The Passing Chronicles: 2023 Week 13

For reasons I don’t really want to get into here, we’re going to have an abbreviated Passing Chronicles this week. Honestly, that’s probably a blessing.

To the passing chart!

Jordan Love followed up last week’s beauty with another one this week. He attacked effectively and efficiently to all areas of the field. He ended with a negative CPOE (Completion Percentage Over Expected) (-0.8%), but just barely. On the day, he completed 69.4% of his passes (76.5% Adjusted Completion Percentage) with an ADOT (Average Depth of Target) of 8.2 yards.

Going into the game, it was assumed that Steve Spagnuolo (“Spags”) would blitz Love, because that is what Spags likes to do. When Love got the start in 2021 against the Chiefs, Spags blitzed on 53.8% of his dropbacks. On those dropbacks, Love was 7/18 (38.9%) for 40 yards (2.2 YPA), 1 TD and 1 sack for a QB Rating of 65.5. Love averaged 2.48 seconds to throw and had an ADOT of 9.0 yards.

This time around, Spags blitzed on 41.0% of Love’s dropbacks. On those dropbacks, Love was 12/16 (75%) for 97 yards (6.1 YPA) and 1 TD for a QB Rating of 110.7. Love averaged 1.98 seconds to throw and had an ADOT of 5.4 yards. (All numbers per PFF.)

To me, those numbers back up what Love showed on the field: he was in control of this offense and knew where to go with the ball when the Chiefs brought heat. This was an incredibly impressive performance against a very good passing defense. It feels like Love just keeps on checking off boxes.

Let’s look at a play.

Play 1: 3rd & 4, 8:20 remaining in the 1st quarter

This is one that I highlighted last week over at Packer Report. It’s a concept that has been known by many names over the years, but it’s called Arches in the Shanahan playbook, so that’s what we’ll roll with here. It’s something I’ve been looking for in Green Bay for years. We finally saw it against the Lions on a 3rd down that - unfortunately - Romeo Doubs dropped. “I wonder when we’ll see that again,” I wondered aloud to no one in particular.

As it turns out, we saw it again almost immediately. This was on 3rd & 4 on the Packers first drive of the game.

The Packers are in 11 personnel, originally aligning in a 2x2 formation. Before the snap, Dontayvion Wicks [13] motions from left-to-right, taking Trent McDuffie [22] with him. That reaction to the motion tells Jordan Love [10] that he is likely looking at man coverage. 

The right side of a field was a stack look before the snap, with Tucker Kraft [85] as the front man and Christian Watson [9] as the back. With Wicks in the mix, it becomes a bunch. That leaves the Chiefs with a 3-over-3 look, with McDuffie deep to the outside.

At the snap, Kraft releases vertically, Watson releases inside on a drag and Wicks releases outside. The initial steps outside by Wicks are enough to push McDuffie a step to the outside, which allows Kraft to build a wall with his route to create a problem for McDuffie.

With Watson occupying the defenders in the middle and Kraft walling off the outside, Wicks cuts back to the middle, following Watson and finds a nice bit of grass. Love reads this out well and hits Wicks for 7 yards and a 1st down. The Packers would score the opening TD 2 plays later and would never trail.

Love does a nice job with his head and his feet. Justin Reid [20] is drifting to the middle with Watson, but he is keeping an eye on Love. Love doesn’t give anything away. When Love hits the top of his drop, he has his feet pointing down the middle of the field and his head pointing to where Watson is running, which holds Reid in place. Love then hops to reset his feet and fires to Wicks, behind the coverage of Reid.

Really nice footwork from Love. He knows he’s going to Reid and he does what he has to do to hold Reid in place.

Like I said, a bit abbreviated this week. I’m hoping to get back a more normal length next week, but we’ll see how it goes. Maybe you prefer this to be a little shorter. If you do, man, maybe we’ll just shoot for this going forward.


As I do every week, I got a chance to talk some ball with John Kuhn. We talked about the Packers use of orbit motion, then talked about the “prayer” to Doubs on 4th down. I really liked what Kuhn had to say about the protection on the 3rd orbit motion play, and how Love could set that in the future to provide easier answers for himself. As always, I learned a ton.


Albums listened to: Mitski - The Land is Inhospitable and So Are We; Taylor Swift - folklore; Angie McMahon - Light, Dark, Light Again; Regina Spektor - Home, Before and After

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Dusty Evely is a film analyst for Cheesehead TV. He can be heard talking about the Packers on Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter at @DustyEvely or email at [email protected].

3 points
 

Comments (7)

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LLCHESTY's picture

December 07, 2023 at 07:30 pm

Only complaint you could have with that pass chart is ⅓ of Love's passes were behind the LOS. Sometimes that's all that's there but you'd like to see that number under 8-10 attempts per game.

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PeteK's picture

December 08, 2023 at 09:55 am

Those short passes open up longer ones.

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Bitternotsour's picture

December 08, 2023 at 03:04 pm

why though? they controlled the ball thru the first half and kept KC off the field. they won with short passes, what's not to like? winning is good.

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T7Steve's picture

December 08, 2023 at 07:35 am

Thanks Dusty. Hope everything is ok.

Please do the longer version if you can. I learn so much and am starting to try to pick these concepts up while watching live. So far, I've only been able to call them out on seeing the replays and slow-mo views.

Did I see Arches to the other side dressed differently on the next drive or was that one a different play 'cause they faked a sweep?

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SicSemperTyrannis's picture

December 08, 2023 at 06:07 pm

Another vote from me for dissecting more plays, I love these breakdowns!

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PeteK's picture

December 08, 2023 at 09:58 am

Don't change a thing, the show is great including the music.

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Bitternotsour's picture

December 08, 2023 at 03:02 pm

note that pass protection on the slow mo. damn impressive. Runyan kicked 95's ass.

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