The Green Bay Packers 2023 season came to an end Saturday when they lost a heartbreaking 24-21 game to the San Francisco 49ers. While this loss stings, the Packers have a lot to be proud of when looking back at the 2023 campaign. Here are five reasons why the Packers 2023 NFL season was a success:

First Reason the Packers 2023 Season Was a Success: The Packers Found Their Quarterback

GM Brian Gutekunst took a big gamble when he traded Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets and handed the quarterback position to the untested Jordan Love.

Love and the offense got off to a shaky start in the first half of the season but in the second half, he was one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

The game slowed down for the Utah State alum and he and his receivers were able to work together and develop chemistry. Love also started to read defenses better and his decision making improved dramatically. Suddenly, he and his receivers were on the same page when plays broke down and they had to improvise.

Love completed 70.3 percent of his passes in the final eight games of the season for 2,150 yards. He threw 18 touchdowns and just one interception. His quarterback rating was an impressive 112.7.

In the wild card round against Dallas, Love had a near perfect quarterback rating after throwing three touchdowns and completing 16-of-21 passes for 272 yards. He led the Packers to 41 offensive points and an upset win over the Cowboys.

The most important thing the Packers needed to find out this season was whether Love was the quarterback of the future. By the end of the season, he proved he had what it takes to be the team’s next franchise quarterback.

Second Reason: The Packers Young Receivers Stepped Up

The Packers entered the season with no wide receivers or tight ends who had more than one year of NFL experience (we are counting Josiah Deguara as an H-Back/Fullback).

Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Samori Toure were the “veterans” of the receiving corps, and they were rookies in 2022. But draft picks Jayden Reed and Dontavion Wicks had strong seasons as did free agents Malik Heath and Bo Melton when called upon.

The team’s rookie tight ends both had strong rookie seasons as well. Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft have the potential to be the most dangerous tight end duo the team has had since the mid-1990s.

After a slow start, the young receivers stepped up and played well and unselfishly.

Third Reason the Packers 2023 Season Was a Success: Matt LaFleur Did His Best Coaching Job

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur had to teach a very young team how to succeed in the NFL. The Packers had the youngest roster in the league but still finished 9-8 after a 3-6 start.

LaFleur stayed patient and persisted while his team went through their inevitable growing pains. The team showed significant improvement in the second half. He never let the team sulk or give up and kept them going even when things were not working early.

LaFleur also helped the team overcome significant injuries. Jaire Alexander, Aaron Jones, David Bakhtiari, Watson, De’Vondre Campbell and Rudy Ford were among the key starters who missed significant time due to injuries.

LaFleur answered the challenge of integrating his offense with Rodgers in 2019, and now he helped the youngest team in the league learn and develop in a hurry in 2023.

Fourth Reason: The Packers Exceeded Expectations

Few people expected the Packers to make the playoffs in what was expected to be a year of transition. Instead, Green Bay won six of their final eight games including three straight which were must-win games at the end of the season.

Once in the playoffs, the Packers upset the second seeded Cowboys in Dallas and went toe-to-toe with the top seed, San Francisco in the second round.

If you told Packers fans on September 1st that the team would finish 9-8 and win a playoff game, most would have taken it in a heartbeat.

Fifth Reason the Packers 2023 Season Was a Success: The Team Laid the Groundwork for the Future

Nearly all the Packers starters are under contract and expected back in 2024. Most of them haven’t reached their prime yet and can still get better in the future.

The team gained valuable playoff experience and saw what it takes to win in the postseason.

Gutekunst also has five draft picks in the first three rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft to further improve the team.

While there are some tough decisions ahead this offseason, there is a sense of optimism surrounding the team and they could be contenders for years to come.



Follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

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