Green Bay Packers Turn Jets On. Complete Comeback to Beat New York
The Green Bay Packers were down 14-3 at home and on the verge of starting 0-2. Then, Aaron Rodgers pulled off a miraculous comeback and led the Packers to a 31-24 win over the New York Jets.
Rodgers and rookie center Corey Linsley fumbled the opening snap, and New York recovered. The Jets capitalized, as second-year quarterback Geno Smith scored a one-yard touchdown to take a 7-0 lead. More bad news for the Packers, New York got the ball back. Smith and the Jets went 84 yards in two and half minutes, as Eric Decker caught a 29-yard touchdown. Green Bay kicked a field goal, and the defense on the next drive couldn't stop the Jets again. Chris Ivory rushed for a four-yard touchdown to give New York a 21-3 lead with 10:38 in the second quarter.
Was it panic time for Rodgers and the Packers? Nope. Good teams with veteran quarterbacks don't throw the white flag. With 3:12 before halftime, Mason Crosby inched the Packers closer by kicking two field goals. New York led 21-9. Green Bay couldn't get into the endzone, though. The defense was finally making a few stops and all the Packers offense could do was score three points. That was until late in the second quarter when Tramon Williams picked off Smith deep in Packers territory. Then in 1:44, Rodgers and the Packers went 97-yards down the field for a touchdown. (Rodgers found Randall Cobb in the endzone to make it 21-16 with eight seconds remaining in the second). In the third, the Packers defense got some stops and with 5:45 to go in the quarter, Rodgers passed to Cobb again, and Green Bay took a 24-21 lead after the two-point conversion. The Jets tied it with 2:21 in the third, but Rodgers wasn't going to let this one get away. In 13 seconds, Nelson burned past Dee Milliner and Calvin Pryor, and he caught an 80-yard touchdown from Rodgers. The Packers were back in the lead.
That was the end of the scoring, as Green Bay went on to win the game, 31-24. The Jets had a chance to tie the game in the fourth when Smith found Jeremy Kerley in the endzone, but New York iced themselves and called a timeout that brought back the touchdown. Rex Ryan didn't say he called the timeout, and said it could have been offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg or Smith.
Rodgers was 25 of 42 for 346 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. He and Nelson had a big day. He threw to the Kansas State standout nine times for 209 yards and a touchdown. The biggest part of the passing game might have been Rodgers' new connection with rookie wide receiver Davante Adams out of Fresno State. Rodgers completed five passes to the rookie for 50 yards.
Outside of the offense's big comeback, the defense showed they can stop teams and get off the field to give Rodgers a chance to score points. Williams' interception in the second quarter gave the Packers all the momentum, and Sunday's win over the Jets was a big confidence win for Green Bay.
Next week, the Packers head to Detroit to play the Lions at noon on FOX.
Sam Tastad will have pre-and-post game report for the Packers all season long. Follow him on Twitter @samtastad and email him at email@example.com.