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Packers GM Brian Gutekunst says final 10 games of season 'very important' for Jordan Love

The first seven games of the Jordan Love era in Green Bay have been a roller-coaster, with the first-year starter offering brief glimpses of positivity amid team-wide struggles.

General manager Brian Gutekunst, who selected Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, said on Wednesday that QB's struggles have been symbolic of the entire offense's sluggish start.

"A little bit up and down, like our entire offense. It's been a work in progress for the entire offense. There's been glimpses, particularly in the second halves, of really good football, but we have not started very well," Gutekunst told reporters. "I think that unit as a whole has a lot of work to do, but at the same time, I think they're committed to the process. I expect better results coming."

Slow starts have characterized the Packers' offense through seven games. Green Bay scored three points in the first half of Sunday's loss to Minnesota. For the season, the Packers have averaged a measly 4.1 points per game in the first half (fewest in the NFL) and have gone five consecutive games without a touchdown in the first two quarters.

The Packers have lost four straight contests to fall to 2-5 on the season. Love has thrown at least one INT in five consecutive games and eight total in those contests after avoiding a turnover in the first two games.

"We've got 10 games left. It's going to be a very important ten games," Gutekunst said. "I think he's done a lot of really good things. I really like the way he's responded to the adversity, how he's led the team. We've got to get better as a unit, and I expect that to happen over the next 10 games. We're going through some things that we knew we would go through. We haven't had the results we want, but I do like the way guys are responding to things."

Gutekunst reiterated that the team has "a lot of faith in Jordan" and that it's more than just the quarterback at issue with the rocky start.

"It's not just evaluating the quarterback, but everything. All the players. When the group as a whole is not functioning the way it should function, it's hard to evaluate anybody," Gutekunst said. "At the same time, it's on us to get that right so we can move forward and evaluate the guys we have in that room. When we're not clicking, it's tough to evaluate anything."

The young pass-catching corps surrounding Love did the young quarterback no favors early in the season, and offensive line issues have derailed some positivity. But Love, who signed a one-year extension back in May, isn't blameless as he's made mental errors, heaved far too many passes to no-man's land, and been inconsistent in his ball placement.

While the focus has been on the struggles of Love, the offense, and the play-calling, the defensive issues have been just as bad or worse. To succeed while breaking in a new quarterback, Green Bay needed Joe Barry's defense to lead the way. Through seven games, the group has disappointed, struggling to get off the field and lacking game-changing plays. 

It's been a wholesale disappointment for Gutekunst's club in 2023. The next 10 contests will determine how much change needs to come in 2024.

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