The Green Bay Packers season has been a series of ups and downs to arrive at 2-2 entering Monday night's showdown with the Las Vegas Raiders. It hasn't been a perfect start to Jordan Love's NFL career, but the numbers are respectable and he looks the part of a long-term starter.
The 24-year-old has completed 56.1 percent of his passes for 901 yards, eight touchdowns, and three interceptions across four weeks. His 6.8 yards per attempt is a slight disappointment relative to Love's big-play reputation, but he's managing games well and thriving in areas once considered to be points of weakness. He's getting the ball out quickly and, for the most part, limiting the back-breaking mistakes we commonly associate with young, unproven QBs.
It always helps to have a strong supporting cast, and Love has to be thrilled with the performance of his receivers to date. Especially impressive are Green Bay's relative newcomers: second-yard WR Romeo Doubs (20 receptions, 224 yards, 3 TDs) and rookie Jayden Reed (12 receptions, 203 yards, 2 TDs).
Reed, a second-round pick out of Michigan State, has been Love's favorite target on big-chunk passes, averaging 16.9 yards per catch. He has the luxury of developing right alongside the QB who he could presumably share the field with for the next decade.
Just last season, however, the Packers almost blew the opportunity to add Reed to the mix with a boneheaded trade.
Green Bay Packers almost destroyed WR room with Chase Claypool trade
The Pittsburgh Steelers chose between two second-round pick offers for Chase Claypool before last season's trade deadline. Fittingly, it boiled down to the NFL's two greatest rivals, with the Steelers picking the Chicago Bears over their hated midwest neighbors in Green Bay.
Flash forward to Oct. 6, 2023, and Claypool was just traded to the Dolphins along with a seventh-round pick in exchange for a sixth-round pick. The Bears leaped off a sinking ship. Claypool accrued four catches (on 14 targets) this season before criticizing the coaches and getting sent home to await a trade. His sulky attitude pervaded the Bears locker room and was plainly evident on the field.
Green Bay avoided a disaster here. Reed doesn't quite possess Claypool's unique blend of size and speed, but he's a bursty downfield threat all the same. He appears far more efficient and reliable too. Claypool could blow up with the Dolphins. Sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery. But, it's hard to imagine Claypool ever living up to the price Chicago paid for him — and the price Green Bay almost paid.
The Packers aren't nearly as disastrous all around as Chicago, so perhaps Claypool's attitude would have been less of a problem. But he simply did not perform for the Bears, nor is there reason to believe he would be outperforming Reed with the Packers right now. Green Bay gets the double-whammy victory here: they avoided a mistake, and the Bears got worse because of it.