After coming off a win against the faltering Los Angeles Rams, one might think that the Green Bay Packers may have been about to turn the corner on their disappointing season. Those predictions would be sorely mistaken, as the team fell 23-19 to the Pittsburgh Steelers this past Sunday to fall to 3-6 on the year. Moreover, it may very well lead to curtains for both quarterback Jordan Love and head coach Matt LaFleur.
Green Bay Packers: Going to the mat for…Matt?
I mentioned in my last article about how both Love and LaFleur were starting to come under heavy pressure from the Packers fanbase due to their lackluster season thus far. Well, being able to win back-to-back games and staying in the hunt for a possible wild card spot could have staved off that pressure for a little while. Instead, being unable to deliver a needed road win against a quality opponent like Pittsburgh may be what leads to the eventual departure of head coach Matt LaFleur.
To be fair, this is all speculation, but it is worth considering, given that Packers fans have been vocal for several weeks now questioning LaFleur’s coaching and decision-making. But, those with inside knowledge of the NFL have also reported that LaFleur is likely safe this season, although next year may be a little more of a mystery. Regardless, the rumor mill regarding LaFleur’s job security is definitely an unsettling and pesky distraction for the Packers head coach.
Packers QB Jordan Love: One and done?
In his first full season as the quarterback, it was perfectly set up for Jordan Love to have a breakout moment against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the final minutes of the 4th quarter, Love led Green Bay into Pittsburgh territory twice. But in both instances, he wound up throwing interceptions, preserving the 23-19 loss for the Packers.
Love won’t be universally crucified, mainly because it is his first full season as QB, and there is a learning curve that is to be expected. But already, he is garnering polarizing reactions from fans and observers alike regarding his performance thus far. Just in the past month, some have pointed to the praise he has received for brushing off early criticism, while others have predicted his eventual benching for poor play. But there is no doubt that if he continues to show inconsistency, the questions around his future will also start to become more prominent.
The Path Forward
The skirmish that broke out towards the end of the Steelers game this past Sunday very well could have been emblematic of the frustrations the team is feeling after a rough start to 2023. But Green Bay needs to focus on turning things around for the second half of the year. If they are unable to, it’s within the realm of possibility that this loss to Pittsburgh will be known as a benchmark that signaled the end of the Love/LaFleur era.