Ugly Game, Yellow Fever Result in First Road Win

In a contest that fans seemed to be on the fence about if winning or losing was the best result, Green Bay made sure they did not go winless away from Lambeau in defeating the lowly New York Jets in East Rutherford in a game plagued by missed opportunities, hot and cold offensive stretches and a game mired by penalties.

Coming into the game, Cheeseheads alike were unsure if losing and preserving their high draft status was the way to go. While there are obvious gains from this outlook, actually recording a victory in one of the more entertaining games of the season outweighs draft status every time.

The Jets, who came into the year playing for yet another high draft selection, rode Sam Darnold, Elijah McGuire and Robby Anderson on offens out to double digit leads on multiple occasions. Fortunately for Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers decided to show up and completely take over the game in the second half.

Here are important takeaways from Green Bay’s six win of the season.

Jamaal Williams fills in admirably for Aaron Jones

All season, the timeshare between Jones and Williams has been a constant topic of conversation, focused around the mismanagement of snaps between the two. Jones, who is the better back of the two, received fewer carries than Williams for the majority of the season, until as of late.

But with Jones on the shelf for the remainder of the year, Williams gets to step back into the lead back role, and did he shine.

As the only true running back to see the field, Williams rushed 15 times for 95 yards and a touchdown, averaging 6.3 yards with a long of 19, pinballing through the Gang Green defense all afternoon. On his score, Williams bounced a pitch to the left outside, ran through a few arm tackles and stretched out from about the two yard line to break the plane for the touchdown.

Through the air, Williams chipped in six catches for 61 yards on nine targets, tied for the second-most targets on the team with Marquez Valdes-Scantling, behind Davante Adams’ whopping 18 targets.

156 total yards and a score for a team that threw the ball 55 times in the game is a huge way to balance out a pass-heavy attack, so Williams stepped up again. Look for Williams to rush for 100+ yards and two scores next week against Detroit.

Unsung receivers finally come back to help Adams

On a day that everyone and their mother was being targeted for a pass, Green Bay’s rookie pass catchers came back to be relevant in the passing attack.

Before going down after a nasty hit, Equanimeous St. Brown led the team in yardage, as he hauled in all five of his targets for 94 yards, including a long of 34. He averaged a shade under 19 yards per catch, and he was one of two security blankets underneath for Rodgers.

The other rookie receiver, MVS, also made five catches, but was targeted nine times. He accounted for 75 yards and averaged 15 yards per catch, with a long of 42.

Jake Kumerow has finally risen to fulfill his state hero status, catching his first career touchdown on a 49-yard bomb from Rodgers in the second quarter. Kumerow had three catches for 68 yards, so outside of the touchdown catch he wasn’t featured too much.

Finally, Adams converted his team-high targets into 11 catches for 71 yards and the game-winning score in the overtime period. He is trying to catch two Green Bay legends, Sterling Sharpe for receptions and old friend Jordy Nelson for yardage, in the season team record books, and he is two catches and 134 yards away from breaking both records, achievable marks next week against Detroit.

Look for both of these records to be broken by halftime next week, if Rodgers is playing.

Defense full of holes, but does not break

Being picked apart by a rookie quarterback is not something a defensive coordinator can ever hang his hat on, especially when it comes from one that is currently leading a team to a 4-10 season.

Mike Pettine’s schemes did not seem to fool Darnold in the least, as he easily eclipsed 300 yards, while throwing for three scores and not commiting a turnover. This was one of Darnold’ finest performances this season, and the Jets seem like they may actually have a franchise quarterback to build around.

The defense was actually led by someone not named Blake Martinez, as Josh Jones had 12 total tackles and one pass defense in the win. Martinez was second with seven tackles and one of two sacks (other went to Kyler ‘Sack’rell), and Tony Brown was third with six tackles, one pass defense and one tackle for loss in another impressive performance.

Pettine has been very consistent in his schemes and coverages throughout the season, but Sunday’s game was not a bright spot. He seemed to be getting too cute with certain coverages, confusing the defensive backfield and letting Anderson and company run all over the backs, although Jaire Alexander was out for the majority of the game after experiencing a leg injury, putting Green Bay down their number one corner.

All in all, this game did not have one percent of importance, except to the players on the field, and they played like it had playoff implications, Thankful for both teams not throwing in the towels on the season, this ended up being one of the most enjoyable non-important contests of the year.

