Jordan Love had a tough night as Packers struggled offensively in loss to Raiders


The Jordan Love victory tour didn’t last long.

Week 1 feels like a long time ago. That day, Love looked great and the Packers beat the Chicago Bears. It turns out that bears were much worse than we knew at the time. Maybe there was love too.

The Packers were swept by the Detroit Lions in Week 4, and even though the performance was as much about the terrible play of the offensive line as it was about Love, Green Bay wanted to limit any work Love could do on Monday night. The Packers came in with a surprisingly conservative game plan, content to make it a low-scoring, close game from the beginning.

While the Packers didn’t give Love many chances, he also didn’t do much with them. The Packers’ offense was dreadful, Love threw three interceptions, including a foul in the final minute, and Green Bay fell to 2–3 with a disappointing 17–13 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

The lack of offense certainly did not go unnoticed by Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander, who told reporters after the game, “Yeah, I think it’s pretty clear at this point that the defense is not going to give up any touchdowns, you know. Are you? I think that’s part of it is being self-critical of our defense, because, you know, the crime is very young and they’re still figuring out their motive.”

If the Packers can’t rely on their passing game to perform, they won’t win much. Love on Monday night did nothing to make him believe it any more.

The Green Bay Packers' Jordan Love is pushed by the Las Vegas Raiders' Max Crosby during Monday night's game.  (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images)

Raiders and Packers without much offensive tackle

The Packers and Raiders each had their offensive issues, and their quarterbacks gave up points to the other team with terrible turnovers.

In the second quarter, Love never saw linebacker Robert Spillane and threw it straight to him. This set up a touchdown by Jakobi Meyers, the first touchdown of the game. The Raiders led 7–3.

Jimmy Garoppolo gave something back. He threw a ball to Packers safety Rudy Ford, who picked it up. The Packers then ran down AJ Dillon for a touchdown.

The Packers were trying their best to cover Love on Monday night, but broken coverages led to a huge play from Christian Watson. Watson gained 77 yards but fell just short of the end zone. Then the Packers ran up the middle twice, Love threw incompletion on third down and they kicked a field goal. This gave the Packers a 13-10 lead but it should have been more.

The Packers’ offense allowed the Raiders to stay in the game with their game plan and performance and ultimately Las Vegas took advantage.

Packers-Raiders close in fourth quarter

The Raiders took a 17–13 lead on a Josh Jacobs touchdown run four seconds into the fourth quarter. In that time Love had nine completions on 15 attempts, and 77 of his 136 yards came against a failed coverage of Watson. The Packers came into the game looking to limit how much Love could do by trying to win a grind-it-out game. That plan was even more ominous because star running back Aaron Jones was out with injury. Green Bay wanted to try to win the game by getting 20 or more carries from AJ Dillon.

The Packers needed Love to do something in the fourth quarter. The Packers turned the ball over after Jacobs’ go-ahead touchdown, but Love was sacked on first down and then threw a pass in coverage, which Spillane picked off for his second interception.

The Packers’ defense did its job and forced a quick three-and-out after Love’s second interception. The Packers gave it back with a three-and-out.

The Raiders gave Green Bay another chance with a conservative call. Vegas did not try for it on fourth-and-1, opting for a field-goal attempt. The kick went wide and the Packers found some life just after the two-minute warning. Even after missing the kick, his field position was good.

The Packers had a chance but the offense hadn’t done much up to that point. Green Bay got some first downs in Raiders territory. Two drops, one by Romeo Doubs and the other by Luke Musgrave, stalled the drive. Love was supposed to play a game but then he threw the game. He threw to Watson downfield in the end zone and Raiders cornerback Amik Robertson picked it off. There was a moment when it looked like Watson was open, but Love delivered the ball late and Robertson easily made the play.

The biggest story of the NFL offseason was the Packers trading Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets. Love, a former first-round draft pick, finally got his chance to shine. The Packers talked him up and he had some good moments in the preseason and the opener. It hasn’t been so good since then. It seems like the Packers are losing confidence in him.

The big question the Packers need to answer this season is whether Love can replace Rodgers as the long-term option. It’s early in the season, but Monday night there was no positive answer to that question.




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