Jordan Love has lived up to his nickname this season, raining down shots on unsuspecting opponents while leading the Denver Nuggets to a 17-16 record. The 27 year old guard is averaging 22 points per game with an unexpectedly high 3 point percentage of 38%.

The “aaron rodgers number” is a statistic that shows how many times Aaron Rodgers has been sacked in his career. It’s an interesting stat to look at because it seems like the Packers are always getting the better end of the deal when they play against Rodgers.

The Green Bay Packers’ Jordan Love era as starting quarterback has begun a little earlier than intended. 

The Packers’ game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 9 was initially framed as a showdown between Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes. The State Farm Bowl, so named because of each player’s major participation in State Farm advertisements, was meant to feature a duel between two of the finest quarterbacks in the league, if not all-time.

With the announcement that Rodgers has tested positive for COVID-19, expectations have shifted considerably. He will not only miss this game, but he may also miss Green Bay’s Week 10 battle against the Seattle Seahawks due to his lack of vaccinations.

It’s time for Love to take the lead.

The Green Bay Packers’ starting quarterback will be Jordan Love. 

Packers' QB Jordan Love

Packers' QB Jordan Love Jordan Love #10 of the Green Bay Packers warms up at Lambeau Field before the game against the Washington Redskins | John Fisher/Getty Images

While the absence of Rodgers in this contest may seem to tip the scales considerably in Kansas City’s favor, it also presents an interesting entrance point for Love.

For a reason, Green Bay selected him with the 26th overall pick in the 2020 draft. Brian Gutekunst, the general manager, regarded him as Rodgers’ successor apparent.

Love now has the chance to disprove his critics while also making Rodgers seem silly in the process. A solid performance versus Kansas City would also help Green Bay’s front office establish credibility.

The only reasonable critique of Love’s potential to be a starting quarterback in the NFL at this moment is that he’s still such an unknown. He was drafted at the peak of the coronavirus outbreak. He didn’t play in any of the Packers’ games in 2020, and his first serious NFL action came in the preseason of 2021.

But even Love’s preseason was cut short. During the summer, he received all of the first-team reps when Rodgers was having his existential crisis with the club, but because to a shoulder injury, the 23-year-old from Utah State only participated in two of the three preseason games. 

He completed 24-of-35 passes for 271 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in the preseason. 

He’s even unknown to his head coach at this moment.

“Well, we’ll find out, right?” says the narrator. When asked whether Love is ready to start, Packers coach Matt LaFleur told ESPN. 

Aaron Rodgers made a rash mistake that cost the Packers their season.

One of the unintended consequences of the coronavirus era has been to turn individuals against one another. The vaccinated and unvaccinated seem to be at odds all of the time, however the NFL’s workaround appears to be working so far. The league has not made a coronavirus vaccination mandatory for its players, but it has made safety precautions for those who have decided to stay unprotected fairly complicated.

Rodgers’ controversies have nothing to do with his vaccination status or the fact that he tested positive for the disease. What has raised some feathers is his apparent attempt to deceive when disclosing his vaccination status. “Yeah, I’ve been inoculated,” he said in August when asked whether he had been vaccinated.

It turns out, according to Ian Rapaport, that the quarterback was given a homeopathic remedy to boost his antibody levels. He requested that the NFL evaluate his status, and after doing so, he was still found to be unvaccinated. Rodgers has been following the measures needed of unvaccinated players, which the club and league were aware of.

None of this is a problem since, in the end, Rodgers made his own decision. The Packers’ dilemma is that, although Rodgers made a personal decision, it was also a very selfish one. 

He’s the team’s starting quarterback and leader. He’s the reason the Packers are considered Super Bowl contenders, and he’s the reason Green Bay has stayed relevant in the post-Brett Favre era. 

In one way, Rodgers is the Packers’ quarterback, but in another, he isn’t. He may be a superstar, but he isn’t above the rest of the squad. He’s a team player, and 52 other players depend on him to do his duties on a weekly basis.

The issue isn’t that he hasn’t been immunized. The actual problem is that, as a team leader, he picked the wrong path for his group. He may have gotten the coronavirus and tested positive if he hadn’t been properly vaccinated, but he wouldn’t have had to wait the minimum of 10 days. He’d simply have to be asymptomatic and test negative twice in a 24-hour period. 

There would have been a way for Rodgers to play against the Chiefs if he had been immunized. He’s not only made it more difficult for himself to see the pitch by making this choice, but he’s also disappointing his teammates and supporters. 

Rodgers seems to be a thoughtful guy, but he ultimately made a poor choice.

When you’re in charge of an organization or a team, you sometimes have to do what’s best for the greater good. Rodgers chose to go his own way, and his arrogance will cost the club at least one game. 

This is Love’s chance to shake things up in Green Bay and show the Packers were correct in selecting him in the first round.

Jordan Love and Aaron Rodgers

Jordan Love and Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers #12 and Jordan Love #10 walk onto the field at Lambeau Field before a game against the Detroit Lions | Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Green Bay is currently on a seven-game winning run and is 7-1 on the season. Following their victory against the formerly unbeaten Arizona Cardinals on Thursday Night Football, the Packers are probably the hottest team in the NFL. This weekend, they had a wonderful opportunity to win again against a faltering Kansas City club.

With Rodgers gone, the Packers’ winning run is in jeopardy. At the very least, a straightforward victory is out of the question.

To be fair to Love, he still has a chance to win this game. 

The Chiefs’ defense is allowing 27.5 points per game, while the Packers’ defense is only allowing 20.9. Mahomes, who has thrown 10 interceptions this season, has struggled recently, and the Chiefs’ offense has been below-average. Something isn’t quite right in Kansas City, which makes this the ideal situation for a rookie quarterback to make his NFL debut.

Love will have to keep the ball under his control and trust LaFleur’s offensive system to work. Running the ball will be crucial, and the Packers have Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon who are capable of doing it. Love will be asked by LaFleur to keep the ball and help the offense manage the clock. When the Packers do get the ball, they must keep Mahomes on the sideline as much as possible and capitalize on big drives.

Love needs to be a game manager at the very least.

However, if he can show to be more than that, Green Bay will have to have an intriguing debate.

Green Bay has never had a problem with drafting Love. Because of when the Packers picked him, things became complicated. You don’t choose a quarterback in the first round just to sit him for the remainder of his rookie deal. Green Bay selected Love to replace Rodgers, and Rodgers’ recognition of that fact sparked all of this offseason’s controversy. 

Love is meant to be the quarterback of the future. Even though Rodgers has said that he is involved and pleased this season, that is unlikely to alter.

Winning has fixed many wounds between the Packers and their star quarterback in 2021, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a long-term concern. Because the Packers didn’t go all-in on Rodgers and didn’t deal Love, their futures are still up in the air.

Presumably, Gutekunst still wants Love to be the team’s quarterback in the future. Rodgers, no doubt, is still irritated by this fact.

Love’s selection has gotten Gutekunst a lot of flak, but the young quarterback can make his general manager seem like a genius by going out and showing off against the Chiefs. If Love performs well and demonstrates why he was picked as a first-round quarterback, the Packers’ decision to move on from Rodgers after this season appears a lot more likely. Gutekunst also has a more sophisticated appearance.

This weekend in Kansas City, a lot is on the line. The Green Bay Packers’ future hangs in the balance.

ESPN and Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.

RELATED: It’s Time for the Green Bay Packers’ Most Important Offensive Weapon to Be Respected… Aaron Rodgers Isn’t the Problem

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