Looking ahead, Green Bay will get one final look at certain players going into the offseason for developmental purposes. Hopefully, the likes of DeShone Kizer, Robert Tonyan, Kendall Donnerson, Natrell Jamerson, Tony Brown, Josh Jackson and others receive more playing time than they have recently to help prepare for what needs to be worked on in the offseason.

As always, leave any thoughts, comments or concerns in the comments section below.    

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Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23

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29 thoughts on “Ugly Game, Yellow Fever Result in First Road Win

  1. Lose the last 2 games and you receive a top 10 draft pick. I see no benefit in the win over the Jets.

    1. We now pause from this article for some raw, honest intellect, courtesy of Chuck from Atlanta.

    2. Except the taste of winning on the road. Many current Packer players will be gone after the Lions game. We can not keep maybes. We need more speed, attitude, swag, confidence, mental toughness, and nasty!

  2. Kumerow should have been featured more! 3 plays, a TD and 67 yards. Start him against the Lions for a true spark as I’ve been saying since he was activated. A gem not used by MM or Phil- gone. Still dumb Packers sticking mostly with same offensive schemes and players used!

      1. Agree. Why not? Knows the routes, assignments, runs correct play, has good speed, catches the ball, and has Rosgers trust. Can’t ask for much more.

        1. I see Adams at one wideout and MSV at the other going into camp. With Brown backing up both and Kumerow as the slot. I’m not sure Allison will be as good after the injury. Moore might be better.

      2. Disagree. By next year, MVS and ESB will have another camp under their belts. They’ll start with Davante, which is a terrifying trio.

        But Kumerow will factor BIG. Love that guy. Cobb and Allison can’t be shown the door fast enough, in my view.

      3. I hope he starts and plays a whole game! Also, I want to see Tonyan play a full game against the kittens.

  3. Darnold, Rosen? Pettine may just be gone. I realize we are missing some parts, but his strategy against a rookie QBs in Darnold and Rosen were extremely poor. No excuses for Pertine. I still say sitting in the box, like Capers, is a huge mistake. Get on the field and command some energy lard ass. Someone else can call from the press box; most teams will change offensive play at the line anyway!

    1. I think if you add King and Alexander to that group our coverage looks a lot better.

        1. How many games did Alexander and King start and finish? Week 1 and 2, plus 6 and 8.

          And not much help from thesafeties.

          Move Jackson to safety to compete against Brice and Jones and draft a safety to take over from Tramon. Line up King, Alexander, and Freeland and I guarantee this pass defense looks better.

          1. Not without a consistant, rotating pass rush; which the Packers haven’t had for years.

            1. Amen, Dennis! We need to draft at least 2 pass rushers next season–the secondary will be great with all our young talent.

              Speed up front! Speed up front!

            2. Packers are one of the top teams in the league at getting to the QB. 6th in sacksand sack %.

              Many pieces are in place, but in order to play pass defense you’d better have 9 healthy, capable DBs on game day, another on the inactive 53, and at least one more on the practice squad. We’re around halfway there.

            3. Old school. Agree on healthy backs. But the front three will make us a force and really turn things around if healthy and a steady rotation for four quarters. Nothing like heavy rush pressure to make DBs and linebackers much better.

            4. Totally agree on the front three….really a front five in gameday. I count Clark (star) Daniels (30 by next year) Lowry (contract year next year) and some guys like Adams and Lancaster. I’d rather add a stud to that group than edge rusher.

            5. NOT on third down when needed most. Sacks, okay, if on third and long! Otherwise a skewed statistic. Dont need to be a math statiscisin to figure this out. Eye test enough.

            6. The Packer defense is rated #6 with a 3rd down conversion rate of 36.36%, right behind the Ravens, Seahawks, and Bears.

    2. Name me one NFL DC who runs the D from the field. Additionally, tell me how many of the guys who lined up as starters against the Jets did that at their real position that did it week one, I’ll spot you Martinez and Mathews.

  4. Nothing about this win matches a better draft position. Happy feelings mean ZERO by 5 minutes after the season, whereas a better draft position means EVERYTHING.

    What a ludicrous article.

  5. The “We should lose more games for draft position” guys might want to remember the words of some guy named Vince Lombardi: “Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”

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