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Jordan Love enters spotlight as Packers QB after Aaron Rodgers trade

Love is in the air for the Green Bay Packers.

Well, Jordan Love that is.

With Aaron Rodgers leaving Green Bay for the New York Jets after a trade, the Packers will now turn to Love to be their next starting quarterback.

It’s a bit of déjà vu for the Packers, who again have traded away a longtime star quarterback to pave the way for a younger player with potential.

First, it was Brett Favre for Rodgers. Now, it’s Rodgers for Love. And both veterans went to the Jets.

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Here’s what to know about Jordan Love and how the Packers will move on with him at quarterback.

When was Jordan Love drafted?

Love was considered a bit of a raw, but talented, prospect coming out of Utah State during the 2020 draft that also saw quarterbacks Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert taken early in the first round.

Still, Love was the No. 26 pick in the draft, and the Packers even made a trade to move up in the draft to get him, sending the No. 30 pick and a fourth-round pick to the Miami Dolphins.

Now the Packers are ready to hand him the keys to the offense heading into his fourth NFL season.

“Yeah, we have a lot of confidence in him,” Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy said of Love in an interview with WBAY in Green Bay on March 10.

“We drafted him and developed him. A lot of credit goes to our coaches, and to Jordan. But we do think he’s ready.”

Why did the Packers draft Jordan Love?

After the Packers lost the NFC championship game to the San Francisco 49ers in 2019, they drafted a quarterback who would be Rodgers’ backup for the next three seasons.

‘He’s obviously been through this and he’s a pro and I think it’s something that’s a long-term decision,’ Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst said of Rodgers and the decision to draft Love in April 2020.

‘I think that when you go through kind of the way things went tonight, you weigh the short-term and the long-term and the way the board went, this was just the best decision for the Packers. Obviously Aaron has been around a long time, and he knows what we’re playing for right now, so that’s what’s most important right now.’ 

Rodgers and the Packers were eliminated from the playoffs in the NFC title game in 2020 and the divisional round in 2021. They did not reach the playoffs in 2022.

Jordan Love’s NFL stats

Love has appeared in 10 career games for the Packers, mostly in relief of Rodgers late in games. He has thrown for 606 yards while completing 50 of 83 pass attempts – with three touchdowns and three interceptions. 

Love has one career start, on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs in 2021. The Packers were held scoreless until Love threw a touchdown pass in the final five minutes of the game. He completed 19 of 34 passes for 190 yards with an interception in the 13-7 loss.

Love’s best outing as an NFL quarterback came in Week 12 of the 2022 season when Rodgers left a game against the Philadelphia Eagles due to hand injury in the fourth quarter.

Trailing 37-23, Love threw a 63-yard touchdown to receiver Christian Watson to narrow the game to 37-30 with nine minutes left. He later led a field goal drive to stay within seven points. But time ultimately expired. He finished 6 of 9 for 113 yards with a 146.8 quarterback rating.

More importantly, Love showed improvement and a command of coach Matt LaFleur’s offense against the Eagles, who appeared in the Super Bowl last season.

How high are the expectations for Jordan Love?

Just look at the quarterbacks before him.

Favre is a Hall of Famer who won a Super Bowl to complete the 1996 season, and he was the league MVP from 1995-97. 

Rodgers followed Favre by winning Super Bowl MVP after leading the Packers to a championship following the 2010 regular season. He also won the MVP award four times (2011, 2014, 2020 and 2021).

This post appeared first on USA TODAY

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