With cigars on deck, the Green Bay Packers celebrated the biggest win of the Jordan Love era in style by turning the locker room at 1265 Lombardi Ave into a party after punching their ticket to the playoffs.
Love finished his night completing a season-high 84% of his passes, going 27/32 for 316 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions. It was easily Love's best game as a starter in the league. It was also the highest completion percentage by a Packers quarterback since 1984, something neither Brett Favre nor Aaron Rodgers ever did in a green and gold uniform.
Love delivered in every aspect possible in the biggest game of his young career.
"He's a tough-minded sucker. His family did a hell of a job raising him in terms of just what he's all about. I think you guys would agree, the ones who know him in here, he's about the right sh-t," said Packers head coach Matt LaFleur about Love following the victory.
Jordan Love is the reason the Packers are in the playoffs
LaFleur is right. Love is one tough-minded sucker. Late in the third quarter, the Packers were driving down the field, looking to put the game away. On third-and-2 on the Chicago 49-yard line, Love called an audible at the line of scrimmage after noticing the Bears had lined up in zone coverage.
However, the audible wasn't communicated to the receivers on the outside. Love was forced to take matters into his own hands, scrambling to the right to attempt to gain the yards needed to secure a first down. Love was hit hard by Bears cornerback Tyrique Stevenson, who forced a fumble. Momentum seemed to be switching to the Bears.
The Packers defense held strong following the turnover, holding Chicago to a field goal and keeping the Packers up 14-9 going into the fourth quarter.
The next drive by Love was monumental. In five plays and just over two minutes, they moved 65 yards, marching all the way down the field. The Pack ended up settling for a field goal after an official replay overturned what would have been a sensational throw and catch to Bo Melton for a seven-yard touchdown.
Drives like that, following a turnover in a playoff-level game, is what LaFleur is talking about. Jordan Love has so much poise when faced with adversity, and it has shown up countless times this past season.
After the massive win, guard Jon Runyan Jr. had high praise for his quarterback.
"Jordan has been such a calm presence. He has complete control of the offense. Everyone looks to him as a leader and he just goes out there and doesn't blink at all," said Runyan.
Love is beloved by his teammates, coaches, and fans alike, and because of him, the Packers have punched their ticket to the playoffs.