Matt LaFleur: Jordan Love is a real dude

In his first start in 2021, subbing for the injured Aaron Rodgers, Jordan Love looked like the stage was too big for him and the lights too bright. He stunk against the Chiefs, with a touchdown and an interception in a 13-7 loss.

On Sunday night, the Packers discovered for certain that they have their franchise quarterback.

Love validated the team's decision to move on from Rodgers in the offseason and hand the reins to him.

In his first career playoff start, Love completed 16 of 21 passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns. He had a maximum passer rating until a meaningless incompletion with 2:29 left.

"Man, Jordan Love. Wow. That’s about all I can say, is 'wow,'" Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. "What he did, the poise he shows, the command he shows. The [20-yard] touchdown pass to Dontayvion Wicks. We were obviously in an empty set. He had, I think it was Tucker [Kraft], max protect. It was a great job by Tuck and the rest of our offensive line. And for him to hang in there and get that throw. Wicks made a hell of a catch. Those are things that, you can try to coach it, but what a moment for him. To me, that was a big-time play. It just shows the growth that he's had from his first start versus KC to now. I’m just so proud and happy for him.

"He's a dude. He’s a real dude."

In the past five games, including Sunday, Love has completed 73.9 percent of his passes for 1,347 yards with 12 touchdowns and no interceptions.

He was unfazed in his first playoff start, outplaying veteran Dak Prescott and acting afterward as if it was just another day's work.

“It feels fine," Love said. "To be in that locker room right there, it’s a great environment to be in. I just can’t say enough about proud I am of everybody in the locker room. It’s been a long season. We’ve been counted out a lot of the season. Just the way everybody keeps battling, keeps competing, getting better and obviously putting on great performances just like tonight so it’s a great feeling.”