Jordan Love faces his greatest test yet against KC Chiefs defense

Jordan Love looks the part for the Packers as franchise QB, but what will a game against the Chiefs tell us?

Los Angeles Rams v Green Bay Packers
Los Angeles Rams v Green Bay Packers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

For the last couple of years, Jordan Love has patiently waited his turn, just like his predecessor before him, to be the starting quarterback of the Green Bay Packers. Finally in '23, the Packers front office cleared the roster in front of him, giving him a full season of a runway to claim the job as his own in a tryout year out from under the shadow of Aaron Rodgers.

Through the first seven games of the season, the Packers sat at a miserable 2-5 record and in the basement of the NFC North, an uncommon position for an oft-proud franchise that typically has commandeered the division. (Going back to 1995, the Packers have won 15 of the last 29 division titles.)

The good news is that Green Bay's patience with Love and company has been rewarded over the last few weeks. Not only is Love playing much better under center and showing tremendous growth, but the team is rallying from an early season deficit to win three of their last four games. Suddenly the Packers are 5-6 and feeling a pulse in a transition year.

At this point in the schedule, the Kansas City Chiefs represent a very interesting hurdle in the Packers' way. Just how real is this growth curve for Jordan Love? How much of the team's recent success is tied to competition? K.C. should provide an important test for Love's development, win or lose.

In order to help Chiefs fans understand more about how much Jordan Love has grown as a QB in his third season, we reached out to Freddie Boston of our sister site, Lombardi Ave, to tell us about this roller coaster of a year for Green Bay and why he's a believer in Love's long-term prospects.

The Chiefs hosted Jordan Love's official debut at Arrowhead when Aaron Rodgers was injured back in 2021. The results weren't good but obviously he's grown since then. Are you a sincere believer that Love is the QB for the Packers long-term?

Over the past month, I have become a believer. Jordan Love had shown signs of special talent early in the season, but the results were far too inconsistent. That's changed steadily over the past four games, resulting in a masterclass against the Detroit Lions' defense on Thanksgiving.

Love has thrown for 1,107 yards, eight touchdowns, and two interceptions in a 3-1 stretch for Green Bay, and his performance in Detroit was highly encouraging. There were so many wow moments. There will be bumps in the road, potentially starting this week against Kansas City, but I believe the Packers have found their QB.

What specifically is Love doing now that he wasn't a month ago or more?

His decision-making and processing. Love has shown tremendous poise in the pocket all season, but he would too often force passes that weren't there. In recent games, he has shown a willingness to check it down when his first and second reads aren't available. He has a better feel for defenses and is processing what he sees much faster.

There is some Brett Favre to his game at times. He is willing to take risks, like a throw across his body against the Lions. But we're seeing less of that. Love is forcing fewer passes, recognizing when his first and second reads aren't there, and making good decisions about where to throw the football.

As he's gotten better, how would you assess the level of competition in that span?

That's the million-dollar question and why this week's game against the Chiefs is a massive test. The Chargers have the league's worst pass defense entering Week 13. The Steelers rank 24th. Even the Lions, a team that looked so assured defensively earlier in the season, have regressed dramatically in recent weeks. The Ravens and Chargers put up over 500 yards of offense against Detroit's defense. The Lions had allowed 29 points per game in the four matchups before hosting the Packers.

Jordan Love has improved in many areas of his game, but has he been helped by playing against poor defenses? That's what makes Sunday night's game so fascinating. The Chiefs' defense is the real deal. If Love delivers in this game, it's time for Packers fans to get excited.