The Green Bay Packers are lucky to have Jordan Love. Not only has he already established himself as one of the NFC's top quarterbacks, but he is an outstanding leader.
Love suffered his first heartbreaking playoff exit as the Packers' starting quarterback. His final play was one of the worst of his impressive season, throwing across his body into the middle of the field. Love gambled, and it backfired, resulting in a game-ending interception.
Part of the job of a starting quarterback is to speak with the media following every game, even after brutal playoff losses like this one. But Love didn't sulk. He didn't blame others. He took accountability for the defeat and put the blame on himself, yet again proving why he is such a great leader and teammate.
And it's what Love has done all year. He praised his teammates and coaches during the highs and took the blame during the lows.
Jordan Love blames himself for 'mortal sin' on Packers' game-ending interception
Love didn't have his best game against the San Francisco 49ers, but he still made some outstanding throws to put the Packers on top for most of the contest. His late interception was a mistake and one he will learn from.
But Love didn't shift any of the blame for the Packers' loss. He put it on himself. Here's what he said about his costly interception on the final drive:
"Looking back on it, yeah, throw it away. I don't know if I had an opportunity to be able to run, maybe get out of bounds. But I forced it across the middle late, which is a mortal sin. And it cost us," said Love. "That's an area I'll be able to look at it, grow from, and get better for the future."
Love also had two brutal missed opportunities earlier in the game. An off-target pass intended for tight end Tucker Kraft was tipped in the air and intercepted. He then missed Aaron Jones on a third-and-2, a throw Love had been making look easy throughout the second half of the season.
Again, Love put the blame on himself.
"The one to Tucker, I missed it. I was a little bit behind him," said Love. "The one to Aaron was kind of off-schedule. He stayed on the move, and we just weren't on the same page there. I missed that one as well."
Love will grow from the experiences of his first season as a starter. It's only possible to improve so much while sitting on the bench, but his development throughout the year has been fun to watch. With another offseason ahead of him, Love has plenty to build on.
"That was the message in the locker room," said Love. "How motivated we'll be by this loss. Who knows what the group will look like next year, things like that, but everyone in the locker room is definitely motivated to get back after it and get ready for next season."
And we're excited to see what's next. Green Bay overachieved this season, but it learned one thing: Jordan Love is the future of this franchise.