Skip to main content

There's no telling what'll unfold in a Packers-Jets clash

Last three meetings, plus both teams’ early drama in ’22, could mean anything goes Sunday at Lambeau Field

QB Aaron Rodgers
QB Aaron Rodgers

GREEN BAY – As a member of the AFC, the Jets are an uncommon opponent for the Packers, and uncommon is the right word to describe the kinds of games they've played over the last dozen years.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has faced the Jets three times, and each time has featured a different sort of contest. To review:

Oct. 31, 2010: Packers 9, Jets 0

On Halloween afternoon just outside the Big Apple, a defensive slugfest ensued. The Packers' defense turned a corner, blanking the Jets with the help of three takeaways, as Charles Woodson had an interception as well as a forced fumble and recovery, while Tramon Williams also had a pick.

Green Bay's offense didn't do much, but three Mason Crosby field goals were enough, while the Packers' defense began a streak of six games over which it allowed just 53 total points.

Sept. 14, 2014: Packers 31, Jets 24

Coming off an opening loss at Seattle, the Packers fell behind 21-3 in the second quarter and were staring an 0-2 start in the face before rallying. Two Crosby field goals, plus two touchdown catches from Randall Cobb (and a two-point conversion) catapulted Green Bay into a 24-21 lead.

Then after the Jets tied the game, the back-and-forth affair was settled by an 80-yard TD pass from Aaron Rodgers to Jordy Nelson late in the third quarter. Nelson finished with nine catches for 209 yards, the first 200-yard game for a Green Bay receiver in 10 years.

This wild one still wasn't over, though, as the Jets appeared to tie the game on a Geno Smith TD pass with about five minutes left, but the New York sideline had called timeout just before the snap. The Packers eventually stopped the Jets on fourth down in Green Bay territory to get the win.

Dec. 23, 2018: Packers 44, Jets 38 OT

In the third of four games Joe Philbin served as Green Bay's interim coach to finish out the season, a shootout evolved out east. The Jets jumped on top 14-0, the Packers got a 49-yard TD reception from Jake Kumerow, and New York's Andre Roberts immediately followed with a 99-yard kickoff return for a score.

Eventually, the Jets led 35-20 entering the fourth quarter when the Packers rallied with a Crosby field goal and two long touchdown drives covering 94 and 83 yards. Rodgers finished both with 1-yard TD runs, plus a two-point conversion of his own on the second score for a 38-35 lead with 1:12 left. The Jets countered with a field goal with just 17 seconds on the clock to tie the game and send it to overtime. The Packers won the toss, marched down the field, and Rodgers found Davante Adams for a 16-yard score to end it, Adams' 11th reception of the game.

Rodgers completed 37-of-55 passes for 442 yards, the second-most completions and tied for the second-most yards in his career. Rookie Sam Darnold nearly matched him with 341 passing yards, and the two teams combined for 26 penalties worth 258 yards. The game was the only one the Packers won on the road all year in their last playoff-less campaign.

Which brings us to 2022, where the third different Jets coach (Rex Ryan in '14, Todd Bowles in '18, Robert Saleh now) will face a third different Packers coach in as many meetings (Mike McCarthy, Philbin, Matt LaFleur).

The coaching connection is obviously a storyline, with LaFleur and Saleh being very close friends, and LaFleur's brother Mike working under Saleh as his offensive coordinator.

On top of that, and in setting the stage for what could be another strange game between these two teams, both the Packers and Jets have endured their share of drama in this young season.

New York's two previous road games have featured intense fourth-quarter comebacks. At Cleveland in Week 2, the Jets trailed 30-17 with just 1:55 left. A 66-yard TD pass to Corey Davis, a successful onside kick, and a 53-yard TD drive capped by a 15-yard scoring pass to rookie Garrett Wilson with just 22 seconds left gave the Jets their only lead of the day. An interception at midfield with six seconds left was the final highlight in an improbable 31-30 triumph.

Two weeks later at Pittsburgh, the Jets were down 20-10 in the fourth quarter before driving 81 yards for a TD, getting an interception, and then going 65 yards for the winning TD with 16 seconds left. An intercepted Hail Mary preserved a 24-20 victory.

Wins like that, combined with a dominant fourth quarter last week in blowing out the AFC East-rival Dolphins 40-17, have these Jets looking nothing like last year's four-win club.

"We know it's a very young football team that we're playing, but they've got a ton of talent, and you can see it," LaFleur said. "I think it's a matter of time before they really hit their stride.

"Again, I know obviously (there's) a lot of familiarity with the coaching staff there, guys that I've got a ton of respect for that I know are going to do a great job of coaching their guys up, and when you do that and you get talent, you've got a chance to be pretty good. It doesn't happen overnight, but I think you've seen the strides that they've made in a short period of time. It's been pretty impressive."

Meanwhile the Packers have crammed a ton of their own drama into the last three weeks, needing to stop a Tampa Bay two-point conversion with 14 seconds left, getting the tying score in the fourth quarter against New England before winning in overtime, and seeing a late drive fizzle inside the Giants' 10-yard line last week in London.

Add it all up – the recent history between these teams, plus the last few weeks for both current squads – then toss in the only noon CT kickoff at Lambeau Field this season and the '50s Classic uniforms the Packers will be wearing, and it feels like a recipe for who-knows-what on Sunday.

In some respects, that's every week in the NFL. But it's not easy to make a full column of craziness out of two teams that rarely play each other. So consider the warning of wildness delivered.

Related Content