EditorsNote: updated for minor statistical fixes
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, in the midst of a lost season, salvaged some pride by rallying past the New York Jets 44-38 in overtime on Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J.
Green Bay (6-8-1), which avoided the first 0-8 road season in franchise history, won the overtime toss and drove right down the field to win the game. The big play was a 33-yard penalty for pass interference on cornerback Trumaine Johnson on a deep pass attempt to receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Another interference penalty, this time on cornerback Buster Skrine, gave Green Bay a first-and-goal from the 6. Offensive holding wiped out Rodgers’ touchdown run but, on the next play, Rodgers hit receiver Davante Adams for a 16-yard touchdown.
Rodgers finished 37 of 55 for 442 yards with two touchdown passes and two touchdown runs.
After twice facing two-touchdown deficits, Rodgers got one last chance with the Packers trailing 35-30 with 3:12 remaining and 83 yards from the end zone.
Green Bay marched those 83 yards in 11 plays, including a 26-yard screen to running back Jamaal Williams and a 23-yard run by Rodgers. The quarterback barely reached the ball to the goal line for a score on fourth down, and his keeper on the two-point conversion gave Green Bay a 38-35 lead with 1:12 remaining.
The Jets’ special teams had a huge day, with a 99-yard kickoff-return touchdown by Andre Roberts, a forced fumble that set up a touchdown, a successful fake punt and another long return by Roberts. A 51-yard runback by Roberts following the Packers’ go-ahead touchdown set up Jason Myers’ 33-yard field goal, which sent the game to overtime.
Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold had another impressive outing in a losing cause for the Jets (4-11). He finished 24 of 35 for 341 yards and three touchdowns, with no turnovers. Robby Anderson had nine catches for 140 yards and one of the scores, a 33-yarder in the second quarter.
With an early two-touchdown lead cut to one point, the Jets appeared to seize control in the third quarter.
The Packers bungled the coverage on tight end Chris Herndon, who was wide open for a 5-yard touchdown that put the Jets in front 28-20. On the ensuing kickoff, Packers returner J’Mon Moore was drilled by rookie linebacker Anthony Wint, with Moore fumbling and cornerback Rashard Robinson recovering at the 18.
One play later, the Jets were in the end zone. Darnold found running back Elijah McGuire wide open in the flat. McGuire ran through a tackle by linebacker Blake Martinez and plowed through cornerback Josh Jackson at the goal line for a 20-yard score to make it 35-20.
Penalties killed the Jets. They were guilty of 16 infractions for 172 yards as they lost for the eighth time in nine games after a 3-3 start.
—Field Level Media