 176 66.3 4184 31 10 2 5.9 1.9 102.5 36 227 6.45 8 8.34 7.4 12.1 261.5 49.6 8 8 0 4 4 276 276 17.25 17.25 QB
Ben Roethlisberger 608 33 10 3803 2020 38 PIT 15 15 399 608 209 65.6 3803 33 10 1 5.4 1.6 94.1 13 118 2.09 6.3 6.6 6.27 9.5 253.5 48.6 12 3 0 4 4 267.2 267.2 17.81 17.81 QB
Tony Romo 535 31 10 3828 2013 33 DAL 15 15 342 535 193 63.9 3828 31 10 0 5.8 1.9 96.7 35 272 6.14 7.2 7.47 6.54 11.2 255.2 49.1 8 7 0 2 4 260.9 260.9 17.39 17.39 QB

Well, sorting for quarterbacks who threw for at least 3800 yards, at least 30 touchdowns, and 11 or fewer interceptions gives us a list of 25 quarterbacks. The worst are, once again, Geno Smith and Ryan Tannehill, along with Jeff Garcia (who was throwing to Terrell Owens and Jerry Rice) and our good friend Kirk Cousins, who is a totally fine quarterback throwing to Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. Most of the list is Hall-of-Famers or future Hall-of-Famers, just like the last list.

There are a few one-hit wonders on both lists, but generally speaking, they were all veterans on stacked teams or played in highly efficient systems or played during a weird pandemic. I’ll be honest, I’m not entirely sure what to think of Geno, but 2023 is the second year in a row he’s been good. Regardless, Love has put up a season on par with some truly greats in his first year as a starter, with no established star players on the offense outside of Aaron Jones. Tanny had prime AJ Brown in the Covid year. Kirk had Justin Jefferson. No one was working with Romeo Doubs, Jayden Reed, or Dontayvion Wicks as a primary target.

So, if you run into any of the remaining Love skeptics, you can always show them these charts. If Love falls off a cliff next season, it would basically be unprecedented. If he winds up as a Hall-of-Famer, well, this list has plenty of them. Which would be more surprising at this point?