Fox Sports TV pundit Colin Cowherd is not known to shy away from sharing his opinions, no matter how polarizing and even provocative they might be. So it was not really a huge surprise when he stated this past Tuesday that Green Bay Packers starting quarterback Jordan Love was a “backup.” This was in the aftermath of Green Bay’s 17-13 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday Night. But given the praise he had previously given Love, it did strike a chord with the Packers nation that one of the leading sports commentators in America had already jumped off the bandwagon.
Jordan Love: Why isn’t Colin Cowherd feeling the love?
To recap, Love had an awful game against the Raiders. He completed 16 of 30 passes for just 182 yards. But maybe the biggest concern was his 3 interceptions and the offense’s inability to generate much of anything against a Raiders team that, so far this season, is considered lackluster at best. It’s safe to say that after stirring up a ton of fanfare after that impressive Week 1 win against the Chicago Bears, Love, and the Packers’ recent performances leave a lot to be desired.
It was in the aftermath of this dismal showing that Colin Cowherd made his comments the following day after the Packers’ loss to Las Vegas dropped them to 2-3 on the year heading into their bye week. For a man known for giving “hot takes,” it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that Cowherd is simply living in the moment, with this opinion bound to change soon. But to be fair, Cowherd is also a prominent voice in the sports media landscape, so any comments he makes will certainly attract ears and eyeballs.
Even if he is sincerely done with Jordan Love, it’s hard to see how that is affecting the Green Bay QB. In fact, earlier this season, Love responded to his critics by claiming that he largely ignores a lot of the outside noise.
“It’s one of those things that it’s kind of in one ear, out the other . . . because I know the position I’m in.”
In that same interview with Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio and Peter King, he further blasted his skeptics by posing this question:
“Who are they to tell me who I am as I player? “
Remember, this was after Love had led the Packers to a comeback 18-17 win against the New Orleans Saints to improve to 2-1 on the year. But after two straight losses to Detroit and Las Vegas in which the offense struggled, it is fair to say that the questions and doubts will continue to be vocalized by Cowherd and others, whether Love pays attention to it or not.
Jordan Love: Heir apparent or bust?
The Green Bay Packers have a long tradition of top-notch, stellar quarterback play. Whether that be Bart Starr, Brett Favre, or the recently departed Aaron Rodgers, all three were able to win Super Bowls and win over the hearts of Packer nation to this day, despite the latter two causing off-the-field drama and controversy. But what made the Packers organization unique was the durability of its star quarterbacks. In the past three decades, the Packers have really only had two main starting quarterbacks: Favre until 2007 and Rodgers until the end of the 2022 season. When you stop to think about it, it truly is a remarkable achievement for any sports organization, much less an NFL football team.
So it’s no surprise that whether it’s fair or not, the expectations from many diehard Packer fans is for Love to last just as long as Favre and Rodgers did and to be just as successful. Ironically, one of the people coming to Love’s defense this past week is Rodgers himself. Speaking on Pat McAfee’s popular ESPN show, Rodgers stated:
“The important thing as a quarterback is just trying to keep your confidence, not getting into all the bulls***, realize it’s just part of it,” Rodgers said. “There’s gonna be ups and downs in your career, ups and downs in the season. You’ve just got to keep pushing through, be the same guy every day.”
If Rodgers himself isn’t worried about Love going forward, perhaps that could be somewhat comforting for Packers fans going forward. But there is little doubt that the anxiety and hand-wringing will continue, at least as long as Love continues to underperform the sky-high expectations set for him.
What’s Next for #10?
With the Packers heading into a bye week, it could very well be a blessing in disguise. Byes allow players to improve on various skill sets that they need to refine, and it also allows players to rest up from any potential injuries, of which the Packers have quite a few. Despite his recent struggles, it is hard to imagine Jordan Love being in any real danger of losing his starting job to backup rookie quarterback Sean Clifford from Penn State. But it’s clear that there are certain areas of his game that he needs to clean up if he wants to be considered one of the elite up-and-comers in the National Football League.