Rapid reaction: Packers' offensive shortcomings don't fall on one individual

Breakdowns by others preceded both fourth-quarter interceptions

Green Bay Packers QB Jordan Love

LAS VEGAS – The three interceptions Jordan Love threw Monday night will certainly stick out as this game is hashed and rehashed over what will feel like an excruciatingly long bye week for the Packers.

Love didn't mince words in taking responsibility for not cashing in on the chances the Packers had to beat the Raiders at Allegiant Stadium.

"It's tough. We had a lot of opportunities," he said following the 17-13 defeat. "We didn't do enough. I didn't do enough."

And while the first interception was nobody's fault but his own, and maybe his most regrettable decision of the season to date, here's what shouldn't get lost in the aftermath of a tough defeat that dropped the Packers to 2-3.

The other two picks came immediately after costly mistakes by others on offense that put a heck of a lot of pressure on the first-year starting quarterback.

To be sure, this is not a column trying to exonerate Love. He admitted he forced the second interception and underthrew the third. The decisions and throws have to be better, and he knows that.

But it's worth examining what put him in those positions.

Early in the fourth quarter, right after the Raiders had retaken the lead and Love drove the Packers to the Las Vegas 40-yard line, a pass protection breakdown led to a sack.

Tight ends Josiah Deguara and Ben Sims failed to handle star pass rusher Maxx Crosby on what amounted to a double-team block, and Crosby sacked Love for a 7-yard loss.

Then the forced throw for a deflection and interception came on second-and-17, and it's easy to understand Love trying to make a play there rather than holding the ball and risking another sack.

Fast forward to the final drive of the game, and the Packers had a first down at the Las Vegas 35-yard line. A quick, simple out to Romeo Doubs was right on target, but the second-year receiver dropped the ball at the sideline. It appeared he was trying to get out of bounds before securing the catch.

On the next snap, Love threw the ball a tad behind tight end Luke Musgrave over the middle, trying to fit the throw between two converging Raiders defenders. It wasn't a perfect throw, but he was trying to keep it away from the defense, and Musgrave got his hands on it but couldn't corral it.

Two missed opportunities, both of which could've moved the chains, and then the fateful underthrow to the end zone sealed the loss.

Check out photos from the Week 5 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on Monday, Oct. 9, 2023.

To his credit, Love didn't say a word about the other plays in the mix where his teammates didn't come through. He took the blame.

He also took it, rightly so, on the first interception that handed the Raiders three points. It came on the first play right after Las Vegas had scored its first TD for a 7-3 lead.

"That one was a very bad read," he said of the fake off the run-pass option and attempt to hit the slant route. "Guy sitting right there, threw it right to him."

Added Head Coach Matt LaFleur: "He's got to see him and not make that decision."

But his teammates certainly could have put him in some better positions and/or different situations that might've avoided the last two picks.

The point is when LaFleur says it "takes all 11" when talking about the offensive execution, it's because it does. Not having all 11 executing effectively puts too great a burden on a first-year starting QB, and it's not just a coincidence the other two interceptions came right after breakdowns by others put Love in tougher spots.

"I've got to be better," Love said, taking his postgame medicine. "I've got to take care of the ball. I've got to be better in that area."

All true. But he's not the only one.


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