Matt LaFleur did little to help QB Jordan Love in chaotic debut

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Did Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur throw his young quarterback to his wolves on Sunday in Kansas City?

It certainly looked that way as Jordan Love was under constant duress in his debut against the Kansas City Chiefs. For most of the night, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo sent blitz after blitz to see how Love would react. It was simple but effective.

In total, Love was blitzed on over half of his drop-backs, according to Pro Football Focus. The Chiefs’ defense totaled a staggering 28 pressures. That is by far the most any defense has logged against this front all season. The previous high was 17 by the Arizona Cardinals.

It was evident that neither LaFleur nor his inexperienced quarterback had properly prepared to counteract an aggressive pass rush. Love did very little as far as adjusting his protection at the line of scrimmage. This has become second nature for Aaron Rodgers, who is one of the NFL’s best at sensing what the opposing defense is going to do pre-snap.

Perhaps LaFleur forgot his Hall of Fame quarterback was watching from home.

It looked like LaFleur had trust in Love to know what to do when Kanas City showed certain pressure, which is a tough ask for a quarterback whose experience has only come in the preseason.

On numerous plays, Love had no idea where the rush was coming from, and there were no play designs that called for quick passes to try and make things easier. Instead, Love was seemingly left out to dry.

“That was on me, squarely,” LaFleur said of the offense’s struggles in his postgame presser.

This is what makes grading Love’s first career start even more difficult. He didn’t play particularly well, but no quarterback is going to play to their potential when the defense is constantly breathing down their neck.

In my opinion, most of Love’s struggles fall on the head coach for not coming in with an effective game plan. LaFleur also failed to make the necessary adjustments to help his obviously overwhelmed quarterback. A day later, the head coach accepted the blame when he spoke to the media.

“I was disappointed in myself in terms of not having a better protection plan for him,” LaFleur said Monday.

LaFleur did say he was proud of Love for the poise he showed throughout the game. However, the fact of the matter is, the Packers are no closer to knowing if Love is the quarterback of the future.

Hopefully, if the opportunity arises again, this problem can be avoided.

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