Jordan Love powers Packers past Bears into playoffs; Seahawks, Saints eliminated

With the postseason at stake, Jordan Love and the Green Packers delivered on Sunday.

They took on the rival Chicago Bears and came away with a 17-9 win to clinch the NFC's No. 7 seed and final available playoff berth. The Green Bay win eliminated the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints from the postseason.

Love threw two touchdowns to put and keep the Packers in front, then orchestrated a clock-killing drive that started deep in Green Bay territory to ice the win. The victory capped a strong campaign for Love in his first season replacing Aaron Rodgers as Green Bay's starting quarterback.

Where the Packers faltered with Rodgers and a chance to make the playoffs in last season's finale against the Detroit Lions, they came through on Sunday against a division rival intent on spoiling their postseason hopes.

Love got the Packers on the board with a 10-yard touchdown to Dontayvion Wicks in traffic for a 7-3 first-quarter lead.

He found Wicks again in the third quarter to extend Green Bay's lead to 14-6.

In the fourth, he found Jayden Reed for a 59-yard gain that set up a field goal.

And with a chance to ice the game, Love connected on two third-down passes on a 61-yard, 6:08 fourth-quarter drive that ran out the clock. Now in his first season as Green Bay's starter, the Packers are in the playoffs.

They'll join the San Francisco 49ers, Lions, Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Rams in the NFC playoff bracket. The Packers will visit the No. 2-seed Dallas Cowboys in next weekend's wild-card round.

Jordan Love and the Packers are in the postseason. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Jordan Love and the Packers are in the postseason. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Love finished the day completing 27 of 32 passes for 316 yards with two touchdowns and no turnovers. Meanwhile, Green Bay's defense smothered Justin Fields and the Bears as the Packers held a 432-192 edge in total offensive yardage.

The Packers will go into the postseason on a three-game winning streak with wins in six of their final eight games. The win marks a turnaround from a 3-6 start that raised midseason questions about Love's viability as Green Bay's quarterback.

But there were few questions about Love on Sunday, as he wrapped a season that can be summed up as a success in the box score and in the standings. He finished the 2023 regular season completing 64.2% of his passes for 4,159 yards (244.6 yards per game) with 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The Packers finished 9-8 and return to the postseason following a one-year absence.