GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Breece Hall, Quinnen Williams and the young New York Jets are making a compelling statement to the rest of the NFL.
They’re not the same old Jets, who haven’t made the playoffs since the 2010 season, the league’s longest active drought.
Hall ran for 116 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown, and Williams had two of New York’s four sacks against Aaron Rodgers as the Jets won their third straight, 27-10 over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
“It just shows we’re moving up,” said Hall, a second-round rookie who has quickly become a key playmaker on offense. “I feel like a lot of people expected it to be a surprise if we won this game, but we expected to come in and win this game.”
Their confidence was evident in their profits.
Hall celebrated his touchdown in the fourth quarter by doing his own version of a “Lambeau Leap” in a gathering of Jets fans.
“We had actually all talked about it before the game,” Hall said. “We were like, whichever one of us scores, we’ve got to do the ‘Lambeau Leap.’ Brax (Braxton Berrios) got the first one, but I don’t think there were any Jets fans on that side that he scored. So when I scored, I had to do it.”
Jets rookie cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner was seen after the game modeling one of the cheesehead hats typically worn by Packers fans while walking around Lambeau Field.
Gardner said afterward that some Jets fans had given it to him.
“Just being able to play against someone like Aaron Rodgers, that was a real blessing,” Gardner said. “I said I grew up playing Madden and he’s always been on Madden since I can remember. Running off the track with that cheese head, with cheese on your head, that was a crazy feeling right there. I will never forget that.”
The Jets (4-2) are off to their best six-game start since 2015, when they were also 4-2 before finishing with a 10-6 record.
They feed off of their coach’s mindset.
“Just keep hitting them body blow after body blow after body blow and keep hitting them,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said. “Just keep punching them in the mouth. O-line just keep pushing and lean on them. And we felt that if we could just keep taking them into the deep water, they would find out that they can’t swim. It was just a mindset.”
In the end, the Packers sank.
Green Bay (3-3) has lost consecutive regular-season games within the same season for the first time since coach Matt LaFleur’s arrival in 2019. The Packers fell 27-22 to the New York Giants in London last week.
The Jets, whose offensive coordinator is LaFleur’s younger brother Mike, outgained Green Bay 179-60 in a game in which Zach Wilson was just 10 of 18 for 110 yards.
Rodgers was asked after the game if he felt the Packers’ season got a little shaky as the team fell to .500.
“We’ve got to be realistic about where we’re at,” said Rodgers, who went 26 of 41 for 246 yards with a touchdown. “We’ve played a couple of weird games the last two. We’ve got to play better. But shaky? Only if people break rank. I think it’s going to be interesting to see the comments from all our guys and coaches and hopefully we stick together.
“That’s the important thing. Until I see us break ranks, I won’t say there’s any wavering going on.”
Rodgers had injured his right thumb while being sacked as he prepared to throw a Hail Mary pass on the final play against the Giants. The thumb kept Rodgers from practicing Wednesday.
He said after the game that his thumb was “a little sore,” but added that it only affected him on “maybe a couple (of throws), but not too many.”
New York broke a 3-all tie and moved ahead for good by scoring two touchdowns in less than 2 1/2 minutes in the third quarter.
Berrios gave the Jets the lead by scoring on a 20-yard end-around. After New York stopped Green Bay on its next possession, Michael Clemons blocked a punt and Will Parks got the ball and drove 20 yards into the end zone.
The Packers got back into the game when Rodgers threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Allen Lazard later in the third.
New York quickly regained control.
Hall scored on his 34-yard burst to open the fourth quarter and make it 24-10, the longest run from scrimmage in the young career of the freshman second-round pick from Iowa State.
“It was supposed to be a reverse pass,” Hall said. “I was going to put it to Garrett (Wilson), but I felt like the D-end was too far up the field, so I couldn’t get the pitch away. I just saw daylight and just let my natural ability take over.”
The Packers entered Sunday having won 20 of the last 21 home games Rodgers had started against AFC teams, including 11 straight.
But the reigning MVP had a frustrating afternoon against the Jets’ promising young defense.
“We feel like our D-line matches up from an advantage standpoint against anybody, whether it’s cockiness or unbridled confidence, whatever it is,” Saleh said. “We love our D-line. We think they’re a rolling ball of butcher knives, and there’s a lot of them that can play at a high level.”
They begin to realize how high they can go.
“We’ll see where we can go when we do the things we need to do,” Williams said.
Packers OG Jake Hanson left with a biceps injury. … Packers WR Randall Cobb went to the locker room on a cart after injuring an ankle in the third quarter. … Gardner was evaluated for a head injury in the fourth quarter.
Jets: At Denver next Sunday.
Packers: At Washington next Sunday.
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