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‘I’ve had this game circled’ – Love finds redemption as Packers hold off Chiefs

Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love admitted Sunday’s win over the Kansas City Chiefs meant more as he atoned for a poor display against them on his first NFL start, declaring: “I’ve had this game circled for a long time”.

Love made his very first start at Arrowhead Stadium in November 2021 when Aaron Rodgers was sidelined by a bout of COVID-19, struggling in the face of the Chiefs’ blitz in a 13-7 defeat.

He threw 19-of-34 for 190 yards, one touchdown and one interception on that occasion.

It was a different story at Lambeau Field on Sunday, as Love went 25-of-36 for 267 passing yards, three interceptions and no picks in a 27-19 success.

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He helped the resurgent Packers to their third successive win as they built on their huge Thanksgiving victory over the Detroit Lions, giving Love a moment to savour.

“It’s huge. For me personally, obviously I’ve had this game circled for a long time,” Love said.

“On my first start, obviously, I didn’t play how I wanted to in the first game.

“So to be able to see these guys again and get the victory is huge. It’s just a great team win tonight. Everybody just balled out, so it was an awesome win.”

The Packers were 2-5 in late October but are now up to 6-6, and they currently occupy the final wild card spot in the NFC, sharing the same record as their divisional rivals the Minnesota Vikings.

Asked about how far he has come since last facing the Chiefs, Love said: “I’ve gotten more reps, I’m more comfortable understanding where I need to go with the ball.

“I think the O-line is doing a great job to be able to pick this stuff up. It’s not easy when they’re bringing some of these all-out blitzes, but they’ve been doing a great job giving me time.

“Then the receivers, obviously, they’re having awareness of when they need to be open and how long I’ve got and then we’re just going out there and making plays.

“We definitely know it’s something teams are going to bring, and we’ve got to be able to execute and go out there and be able to make sure they don’t do it again.”

The Chiefs, meanwhile, have lost three of their last five games, losing ground on the Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars in the battle for top seeding in the AFC.

Kansas City wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling was infuriated by the decision not to penalise Carrington Valentine for interference when he looked to haul in a deep pass from Patrick Mahomes in the final few seconds, but the Chiefs quarterback was unwilling to blame the officials for the loss.

“Obviously, the guy was probably a little early, but at the end of the game, they’re letting guys play,” Mahomes said of the late non-call.

“I’d rather you let the guys play and let the guys win on the field, but it’s hard. I can’t be wanting a flag. I have to try to go out there and win the game myself with the rest of my team-mates.”

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