Jordan Love showcased his potential as the Green Bay Packers’ franchise quarterback as a full-time starter. Despite a challenging 1–5 start, he led the team to a remarkable turnaround. They secured the NFC’s No. 7 seed and a playoff spot. The Wild Card Weekend witnessed an unforgettable upset as Love’s squad dominated the Dallas Cowboys with a 48-32 victory.
The Packers’ journey took a dramatic turn in the divisional playoff match against the San Francisco 49ers. They fought fiercely but ultimately succumbed to a 24-21 defeat. Coach Matt LaFleur’s post-game comment about kicker Anders Carlson grabbed attention. LaFleur clarified his statement, shedding light on the meaning behind his words.
Matt LaFleur left disappointed over negative portrayal of Anders Carlson comments
Matt LaFleur, in a joking manner, shared with Fox reporter Tom Rinaldi that he prays every time Carlson takes the field for a goal attempt. However, the comment took an unintended turn, especially given the timing. The statement was delivered just after the rookie missed a crucial field goal in the match against the 49ers. The missed field goal proved costly, contributing to the Packers’ 24-21 loss.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, the coach addressed the misrepresentation of his comments and said they were meant in jest. He revealed that he had discussed the situation with Carlson.
“That was extremely disappointing that that’s how that message got portrayed,” LaFleur said on Monday. “I’ve been a part of production meetings ever since I became a coordinator, and I’ve never had an experience like that. But it is what it is. I talked to Anders about”, he said via Bleacher Report.
The HC acknowledged the challenge of dealing with the unexpected media fallout. Despite the jest in his original comment, he also highlighted the need for consistency in Carlson’s performance and admitted that addressing it is a continuous process.
“I think anytime something’s out of your control — kind of saying it in jest and having fun with it. But it got portrayed that way, and it’s a learning lesson for me. I think if we had the answer, we would have fixed it, right?…So certainly just got to work on the consistency. We’ve seen him do it. We know that he’s capable. But you got to be consistent in order to last in this league.”
Carlson made 29-of-36 field-goal attempts and 41-of-47 extra-point kicks, but his higher-than-average number of missed extra points became a focal point. Matt LaFleur mentioned that the rookie would face competition for his position in the upcoming 2024 season. The disappointment regarding his performance extended beyond the field, as some fans vented their frustration by editing Carlson’s Wikipedia page with critical remarks.
Packers HC backs Jordan Love despite playoff collapse
Despite the Packers’ playoff collapse against the 49ers, Matt LaFleur remained steadfast in his support for quarterback Jordan Love. Before the divisional collapse, the Packers made history as the youngest team to win a playoff game since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.
LaFleur commended Love’s outstanding season by expressing pride not only in his on-field performance but also in his qualities as a man and leader of the team. Acknowledging the disappointment of the playoff exit, he encouraged the QB to use it as motivation to improve further.
“He’s had an outstanding season. I know it didn’t end the way we wanted it to. I couldn’t be more proud of just who he is as a man, first and foremost, as a leader of this team. I know this one’s going to hurt him. I’m sure he’ll be really hard on himself. He’s just got to use it as fuel to continue to get better.”
Despite the setback in the playoff game against the 49ers, Love’s overall performance during a nine-game stretch was remarkable. LaFleur mentioned the importance of this growth by underscoring the young star’s potential as the franchise QB for the Packers in the long run.
“But I think you saw so much growth throughout the course of the season, not only from just his ability to go out there and play consistent winning football, but also I think he grew as a leader. And I think that’s very important, obviously, to be the franchise quarterback that I expect him to be for a long time around here.”
During the nine-game winning streak, Love threw an impressive 21 touchdown passes with just one interception. The young star’s statistics from Week 10 through the Wild Card Round highlight his athleticism, with 2,422 passing yards, 21 touchdowns, and only one interception. These numbers positioned him seventh in passing yards (4,159) as well as second in touchdown passes (32) by the end of the 2023 NFL season.