The Green Bay Packers return stateside to host the New York Jets. After an embarrassing loss last week to the New York Giants, a game where they would blow a 20-10 lead to lose 27-22, the Packers offense looks to get back to their winning ways and continue their journey to find the ever-elusive rhythm on offense. Meanwhile the defense, following a questionably coached game last week, will attempt to shut down a Jets offense that is 2-0 with Zach Wilson at quarterback this season.
The first half was ugly for both teams, a defensive slugfest in which both offenses could only muster a field goal each. The Packers offense struggled heavily to start the game, the Jets defense found a lot of success in pressuring Rodgers and getting him for multiple sacks. To join in the disaster was the special teams. In contrast to the much improved season they’ve been having, the special teams looked terrible today. Allowing not only a blocked field goal but also a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown in the third quarter. In the first half the defense looked elite, holding the jets offense to only three points even when put in short field positions by offensive mishaps.
In the second half the floodgates opened, just not for the Packers. Breece Hall and the Jets rushing attack absolutely obliterated the Packers defense to the tune of 109 yards in the second half alone. While their pass defense was much improved compared to last week, it wasn’t enough as the run game was simply too effective against them, and they would allow 17 points in the second half. Those 17 points, and the extra seven off of the blocked punt touchdown in the 3rd quarter were too much for the Packers offense to overcome, who would continue to struggle like they have all year, save for one drive that ended with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Allen Lazard. Simply put, the Jets dominated the Packers in the second half on their way to a 24-10 win, handing Rodgers his first regular season loss at Lambeau in 15 games.
Player of the Game
– Robert Tonyan:
Despite the loss, Robert Tonyan had probably his best game in quite a while. Filling the void left by Randall Cobb’s injury, Tonyan was Rodgers’ go-to guy and he delivered. Racking up 10 catches for 90 yards on 12 targets, hopefully this is a good sign for the Packers to get him more involved in the offense.
– Randall Cobb was carted to the locker room early in the second half with an ankle injury, he did not return.
Another week, another disappointing loss to a team that does not nearly have the talent the Packers do, especially on defense. While it may not yet be time to hit the panic button, it’s time to start worrying some. For the second time in as many weeks, the Packers offense just did not show up to play, and questionable play calling is starting to hurt the team more than it has in the past. Despite claiming he would try to get Aaron Jones the ball more, Matt LaFleur only gave Jones 11 total touches today. The rushing game in general struggled and a big part of that comes from the offensive line’s performance today.
The Packers offensive line was beat nearly every play, LaFleur needs to change the lineup if they want to start succeeding on offense. Elgton Jenkins isn’t best utilized as a tackle and needs to be moved back to guard, the position he excels at playing. Sliding Jenkins to guard and putting Yosh Nijman at right tackle is the best way to utilize your best players strengths. Changes need to be made if the Packers want to turn the season around.
Defensively, they have to figure out how to contain the run game. The past two games have gotten out of hand because the opposing team just pounds the rock and the Packers defense just has no answers for it. They improved from last week to this week in the passing game, now just improve in this area and they will be fine. If the offense can get going so the defense isn’t on the field the majority of the time that will help as well.
The last thing I’ll say is this: the Packers front office needs to seriously consider trading for a wide receiver. The Packers don’t have a receiver who can beat man coverage like Davante Adams used to be able to do for them. If the Panthers are serious about trading DJ Moore, as rumors have claimed, then the Packers need to make a serious push for him. They NEED someone who will get open when opposing defenses go man coverage.
The Packers fall to 3-3 and will head to DC next week to take on the Washington Commanders.