Big Bounce Back - Packers: 31 Jets: 24
I really want to be extraordinarily excited about this win, but the first quarter and a half still bothers me.
The Jets came into Lambeau Field and looked like they were going to run the Packers right back into the locker room. They were bigger, faster, and just better than the guys wearing Green and Gold, and they knew it, too.
Then the switch flipped, Aaron Rodgers became Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson turned into a superhero, and the Packers stuffed the stat sheet all the way to a win. Yes, it was a satisfying win, but it's not one without a few questions.
Which offense is the real Packers offense? The one who went missing for the first six quarters of the season, or the one who piled up offense in the second half of this week's win?
Is there a defense hiding somewhere in Lambeau Field? It looked like it at times this week, but other times it looked like Geno Smith was throwing against air.
Who is Dom Capers and why does everyone on Twitter want him fired? I know there used to be a defensive coach by that name, but I thought the defensive guys have just been coaching themselves the last couple years.
Does 1-1 feel better than 0-2, even if the one win was pretty ugly at times? I can answer that one: it's a yes, for sure.
Jordy Nelson (9 catches, 209 yards, 1 TD) - Could it be anyone else? Saying Nelson was terrific doesn't begin to encapsulate the awesomeness of his performance. This was only the fifth 200 yard receiving game in Packers history, ranking only behind Don Beebe's 11 catch, 220 yard performance during the 1996 Super Bowl season. Typically, finishing behind Don Beebe in something wouldn't be that exciting, but in this instance, I think it's okay.
Mike Daniels (5 tackles, 1 sack) - The vocal leader of the Packers' defense, Daniels played like he talks: loud. He had one sack, a couple nice stops, and his hit on Geno Smith led to an interception by Tramon Williams. More of this, please.
Mason Crosby (3/3 field goals, long of 55) - I can remember a time in the not-too-distant past where some people may have called for Mason Crosby to be replaced. Those people are hard to find now, because since dispatching Giorgio Tavecchio and Zach Ramirez in training camp last year, Crosby has been kicking the heck out of the ball. With four successful field goals this season, Crosby has now made 37 of his last 41 field goal attempts dating back to last year. That'll do.
3.6 - yards gained per carry on the Packers' 22 rushing attempts
I commend the Packers for sticking with the run as much as they did, but man, there was just not a lot to be had on the ground. The Jets are going to cause a lot of headaches this year if their defense can avoid brain farts like the ones that plagued them in the second half against the Packers.
8.2 - yards per pass by Aaron Rodgers
That's an improvement of 2.5 yards over last week. Sure, an 80 yard completion helps those numbers a bit, but even without Nelson's monster catch and run, Rodgers would still have been more than half a yard better than he was against the Seahawks.
65 - rushing yards, on 25 attempts, for Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson
The Chrisses rampaged over the Raiders last week, but the Packers kept them in check. The Jets had success early with read-option looks, but forgot about them as the game went on. Why? We'll never know, but Johnson and Ivory stayed bottled up.
Derek, Derek, Derek
It's tough to be Derek Sherrod. First you can't beat out Marshall Newhouse as a rookie. Then you're on ice for two years after your leg gets horribly broken through no fault of your now. Now you're expected to fill-in not only for Bryan Bulaga, but for his popular and talented backup, Don Barclay. Sherrod was rough early, but smoothed out a little as the game went on. Hopefully, he manages to capture something close to his potential, because I'm not sure there's anyone else out there who can come to the rescue at this point.
While Percy Harvin runs jet sweeps with the Seahawks and Cordarrelle Patterson becomes an offense unto himself in Minnesota, the best the Packers can do with Randall Cobb is pretend like he's a tiny version of Eddie Lacy and line him up in the backfield. Here's a guy who played three positions in college, but the coaches can't find him anything interesting to do. He's talented, but underutilized.
Bye, Bye, Boykin?
Were the coaches just waiting for an excuse, or was Jarret Boykin's drop really that bad? I'd tend towards the former, because Davante Adams jumped into Boykin's spot and never looked back. Five catches for 50 yards isn't a Pro Bowl performance, but Adams managed more in one game of serious playing than Boykin did in two.
Play like you mean it
The Packers looked lackadaisical early on, especially on defense. That might actually be an understatement. They looked like they didn't care to be out there in the least, which was good because they didn't have to be out there long at all. Eventually they came around and decided they wanted to play, but there was a while where the defense didn't look like they cared if the Jets scored in one play or 15. Seeing the attitude change was fun.
A pulse for Peppers
He had another sack taken away, but even without the statistical designation of success, Peppers looked a little better this week than last. I'd still like to see a truly dominant Julius Peppers, but maybe this is what he is at this point. A flash now and then is still better than what we've from Nick Perry, though. Maybe that's all it takes to be the sidekick to Clay Matthews.
A win is a win
As I said up top, it's better to be 1-1 than 0-2, no matter how ugly the win is. Huge credit to the Packers for hanging tough when things looked bleak in the first half. Whether or not they should ever have been there is a different matter, but we'll take the win.
Up next - The Packers travel to Detroit for a noon date with the Lions.