The Jordan Love victory tour didn't last long.
The Packers got blown out in Week 4 by the Detroit Lions, and even though the performance was on the terrible play of the offensive line as much as it was on Love, Green Bay wanted to limit anything Love did Monday night. The Packers came in with a surprisingly conservative game plan, content to make it a low-scoring, close game from the start.
While the Packers didn't give Love many chances, he also didn't do much with them. The Packers' offense was terrible, Love threw three interceptions, including a bad one in the final minute, and Green Bay fell to 2-3 with a disheartening 17-13 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.
The lack of offense certainly didn't go unnoticed by Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander, who told reporters postgame, "Yeah I think at this point it’s pretty obvious that the defense has to not give up any touchdowns, you know? I think that's the part of being self-critical of our defense because, you know, the offense is pretty young and they're still figuring out their mojo."
“Yeah I think at this point it’s pretty obvious that the defense has to not give up any touchdowns,” said Packers CB Jaire Alexander. “The offense is pretty young and they’re still figuring out their mojo. The defense, we gotta be the ones to score and stop them from scoring.” pic.twitter.com/DrItb9B0c5
— Carmen Vitali (@CarmieV) October 10, 2023
The Packers aren't going to win much if they can't trust their passing game to do more. Love didn't do much to give them more faith in it on Monday night.
Raiders and Packers without much offensive punch
The Packers and Raiders each had their offensive issues, and their quarterbacks handed the other team points with terrible turnovers.
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) October 10, 2023
The Packers were doing their best to hide Love on Monday night, but a broken coverage led to a huge play by Christian Watson. Watson got 77 yards but came up just short of the end zone. Then the Packers ran up the middle twice, Love threw incomplete on third down and they settled for a field goal. That gave the Packers a 13-10 lead but it should have been more.
The Packers' offense let the Raiders stay in the game, by their game plan and performance as well, and eventually Las Vegas took advantage.
Packers-Raiders is close into fourth quarter
The Raiders took a 17-13 lead on a Josh Jacobs touchdown four seconds into the fourth quarter. At that point Love had nine completions on 15 attempts, and 77 of his 136 yards came on one pass to Watson against a busted coverage. The Packers came into the game wanting to limit how much Love would do by trying to win a grind-it-out game. That plan was even more inauspicious because star running back Aaron Jones was out with an injury. Green Bay wanted to try to win the game with A.J. Dillon getting 20 or more carries.
The Packers needed Love to do something in the fourth quarter. The Packers moved the ball after Jacobs' go-ahead touchdown, but Love was sacked on first down and then threw a pass into coverage that was batted and picked off by Spillane for his second interception.
The Packers' defense did its job and forced a quick three-and-out after Love's second interception. The Packers gave it right back with a three-and-out.
The Raiders gave Green Bay one more chance with a conservative call. Vegas didn't go for it on fourth-and-1, opting for a field-goal attempt. The kick went off the upright and the Packers had some life right after the two-minute warning. They even had good field position after the missed kick.
The Packers had a chance but the offense hadn't done much to that point. Green Bay got a couple first downs into Raiders territory. Two drops, one by Romeo Doubs and the other by Luke Musgrave, stalled the drive. Love had to make a play but then tossed the game away. He threw to Watson downfield in the end zone, and Raiders cornerback Amik Robertson picked it off. There seemed to be a moment in which Watson was open, but Love was late throwing the ball and Robertson easily recovered to make the play.
The biggest story of the NFL offseason was the Packers trading Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets. Finally Love, a former first-round draft pick, had his chance to shine. The Packers talked him up and he had some good moments in the preseason and in the opener. It hasn't been so good since then. The Packers seem to be losing confidence in him.
The big question the Packers had to answer this season is whether Love could replace Rodgers as a long-term option. It's early in the season, but Monday night wasn't a positive answer to that question.