Skip to main content

Rapid reaction: Same situation, different vibe for Packers' offense

With playoff berth in reach, QB Jordan Love in rhythm at right time

QB Jordan Love
QB Jordan Love

MINNEAPOLIS – The Packers are in the same situation they were in last year at this time.

But they don't have the same offense. They've got one that's really in a groove now.

Needing a win at home in Week 18 last season to get into the playoffs, the Packers faltered, mostly on the offensive side of the ball, as problems that plagued them all year were never solved.

Troubles in the red zone and goal-to-go situations, along with some untimely turnovers, eventually did them in when the postseason was in reach. The final loss looked much like several others in 2022.

This year it feels different in so many ways following Sunday's night's dominant 33-10 victory at Minnesota.

Green Bay's offense is hitting on all cylinders, whether it's the original parts or replacement ones, having posted 33 points each of the last two weeks with opportunities for more left out there.

Quarterback Jordan Love is making it work with a revolving cast of characters due to injuries, and the new QB1 in 2023 has suffered through just one true dud of a game in the second half of the season, against the Giants a month ago on Monday Night Football.

"I think we've got a lot of playmakers," Love said of the all the youth around him, which has seen different players emerge at different times. "We can spread the ball to anybody out there, at any point. Anybody can get the ball. We've got an unselfish (group). We've got playmakers everywhere."

Running back Aaron Jones, finally healthy, has become a stalwart down the stretch. Rookie tight end Tucker Kraft's arrow keeps pointing up. Same for rookie receiver Jayden Reed, who has been in and out of the lineup and had to leave again Sunday night after catching two TDs.

And now here comes Bo Melton, with roughly 150 receiving yards the last two games, while Christian Watson and Dontayvion Wicks look to get healthy, and Romeo Doubs and Malik Heath always seem to be there when their QB needs them.

Love felt back in training camp "the sky's the limit" for this offense and he's being proven right. But a lot has gone into it.

Both Love and Head Coach Matt LaFleur discussed the connection they have and the rhythm they've found as QB and play caller, with LaFleur reiterating he felt the offense turned a corner in the loss to Pittsburgh.

That game had a frustrating ending but showed the promise of what could be.

"We've evolved as an offense," LaFleur said. "There's a learning curve anytime you have a bunch of new players, figuring out what everyone does well.

"(Love) understands why we're calling certain things, what we're trying to get to. The biggest difference (from earlier) is just the trust."

He elaborated that trust means knowing if the play call isn't the best for the defensive look Love sees, he can survive it or get to a better play. He also complimented the way Love is reading defenses, going through his progressions and "playing it true" on a given call so everyone can get a feel for what's working.

Check out photos from the Week 17 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023.