Over the last five or six years, NFL fans are used to seeing the Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers earn a spot in the playoff tournament and threaten a run. In 2023, neither team looks capable of earning a postseason berth and both could be in the market for a new quarterback this offseason.
Week 9’s matchup between the Rams and Packers in Green Bay features two of the most inaccurate passers in the NFL this season.
Jordan Love is in his first season as the starter after Aaron Rodgers’ offseason trade that sent him to the New York Jets. While he had several years to develop in Matt LaFleur’s QB incubator, it isn’t fair to expect him to play like a fully blossomed player early on. Still, there are some warning signs within Love’s game that give us some solid indications on where his ceiling might be in the NFL—and it’s not likely he will ever develop into a highly-efficient passer.
According to PFF tracking data, Love’s adjusted completion percentage—which accounts for accurate dropped passes, throwaways, spikes, and incompletions that aren’t the fault of the quarterback—of 66.4% ranks 35th out of 36 NFL passers with at least 74 dropbacks this season. Only the Cleveland Browns’ PJ Walker has been worse, and he’s by far PFF’s lowest-rated signal caller with an overall offensive grade of 31.0.
Wild stat from @sarahbarshop in the ESPN power rankings.— Bukayo Saka Liker (@3k_) October 31, 2023
Matt Stafford has a 59.7% completion % which ranks 30th (!) in the NFL. It is his worst completion percentage through Week 8 since his rookie season in 2009.https://t.co/B8y2l1rbDa
Matthew Stafford’s adjusted completion rate comes in nearly five full points higher than Love at 71.3%, but still he ranks just 31st of 36 and is behind the likes of Zach Wilson (71.8%), Justin Fields (72.9%), Desmond Ridder (73.2%), Jimmy Garoppolo (75.4%), and Gardner Minshew (75.0%). Perhaps most troubling for the Rams is that their former quarterback, Jared Goff, who they traded to the Detroit Lions along with two first-round picks in exchange for Stafford, ranks third in the NFL with an impressive adjusted completion of 80.4%. Goff is only behind Kirk Cousins (80.5%) and Tyson Bagent (81.3%). Bagent is running a very limited offense with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted rookie.
Both Love and Stafford have been plagued by their receivers dropping passes. Stafford has seen 15 of his passes dropped, which is tied with Jared Goff and Patrick Mahomes for second in the NFL. Packers pass catchers have dropped 13 of Love’s accurate throws which is tied for fifth. Kirk Cousins leads the way with 20 dropped passes.
The Packers have a young receiving corps that have struggled to hold onto the ball early in their NFL careers—they totaled six drops this weekend against the Minnesota Vikings. RB Aaron Jones and WR’s Jayden Reed and Romeo Doubs are tied for the team lead with three drops.
For the Rams, rookie Puka Nacua leads the NFL with five dropped passes (he’s also tied second in targets, 84, with Tyreek Hill and behind only Stefon Diggs at 88). RB Kyren Williams has three but has played in only six games. TE Tyler Higbee also has three drops.
Jordan Love didn’t play great but there were also at least six dropped passes by the #Packers. The jury is still out on Green Bay’s receivers.— Cory Jennerjohn (@CoryJennerjohn) October 29, 2023
There’s a very good chance we see a lot of incomplete passes in Week 9 between the Rams and Packers. Both quarterbacks are among the most inaccurate and inefficient passers across the NFL, and it’s played a significant role in both teams underperforming relative to their usual expectations. It’s also worth noting that Stafford suffered a sprained thumb in this past weekend’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys and is day-to-day. His status for Sunday is up in the air currently.