Packers-Jets game recap
We’ll take it. That’s where we can start after the Green Bay Packers left the pizza in long enough to burn within a shred of pure charcoal but managed to get it out in time before burning the whole house down in a 31-24 win over the New York Jets on Sunday, a score that just looks too straightforward to accurately depict the true weirdness that was flowing through the veins of this game down to the very end.
We’ll take it, because comebacks do show you something, and because, even though Geno Smith’s second quarter interception on a drive where the Jets likely would’ve come away with more points already up 21-9 was the break in the game, New York never combusted or fell apart while the Packers were calmly rallying – even their comeback felt sleepily methodical, like they were taking their time because they already knew how this was going to end – and were one now-infamous timeout away from tying the score again late in the fourth. That adds something to this win – Green Bay didn’t simply show a bit of life and wait for the Jets to implode. The Jets went down clawing at the eyes, and played well enough to win. That makes it a little bit better when trying to pick out the nutrients from the empty calories in a win that still leaves you hungry for something more.
We’ll take it, but boy, opposing quarterbacks sure do seem pretty comfortable in the pocket. Whether running the read option, sliding outside for easy yards on the ground, or waiting for a receiver to pop open, Smith looked measured and under-control against a defense hanging by fingernails, on its heels, far too often. We don’t have any idea what to make of this team right now, and it could be that the Jets will be better than most thought, but we’ll say this about Green Bay in its early stages of life in 2014: They scrounged up enough plays when they had to have them against New York; in the secondary in the second half, when Davon House and Morgan Burnett in particular made beautiful plays on passes defensed, and Tramon Williams only appears to be getting more Charles Woodson-ian as a veteran. Mike Daniels is a damn rage-missile almost always ready to shoot off in some direction, and the pressure he did apply during the game always felt timely and impactful. Eddie Lacy having only four total carries at some point in the third quarter is certainly a mysterious use of a workhorse running back against a team putting uncomfortable amounts of heat on Aaron Rodgers most of the afternoon, but hey, Davante Adams looked smooth in the chances he had to make plays, Mason Crosby kept the team in it with gorgeous kicks, and Jordy Nelson’s alien magnetism to the ball is stunning in its reliability. How many stupid-hard catches does he have to make before they start to feel normal? It seems like a question Nelson is intent on answering someday. This offense isn’t anywhere near close to humming, though; a problem for a team that’s probably going to need lots of points in the coming weeks.
We’ll take it because wins are always the cure-all for a day, no matter much flat-tired football was played before Green Bay finally just ditched the skidding vehicle they were in and started running. But the Packers have issues, to be sure, and that three-week stretch of divisional games starts now, with everyone in the NFC North knotted at 1-1. For a few days we’re all cured even if whatever’s broken doesn’t feel close to fixed yet. A win is a win and we’ll take it, but we’re not sure how many more will, or can, come looking like this.