200 Miles From the Citi

October 31, 2010 4:40 PM

Beaten At Their Own Game


On Halloween, the Green Bay Packers came to the Meadowlands dressed as the New York Jets.

They were better on defense.

They were better on special teams.

And they bullied their way to a 9-0 win over the team which had won five straight games using that strategy.

There are certainly specific spots you could lay blame for the Jets' loss.

Jerricho Cotchery, for instance, who had his hands on four out of five passes in the Jets' final two possessions.  He couldn't bring any of them down for a catch.  (I'll be generous and say he should have had three of them.  Maybe four.)

The officiating hurt the Jets, too - twice they called interceptions when the defender wrested the ball from the Jets receiver after the receiver should have been called down.  (They didn't whistle either receiver down, and the Jets' challenged the first, but couldn't really get anywhere with the challenge, and they had no challenges left the second time it happened.  Again, though, since it was ruled an interception on the field, I don't think a challenge would have even mattered.)

But the point is, you can't lay all the blame on the Jets.  The Packers earned the win.  Both defenses were good - the Packers' was better.  The Packers' offense took advantage of good field position on a failed Jets fake punt (it was a great call, I don't blame the Jets for trying it) for their first field goal, which stood as the only points for most of the game.  (The field goal was also the first points of any kind the Jets have allowed in the first quarter this season.)  The Packers also got their second of three field goals following the second of the bad-call interceptions.  (Their third score came with less than a minute to go, after a Jets' failed fourth down.)

The Packers beat the Jets on special teams all day.  Though Mason Crosby missed a field goal, he hit on three.  Nick Folk missed his only chance on the day.  Steve Weatherford punted well, but not as good as Tim Masthay of the Packers.  The Packers won the field position battle every time they were on the field - which is usually what the Jets do.

The Jets' offense was less than stellar, but the Packers defense had a lot to do with that as well. Credit them a bit on those interceptions.  They were able to take the ball away from the Jets' receivers - they hounded them enough to do it - give them credit for forcing the refs into a bad call twice.  Whenever the Jets had a big play, the Green Bay defense stiffened up and switched the momentum.

The Jets were absolutely taken out of their game on Sunday...and the Packers used the Jets' game plan to do it.

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