Packers Jordan Love Beats Blitzes, Chiefs in Masterful Effort
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Jordan Love waited more than two years -- 756 days to be exact -- and the Green Bay Packers quarterback wasn't about to let what happened back then at Arrowhead Stadium repeat itself Sunday night at Lambeau Field.
It was back on Nov. 7, 2021, when Love made his first NFL start against the Kansas City Chiefs. It was a one-time thing with Aaron Rodgers out because of COVID-19. And it was a disaster. Love crumbled in the face of blitz after blitz and walked away a 13-7 loser.
That Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo tried a similar strategy Sunday and Love masterfully sidestepped it showed how important this 27-19 victory on "Sunday Night Football" was, and just how far he has come 12 games into his first season as Green Bay's full-time starting quarterback.
It was also huge for the Packers' playoff chances. A team that in late October was 2-5 now sits at 6-6 and -- for now -- in the final playoff spot in the NFC. Their playoff chances jumped all the way to 66%, according to ESPN Analytics, from 45% entering the game. A loss would have reduced the possibility to 37%.
The Chiefs saw the end of Sunday night's game devolve into chaos, with the final 1:09 featuring an unnecessary roughness penalty, a fumble recovery that was overturned, an ejection and a controversial pass interference non-call.
When it was all said and done, Kansas City -- needing a touchdown and a 2-point conversion to force overtime -- instead saw Patrick Mahomes' pass into the end zone on the final play knocked away, as the Green Bay Packers held on for a 27-19 win.
The Chiefs, hoping to tie the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins for the best record in the AFC, instead fell to 8-4 following their third loss in five outings.
Love didn't just beat the Chiefs on Sunday, he beat their blitzes. He completed 10 of 13 passes with three touchdowns when Spagnuolo sent five or more pass-rushers. It gave Love eight touchdown passes and zero interceptions this season against the blitz, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
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Gallery Credit: Seth Berkman