Packers defense pitches shutout at Jets to move into first place in the NFC North : Packers Insider

Packers defense pitches shutout at Jets to move into first place in the NFC North

October 31, 2010 by  
Filed under News

Oct 31, 2010 ~ by Brian E Murphy

~New Meadowlands Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ – Aaron Rodgers and the offense were atrocious Sunday afternoon in New Jersey.

Combined with some more dropped passes, including a big one by James Jones in the 2nd half, Rodgers misfired all over the place on a day he finished with a 44% completion percentage, and passer rating in the 50’s.

He guided the offense to a very un-clutch 2-14 on third down conversions, while leading the offense to a grand total of 273 yards. But as bad as Rodgers and the receivers were, they didn’t turn the ball over, the special teams didn’t allow a return for a touchdown, and they only were called for 15 yards in penalties. In the end, that was good enough. Or “un-bad” enough.

And that was thanks to the defense. Yes the same depleted defense that was missing Barnett, Burnett, Pickett, Neal, Jones, Bigby, Harris, Martin, and Harrell.

Coming into this game, many experts expected the Jets vaunted running game to chew up the Packers thin defense, especially coming off of their bye week, fresh and rested.

It didn’t happen. The Packers, anchored by BJ Raji, held the duo of LaDanian Tomlinson and Shonne Greene to a measly 76 yards on 22 carries, a 3.4 average.

Desmond Bishop led the way with 10 solo tackles, while NFL sack leader Clay Matthews added 5 tackles and a very important sack on the Jets potential winning drive, on 3rd down.

Rookie C.J Wilson led the defensive line with three tackles, and continued to show why I felt he was a late round steal in April’s NFL Draft. I still expect Wilson to start crashing into opposing quarterbacks, because he showed that ability in college. However, it’s pretty tough for him to do much of that when Dom Capers usually only employs one or two defensive linemen on passing downs.

Green Bay Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop (55) tackles New York Jets running back LaDainian Tomlinson during the second quarter of an NFL football game at New Meadowlands Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010, in East Rutherford, N.J.

On the back end, both starting cornerbacks Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson came up with very strange interceptions. On both occasions, the wide receiver and Packer cornerback went to the ground with the ball in each guy’s hands, but the Packer won the battle each time for critical interceptions.

Cullen Jenkins returned to action after missing the past game and a half. He only registered a solo tackle, but he often pushed the pocket back into Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. Newcomer, NT Howard Green, was welcomed back to New York by Jets fans, and he added a couple of tackles and some very important downs played for the depleted defensive line.

All the points were scored by Packer kicker Mason Crosby, who was 3-for-4 on his field goal attempts. The Jets kicker Nick Folk missed his only field goal attempt in the second half.

In the end, the Packers came away with an important and surprising victory, and every W in the W-L column is important this season.

The Packers now go home and will host the seemingly hibernating Dallas Cowboys in NBC’s Football Night in America, again, like last week versus Minnesota. Dallas is coming off of an embarrassing 35-17 home loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. They made Jaguars QB David Garrard look like the NFL MVP as he accounted for 5 touchdowns and had a near-perfect 157 passer rating.

Dallas is now 1-6 on the year, and this was the season many experts penciled the Cowboys into the Super Bowl, which is in Dallas. Head Coach Wade Phillips might not last until kickoff as he’s been on the hot seat all year long, and it’s now reached the boiling point in Big D.

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