Love’s big day leads Packers to win over Chargers

Packers score over 20 for first time since Week 2
Luke Reimer
Green & Gold Express

Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love reached 300 passing yards for the first time in his career, as the Green Bay Packers took down the Los Angeles Chargers 23-20 on Nov. 19 in Green Bay.

Love finished the game with 322 passing yards and two touchdown passes. Green Bay’s passing offense was the story of the game as both Aaron Jones and Emanuel Wilson exited the game with injuries. Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs both recorded touchdown receptions, but it was rookie wide receiver Dontayvion Wicks who led the team in receiving with 91 yards.

“I think it was one of our better games in my career as a starter so far,” said Love, when asked if he thought this was his best game. “I mean it is everybody, like the receivers making the plays and getting a lot of (yards after the catch) on those drives was huge. It takes everybody, as you can see.”

Thirty-five of Wicks’ yards came on Green Bay’s game winning drive. Down 20-16 and facing second-and-10 from the Green Bay 39, Love connected with a wide open Wicks for that 35-yard gain. After a two-yard gain from A.J. Dillon, Love connected with Doubs for 24-yards, to ultimately score the winning touchdown.

Green Bay’s defense held the dynamic Chargers offense to 20 points on 394 yards. Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert passed for 244 yards, with Keenan Allen recording 116 receiving yards on 10 receptions. Allen also scored a touchdown.

As for the run game, Herbert was also the leading rusher, recording 73 yards. Chargers running back Austin Ekeler, who led the NFL in touchdowns last year, was held out of the end zone and recorded just 64 yards on the ground.

Down three near the end of the game, both teams exchanged punts, before the Chargers took over at its own 20-yard line. With no timeouts, Herbert connected with Ekeler for a gain of six yards. Herbert then threw a pass that landed incomplete intended for Allen. On the play, Packers defensive back Keisean Nixon was called for pass interference and Los Angeles was given a first down. The Packers defense then buckled down, as it forced an incompletion and tackled Allen after a four-yard reception.

With 31 seconds left and facing a third-and-six, Herbert threw deep down the left side of the field to a pass intended for rookie wide receiver Quentin Johnston. Johnston had a step on Packers defensive back Carrington Valentine but dropped what would have been the go-ahead touchdown. From there on fourth down, Herbert’s pass was batted down by Packers defensive tackle Kenny Clark and the Packers took over to kneel the clock out.

“It was huge at the end of the game. I would say our defense bailed me out for the conservative calls at the end of the game,” said Packers head coach Matt LaFleur.

Even though the Chargers had the lead late, the turning point of the game may have been early in the fourth quarter. The Chargers, starting at its own 25, drove down to the Green Bay 2-yard line on four plays. On first-and-goal, Herbert’s pass intended for Allen landed incomplete, and then on second down, Packers linebacker Rashan Gary recovered a fumble from Ekeler to stop the Chargers from taking a two-score lead.

“That fumble recovery down there in the red area was absolutely critical to keep points off of the board and to give us an opportunity to go down,” said LaFleur.

With the win, Green Bay now moves to 4-6 on the season and with the Chicago Bears losing to the Detroit Lions, the Packers are now a game and a half up on the Bears for the third spot in the NFC North. The Packers also now hold a 17% to make the playoffs, according to the New York Times Playoff Simulator.