GREEN BAY - “That was very humbling, when you’re in your own building and get taken like that.”
The words of Packers head coach Matt LaFleur after his team got beaten soundly in every facet of the game by the New York Jets (4-2) Sunday at Lambeau Field, 27-10.
The Jets stymied everything the Packers threw at them offensively, holding Green Bay to just 60 yards on the ground and frustrating quarterback Aaron Rodgers into throwing 15 incompletions.
Early on, New York’s offense was not markedly better than Green Bay’s, except for running back Breece Hall, who racked up 116 yards on 20 carries (5.8 yards per carry), including a backbreaking 34-yard early fourth quarter touchdown scamper that made the score 24-10 and essentially put the Packers down for good.
Even Green Bay’s improved special teams struggled, allowing a blocked Mason Crosby field goal on the first play of the second quarter. As if that weren’t enough, less than three minutes after New York took their first lead at 10-3, Pat O’Donnell’s punt on the ensuing stalled possession was blocked by the Jets’ Michael Clemons and recovered by teammate Will Parks for a touchdown.
In a hiccup, what was a 3-3 stalemate became a 17-3 New York lead and they never looked back.
Green Bay’s offense never mustered anything sustainable, save for their one touchdown scoring drive in the third quarter.
During that drive, the Packers marched 75 yards in 6 plays, capped off by a 25-yard Aaron Rodgers to Allan Lazard touchdown pass, but it was much too little, much too late for an offense that continues to struggle to find an identity.
“We’re in a pretty bad predicament right now,” LaFleur said of his team’s offensive output for much of the season.
Overall, Rodgers was pedestrian on the stats sheet again (26-41, 246 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT). He did avoid an early disaster when replay ruled a pass attempt to Robert Tonyan on the team’s first offensive possession hit the ground just before New York’s Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner scooped it up and ran it back for a 35-yard touchdown.
Still, Gardner celebrated near the Packers tunnel after the game while wearing a foam cheesehead made famous by Packers fans. Allan Lazard took umbrage and knocked the yellow headwear off Gardner’s head but downplayed the incident in the locker room after the game.
“I’m not gonna freak out or make any grand statements,” Rodgers told reporters after the game.
With the loss, the Packers fall to 3-3 on the season. They now embark on a three-game road trip beginning next Sunday at Washington (2-4).