The Jets’ bye week hurt the defense a lot less than it did their offense.
In fact, the long layoff destroyed everything Mark Sanchez and company had built over their hot start, as exhibited yesterday during a 9-0 loss to the Packers. It marked the Jets’ first shutout loss since 2006.
"We let one get away from us," said Jets coach Rex Ryan. "We're going to learn from it and get better for the next game."
While the defense limited the 5-3 Packers to just three Mason Crosby field goals, the Packers’ defense shut down Sanchez, LaDainian Tomlinson, and the receivers. The vaunted running game was held to 99 yards, with Tomlinson going for 54 yards on 16 carries.
Save for a 49-yard throw to Jerricho Cotchery that went to waste on Nick Folk’s missed third-quarter field goal, the offense couldn’t move the ball.
They even wasted Brad Smith’s 47-yard kickoff return that started the second half, going three-and-out.
A 44-yard, fourth-quarter completion to Dustin Keller also went by the boards when Tramon Williams broke up a third-down end zone throw and a fourth-down toss, both to Cotchery.
The 5-2 Jets turned the ball over three times, twice by Sanchez in his second straight multiple-interception game. The Packers limited Sanchez to a horrible 16-for-38, 256-yard performance plagued by receiver drops.
The only points until Mason’s 41-yard fourth-quarter field goal came courtesy of Ryan. Trying to work some special teams voodoo on Halloween, Ryan went into his playbook of tricks and pulled out a daring fake punt on third-and-9 from his 29.
It almost worked, as Steve Weatherford streaked down the sideline, apparently putting the ball down past the first-down marker. But Mike McCarthy’s replay challenge showed Anthony Smith had knocked Weatherford’s left foot out of bounds short of the sticks, and the ball turned over on downs at the 36.
The Jets’ defense let up a 30-yard pass to Greg Jennings, but the Packers wound up settling for Mason Crosby’s 20-yard field goal.