How first-year starter Jordan Love compares to Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre in their inaugural seasons in Green Bay

It isn't lost on Green Bay Packers fans that Jordan Love has performed this season better than Aaron Rodgers did last year. What exactly have the numbers been?

Now that Love has a playoff victory in his first full season as starter, he's notched yet another feather in his cap.

Love has started all 17 regular-season games this season, one more than the number of games Rodgers started in his first season as starter, 2008 (because of an expanded schedule). Let's compare Love's year to other recent seasons.

Jordan Love is interviewed after the Green Bay Packers New Year's Eve victory over Minnesota.
Jordan Love is interviewed after the Green Bay Packers New Year's Eve victory over Minnesota.

Jordan Love, 2023

  • Final stats: 64.2% completion, 4,159 yards, 32 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 9-8 record

  • Through 16 games: 63.1% completion, 3,843 yards, 30 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 8-8 record

Prior to 2023, Love had appeared in 10 games (one start) with 60.2% completion rate (50-of-83), 606 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.

Even with an up-and-down start to the season, Love was No. 10 among NFL quarterbacks this season in passing yards, second in touchdowns (behind Dak Prescott), 10th in passer rating with at least 300 attempts and eighth in completions of 20-plus yards.

Then, of course, came the playoff showing, when he flirted with a perfect passer rating and completed 16 of 21 passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns. After a late-season surge, he managed to produce his best performance in the playoffs, and he now has thrown just one interception in the past nine games.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers celebrates after rushing for a first down.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers celebrates after rushing for a first down.

Aaron Rodgers, 2022

  • Final stats: 64.6% completion, 3,695 yards, 26 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 8-9 record

Love easily surpassed Rodgers' 2022 season in yardage and touchdowns, and with one fewer interception. Of course, it's important to mention that Rodgers' 2022 season could be categorized as his worst as a starter with the Packers.

Aaron Rodgers, 2021 (last MVP season)

  • Final stats: 68.9% completion, 4,115 yards, 37 touchdowns, four interceptions, 13-3 record

This illustrates just how far Love has to go to get to Rodgers' MVP-caliber play. Remember, even though Love had more passing yards this year than Rodgers did in 2021, Love also had one extra game (granted, this was because Rodgers was sidelined by COVID-19 protocols and Love filled in for one week).

Aaron Rodgers, 2008 (first season as starter)

  • Final stats: 63.6% completion, 4,038 yards, 28 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 6-10 record

In his first full season with the Packers, Rodgers threw for nominally more yards and slightly fewer touchdowns than what Love had through 16 games, with one more interception. The big difference, of course, is record.

Rodgers started his first playoff game the following year, going 28 for 42 for 423 yards, four touchdowns and one interception in a wild 51-45 loss to Arizona in overtime.

Prior to 2008, Rodgers had appeared in seven games (no starts), with 59.3% completion rate on 35-of-59 passing, 329 yards one touchdown and one interception. Love and Rodgers were the same age in their first year as starter (25).

Brett Favre, 1992 (first season as starter)

  • Final stats: 64.1% completion, 3,227 yards, 18 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 8-5 record

Love's improvisational footwork often draws comparisons to the Pro Football Hall of Famer. Favre's first season in Green Bay wasn't quite a full season, with 15 games played and 13 starts; he quickly took over for incumbent Don Majkowski. Favre nonetheless made the Pro Bowl in 1992 and again in 1993 when he started all 16 games.

In 1993, with Favre exclusively at the helm as starter: 60.9% completion, 3,303 yards, 19 touchdowns, 24 interceptions, 9-7 record. Love's numbers are demonstrably better through 16 games, but Favre cemented his legacy in the playoffs, with a thrilling win over Detroit after that season. Perhaps Love will likewise be remembered for his performance in Dallas.

Ironically, Favre didn't make the Pro Bowl in 1994, a year when his numbers took a lunge forward. But he won the MVP award each of the subsequent three seasons.

An average Aaron Rodgers and average Brett Favre season

From 2008-2022, here's what Rodgers averaged per 16 games:

  • Final stats: 65.3% completion, 4,213 yards, 34 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 10.5 wins, 5.5 losses

From 1992-2007, here's what Favre averaged per 16 games:

  • Final stats: 61.4% completion, 3,899 yards, 28 touchdowns, 18 interceptions, 10 wins, 6 losses

Chicago Bears quarterback Erik Kramer passes against the Carolina Panthers.
Chicago Bears quarterback Erik Kramer passes against the Carolina Panthers.

Erik Kramer, 1995 (best Bears season in yards and touchdowns)

  • Final stats: 60.3% completion, 3,838 yards, 29 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 9-7 record

In the 104-year history of the Chicago Bears, this is the best quarterback season by total yards and touchdowns. Love has surpassed both totals.

Of course, the caveat here is that the counting stats favor the more modern seasons, both in length and in terms of quarterback reliance, and the Bears have a rich history in a previous era.

More: We studied every pass Jordan Love threw this season, searching for clues of his potential. Here’s how he blossomed into a franchise QB.

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: How Jordan Love compares to Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre in first seasons