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Rapid reaction: Packers QB Jordan Love beat Chiefs' blitzes this time

“Sky’s the limit” for Green Bay down the stretch

Packers QB Jordan Love
Packers QB Jordan Love

GREEN BAY – Packers quarterback Jordan Love said it during the week, and he said it again Sunday night after the big victory.

"I've had this game circled for a long time," Love reiterated following the Packers' 27-19 triumph over the defending Super Bowl champs at Lambeau Field.

The reference, of course, is to Love's first career start, two years ago in Kansas City. With little time to prepare as Aaron Rodgers' substitute, Love was blitzed incessantly by the Chiefs and endured a rather miserable day in a 13-7 loss.

To show how different the Packers and Love are two years later, look no further than two plays in a span of three snaps in the third quarter with the Packers clinging to a 14-12 lead.

Long story short, the Chiefs sent the house at Love on both plays, and he made them pay. Dearly.

First was a fourth-and-1 from the KC 44-yard line, and with the blitz in his face, Love saw a Chiefs DB with his back turned chasing receiver Romeo Doubs. So Love took a shot, and Doubs cradled the catch between three defenders for a huge 33-yard gain.

"Threw it up thinking the safety wasn't going to make a play and he didn't," Love said. "But good job by Romeo. It was weird. He couldn't really track the ball at first and then he was able to find it. Great catch by him."

Two plays later, on second-and-11 from the KC 12, the Chiefs came at him with everything again. With Christian Watson one-on-one heading toward the back of the end zone, Love hung in with the pressure bearing down, fired, and Watson rose up to snag it for his second TD of the game.

"With this defense, you never know when they're going to bring it," Love said of what became a suddenly rapid-fire game of cat-and-mouse with Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. "They do a really good job disguising their stuff, so you've got to always be alert for it, try to pick up on the little tells, little keys.

"On that one to Christian, they did end up bringing it, we got to a protection that picked it up, was able to give me enough time and let Christian work."

Just like that, when the Chiefs thought one big blitz on fourth-and-1 would get them the ball back in great field position down two points, within a couple of plays Love had extended Green Bay's lead to nine.

"The composure," Head Coach Matt LaFleur said of what stood out about Love in those moments. "Certainly they brought some pressure. They brought some all-outs. He got us into the right checks.

"I thought the guys up front did a pretty good job on the night for the most part of protecting him. There were a couple of instances where they were able to get some pressure, but even when they did …"

Yeah, even when they did. Love didn't back down, he trusted his reads, and his teammates made great plays. Quarterbacks don't say it because they know it doesn't always work out, but they love nothing more than making a defense regret coming after them.

This game wasn't just about Love and the Chiefs and two years ago, though. It was also about the Packers continuing the steady progress they've made this season, and doing so against top-notch opponents the last two games to put the 2-5 start far into the rear-view mirror.

Check out photos from the Week 13 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs at Lambeau Field on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023.