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Jordan Love Had No Chance Against The Lions, And Neither Did The Packers

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There would inevitably be such evenings. These are the nights that really make careers.

Not the night itself, but rather in how a player recovers from it.

The possibility of a dream quickly became a nightmare for Jordan Love. The Packers and Lions were scheduled to compete on national television for first place in the NFC North at Lambeau Field under a full moon.

The conflict did not take place. It was a beating right off the bat. Detroit led 27-3 at the half and went on to win 34-20.

“We got our ass kicked,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said in the postgame press conference of the team’s first half. “If I knew [why], it wouldn’t have happened.”

Love completed 23 of 36 passes for 246 yards, two touchdowns (one rushing), and two picks. Before the break, he also had a terrible 6-of-13 for 50 yards and an interception.

On Friday, hot takes about the Love being soundly defeated in his fifth career start will fill the air and the waves. The game was effectively halted by the fourth-year quarterback on the fourth play of the second quarter when he threw an interception to Lions cornerback Jerry Jacobs on a pass that linebacker Alex Anzalone had tipped. The quarterback struggled early on in the contest.

Love performed horribly, but the offensive line was a complete mess.

“It’s hard to throw on your back,” LaFleur said. “We’ve got to protect him better. We’ve got to look at some of the things we’re asking our guys to do. … There’s plenty of blame to go around. I’m always going to look at myself first and foremost, and see what kind of position we’re putting our offense in. It wasn’t good enough.” 

Love was regularly pressed into service without Pro Bowler Elgton Jenkins and former All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari up front. Green Bay had third-down distances of 19, 16, 3, and 7 yards on its first five possessions, failing to get a first down.

“It’s not where you want to be, especially when you’re playing the Lions and they have a really good pass-rush front,” Packers guard Jon Runyan Jr. said. “I think their defensive line is definitely the strength of their team. Defensive and offensive line. When they’re able to know what the situation is, and know they’re going to have to get after the quarterback, it’s hard on us to hold up. We’re putting ourselves in those second-and-10s, third-and-12s … these last two weeks have just been unacceptable for us.”

Only with seven seconds remaining in the second quarter with Detroit playing prevent defense did the Packers obtain a first down without the aid of a Detroit penalty.

The Packers gave up four sacks, five tackles for loss, and six quarterback hits in the first two quarters. In the first half, Green Bay rushed five times for a total of seven yards.

One play after another, the defense got burnt in the meanwhile. After Rudy Ford intercepted Jared Goff on the game’s first possession, the Lions scored 24 points over their following four drives, averaging a staggering 8.6 yards per play.

With 9:21 left in the second quarter, Green Bay forced Detroit’s first punt despite being trailing by 21 points.

Just 20 minutes into the game, Love found himself in the difficult situation of frequently having to throw behind a thin and overworked offensive line.

The Lions had a 284-20 yard advantage in total yards at the break. That was a better result than the first-quarter statistics, which showed a 194-1 Detroit advantage.

Whether Love is capable of winning matches like this will serve as the lazy narrative. It’s obviously too early to have any actual idea. The fact that Love had no opportunity to succeed on Thursday night is a compliment to the Lions and a knock against Green Bay’s coaching staff.

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