There are some years in our lives that are turning points, a 12-month period where everything that comes after it is drastically different than what came before. Since he arrived at training camp a year ago, that has been true for the Packers new starting quarterback. Here’s a look at what difference a year makes for Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love.

What a Difference a Year Makes for Packers QB Jordan Love: One Year Ago

As Love and the Packers prepared for the start of the 2023 season, there were so many unknowns. The former Utah State star had started only one NFL game during his first three seasons in the league as Aaron Rodgers played two seasons at an MVP level before falling off significantly during an injury-plagued 2022 season.

The one start Love made came in 2021 when Rodgers was unable to start due to Covid in Kansas City. Love was thrust into the lineup on short notice and had a mixed performance in a close loss to the Chiefs.

In 2022, Love played in just four games and threw 21 passes. He showed potential, especially in a late game comeback attempt in Philadelphia, but clearly, Love was an unproven quarterback. The Packers had no idea if he could become a quality starter in this league, let alone an elite NFL quarterback.

The Packers Had Confidence In Love

The Packers organization and players did show confidence in Love despite his lack of a proven NFL track record. Players that practiced against him and saw how he handled himself. During the 2022 season, veteran players on this team repeatedly expressed that confidence to reporters.

Veteran linebacker De’Vondre Campbell said, “He’s better than a lot of starting quarterbacks.”

Running back Aaron Jones also expressed confidence in Love before the Packers traded Rodgers to the Jets. “Jordan Love is ready,” Jones told Fox Sports in February of 2023. “He will be that guy. I got a lot of trust in Jordan.”

Eventually, GM Brian Gutekunst had enough confidence in Love to trade Rodgers and end the friction between the future Hall of Fame quarterback and the organization. He didn’t have TOO much confidence as Gute signed Love to a two-year extension worth less than the fifth-year option. The deal was full of incentives, so Love was essentially betting on himself by signing this compromise extension.

What a Difference a Year Makes for Packers QB Jordan Love: Love Comes Through

For Love and the Packers young offense, 2023 was a tale of two seasons. In the first half, Love showed flashes of ability but he and his young receiving corps were inconsistent. The team also struggled on the field, getting off to a 3-6 start.

Love needed to work on his accuracy, especially on longer throws. He also needed to improve his efforts at reading defenses and knowing when to check down for a shorter gain.

In the second half, Love turned things around. He threw 18 touchdown passes and just one interception in the final eight games of the regular season. The Packers went 6-2 in those games, including wins over the eventual NFC North champion Lions and the eventual Super Bowl champion Chiefs on national TV.

Love also shined in the Packers playoff win in Dallas, throwing three touchdowns in a 48-32 win. Love even had a perfect quarterback rating until he threw an incompletion on his final attempt that left him with a rating of “only” 157.2.

Personal Changes

Love also had a big change in his personal life in the past year. He got engaged to his girlfriend, Ronika Stone. The quarterback popped the question during a trip to Italy earlier in June. That will present a major life change for Love.

What a Difference a Year Makes for Packers QB Jordan Love: More Changes to Come

Love still has more changes to come. The Packers are negotiating a new contract with their starting quarterback which should make him one of the highest paid signal callers in the NFL. Rumors say Love could even average $60 million per season depending on how the deal is structured.

Love also has the chance to establish himself as an elite NFL quarterback and prove that last year’s second half performance was no fluke.

If he does continue to play at a high level, he will also be on the way to becoming the next great Packers quarterback, following in the footsteps of Bart Starr, Brett Favre and Rodgers. He took a big step last season, but still has a way to go.



Follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

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