The Green Bay Packers' first season without Aaron Rodgers began with some turbulence as they started the year season with Rodgers' successor Jordan Love, the team's 2020 first-round pick, battling inconsistency. Now, the Packers are back in the NFC playoff picture as the seventh and final playoff seed at 6-6 after ripping off a three-game winning streak against Justin Herbert's Los Angeles Chargers, Jared Goff's Detroit Lions and Patrick Mahomes and the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Love is at the center of Green Bay's revival as he became only the second opposing quarterback in Mahomes' college or NFL career to have more completions, more passing yards, more touchdown passes and fewer interceptions than the reigning NFL and Super Bowl MVP in the Packers' 27-19 upset victory.
While that occurrence may be surprising to some, it isn't to Rodgers, who still serves as a mentor to Love despite now being on the New York Jets. However, he hopes people will pump the breaks on the hype machine after Love's latest impressive performance.
"Am I surprised by the way Jordan has played? No, I'm not. He's playing, especially the last three games, playing outstanding," Rodgers said on "The Pat McAfee Show" Tuesday. He's in his first year starting. As well as he's playing, can we not crown him right now, for his own sake? We shouldn't do that to kids. We shouldn't crown them, and we shouldn't cancel them."
Love has three consecutive games with multiple passing touchdowns and no interceptions, and his four such games in total this season are tied for the most in the NFL with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, one of the league's MVP contenders.
|LOVE (SINCE WEEK 11)
Turnover Worthy Throw Pct
Expected Points Added (EPA)/Play
* Ranks among 33 qualified quarterbacks in span
"I love Jordan," Rodgers said. "I think he is going to be a great player in the league for a long time, but can we let him play his career?... Am I surprised by the way Jordan is playing? No. Am I happy for him? Hell yeah. Some people probably thought I was rooting against the Packers this year or rooting against Jordan. Couldn't be further from the truth. I'm not a bitter person about that. Obviously I wish things had gone different when I was in Green Bay, and there are things I wish I had done better, but I have so much love for that organization. I have so many people that I talk to every single week that work there.
"If I catch Jordan's game, I send him a message."
Love and the Packers will look to continue sending the message that they're for real when they travel to face the 4-8 New York Giants on "Monday Night Football."