The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears renewed the NFL’s oldest rivalry in Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season, but the familiar names under center for the Packers were not there. This was the first time in forever the Bears didn’t face a quarterback other than Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers, and there was a lot of speculation as to how good Jordan Love would be as the starter. The projections weren’t promising, but maybe only the Packers knew what everyone else was about to find out.
Love wasn’t as efficient as he would’ve liked to be, but he threw three touchdown passes and didn’t make the crucial mistakes Rodgers did last season in a massive Week 1 victory for the Packers. His stats are a bit inflated by two long receptions from Aaron Jones, but the poise and confidence was there. He also clearly has a connection with Romeo Doubs in the red zone, as the pair tallied two touchdowns in the game.
There were also some big throws on third down for Love to keep drives alive. The Packers did give their quarterback plenty of time to make throws, so maybe that was a factor in Green Bay’s overall success. Love also didn’t have to chase points as the Packers held the Bears at bay, so there was little pressure on him to make things happen. The pessimists will say he was buoyed by a strong supporting cast and wouldn’t be able to elevate the players around him. The optimists will say he played within the system to perfection and showed moments of promise that suggest further development can make him an elite quarterback.
The reality is probably somewhere in the middle, but the Packers look like contenders this season if they can continue to dominate the line of scrimmage this way. Jones’ hamstring will need to be checked out, but Green Bay should get Christian Watson back at some point too. Love looked ready for the moment, which is all fans could’ve really asked for. Given the talent of the supporting cast, Love’s Week 1 showing should give fans plenty to be hopeful about this season and in years to come.