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Rapid reaction: Packers QB Jordan Love 'laser-focused' in biggest win to date

Steady progress by him and the offense truly showed up on Thanksgiving


DETROIT – Jordan Love was so fired up about the deep shot on the first play of the game he made sure Matt LaFleur wasn't going to change the call.

But when he completed it to Christian Watson to get the Packers going Thursday right from the jump, he made it look like no big deal.

That's Love. Mr. Calm, Cool & Collected, and that's who he was from start to finish in his national coming out party on Thanksgiving as the Packers upset the Lions, 29-22, at a noisy Ford Field.

"That's just part of blocking everything out, being laser-focused on everything we're doing," Love said of the offense, though it applied to him as much as anybody.

The Lions and their fans expected to win this game. Even with the score 23-6 coming out of halftime, the Detroit crowd was into it and doing everything it could to make it difficult for the Packers. The Lions had just come back from 12 down against the Bears in the final four minutes four days ago, so the fans were in full throat at every opportunity.

There was one miscommunication, when Love and AJ Dillon ran into each other on a fourth-down handoff, giving the Lions a stop in scoring territory early in the second quarter.

But Love didn't let the miscue rattle him or his guys. The Packers converted a solid 5-of-11 third downs despite a rare drop by Romeo Doubs on a slant pass.

More importantly, even with letting some scoring chances get away, the Packers had just one offensive possession that didn't include at least one first down – the fourth-down mix-up.

Teams are known to take on the personality of their head coach, but watching the Packers' offense Thursday, it looked more and more like they're taking on the steady personality of their quarterback.

For four straight games now, production has been consistent. The mistakes are getting reduced. They've become competitive for 60 minutes more often, rather than just for half a game here and there.

The steadfast, stick-to-it approach is paying dividends.

"That's kind of the makeup of this team, where we don't flinch," Love said. "Going through the season so far, the close losses, just the way everyone shows up every week and continues to work … we show up ready to play."

There's no overstating how important that has been in getting this Packers season turned in the right direction. Fitting in this game marking a potential turnaround, the first matchup with the Lions in Week 4 was the worst example of what can happen when the team doesn't look ready.

Nothing is ever going to go right for all four quarters. It didn't Thursday, either. But Love and his young group of perimeter weapons have just kept after it.

With better timing overall has come better accuracy for Love, due to more confidence in where his receivers are going to be. Taking advantage of the Lions playing more man coverage than many of Green Bay's opponents this season, Love fired into tight windows with his guys one-on-one, and hit a number of them.

Watson's early leaping grab between two defenders also began a day with multiple contested catches by the group, with Doubs, Jayden Reed and undrafted rookie Malik Heath, getting extensive playing time due to Dontayvion Wicks missing the game, all chipping in.

Check out photos from the Week 12 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023.