Aaron Rodgers felt ‘really bad’ for Jordan Love during mistake-laden preseason opener

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers admitted he felt bad for backup Jordan Love during what turned out to be a mistake-laden preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers.

Love started and played the entire first half but threw three interceptions and finished with a passer rating of 66.0. Rodgers said the box score hardly told the story of the night, especially from the perspective of the quarterback’s performance, and he thought Love did “some really good things.”

“I felt really bad for Jordan the other night because, you know, we have a couple of total mental busts for picks,” Rodgers said. “We had a drop for a pick. Two guys running who knows what on the third one. He shouldn’t have thrown the ball there probably, but some of that is veteran stuff, making veteran mistakes.”

Rodgers said mental mistakes have become a concerning trend during training camp and the preseason, especially for young players.

Love couldn’t be solely blamed for any of the three interceptions.

Tight end Tyler Davis dropped a simple catch in the red zone, and the ricocheted ball was easily intercepted. Later, rookie Romeo Doubs was unable to finish a contested catch as he went to the ground, and the cornerback wrestled the ball away for an interception. On the third, Amari Rodgers ran the wrong route – and then ran the wrong route poorly – leading to Love forcing the ball inside and another interception.

“Like I said, dropped pick, not a great route, not a great finish by Romeo. The one that becomes a bogus pick. And then a bad decision but a terrible route inside,” Rodgers said.

Against a two-high safety look, Amari Rodgers should have straightened his route vertically to threaten the weak spot. Instead, the cornerback walled off his in-breaker and picked off Love’s throw.

“We should have been smoking down the seam and have a chance at a touchdown, instead we’re in a tight spot with the pocket collapsing, throwing a contested ball to a guy running the wrong route,” Rodgers said.

Box-score scouting Love, as Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar wrote earlier this week, doesn’t work in this scenario.

“Might look bad in the stat sheet with three picks, but the film tells a different story,” Rodgers said.

Love completed 13 of 24 passes and tossed two touchdowns – both 33-yard scores to Doubs and Danny Davis. The Packers worked into 49ers territory on five of his first six possessions and likely would have scored three or four times without the mental mistakes around the quarterback position.

Rodgers said Love used his feet well on a few designed runs but should “trust his feet and athleticism” more, especially when there are opportunities to extend a play and create playmaking chances off schedule. Love ran four times for 24 yards, including a 12-yarder on a read-option play.

Overall, Rodgers thought Love played decisively from the pocket and threw on time.

“I thought he did some really good things,” Rodgers said. “The most important for any age quarterback is the feet, throwing the ball on time and on rhythm. I think he’s done a really nice job of really focusing on the little things this training camp, throwing the ball more on time. It’s about consistency.”

Love will likely start again on Friday night against the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field.

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Story originally appeared on Packers Wire