PACK­ERS 44, NEW YORK JETS 38 (OT)

Packer Plus - - News - Den­nis Waszak Jr. AP pro foot­ball writer

Sum­mary, box score, game re­port, in­sider

East Rutherford, N.J. — Aaron Rodgers re­fused to sit this one out, even with the play­offs out of the ques­tion. And he willed the Green Bay Pack­ers from set­ting some du­bi­ous fran­chise his­tory.

A banged-up Rodgers threw a 16-yard touch­down pass to Da­vante Adams with 6:23 left in over­time, cap­ping an eye-pop­ping per­for­mance by lead­ing the Pack­ers to a wild, 44-38, vic­tory over the New York Jets on Sun­day.

The win was the Pack­ers’ first on the road this sea­son – snap­ping a nine-game skid away from Lam­beau Field dat­ing to last sea­son – and it pre­vented them from be­com­ing the first Green Bay squad since 1958 to go an en­tire sea­son with­out a win away from home.

“It’s good for the young guys to see what the locker room on the road feels like with a win, what the plane flight feels like,” Rodgers said. “How spe­cial that plane ride is after a road vic­tory.”

And this one was all on Rodgers, who was mas­ter­ful in the fourth quar­ter and the over­time pe­riod for the Pack­ers (68-1).

He threw for 442 yards and two touch­downs to Adams and Jake Kumerow, and also ran for two scores – his first since the 2016 sea­son. That’s de­spite a groin is­sue that nagged him last week, and a knee ail­ment that has both­ered him all sea­son. Rodgers was in­tent on play­ing, and be­lieved it proved some­thing.

“That it mat­ters, even when the record isn’t great and you’re not go­ing to the play­offs,” he said. “That I have a lot of pride. I love com­pet­ing in any­thing. I don’t want to look back in 20 years and won­der, ‘What if I had played that game? Could some­thing spe­cial have hap­pened? What would it look like to my team­mates if they knew I kind of quit on them?’ I hope my team­mates know I’m never go­ing to quit on them.

“I’m go­ing to bat­tle through any­thing I’ve got, and they did the same.”

They cer­tainly did, eras­ing a 15-point fourth-quar­ter deficit and im­prov­ing to 2-1 un­der in­terim coach Joe Philbin, who re­placed the fired Mike McCarthy ear­lier this month.

“I think it speaks a lot about the char­ac­ter of the guys,” Philbin said. “They never stopped be­liev­ing that they could get the job done.”

The loss for the Jets (4-11) over­shad­owed a daz­zling per­for­mance by rookie quar­ter­back Sam Darnold, who threw for a ca­reer-high 341 yards – but never got a chance with the ball in over­time. Darnold was 24 of 35 pass­ing with TDs to Robby An­der­son, Chris Herndon and Eli­jah McGuire, who also ran for a score.

“As an of­fense, we’ve just got to fin­ish,” Darnold said. “We had a chance to put the game away.”

It was also likely the fi­nal home game for coach Todd Bowles, who’s ex­pected to be fired after next week’s game at New Eng­land.

The Jets were done in by penal­ties, get­ting called for a whop­ping 16 that cost them 172 yards. Bowles was crit­i­cal of the of­fi­ci­at­ing crew, say­ing some of the calls against New York shouldn’t have hap- pened.

“I haven’t seen one like that in my 18, 19 years in the league,” Bowles said. “I thought we were play­ing two teams: I thought we were play­ing the Pack­ers and the striped shirts.”

After the Pack­ers won the OT toss and elected to re­ceive, Rodgers took over — as he has so many times in his ca­reer.

On third-and-10 from the Pack­ers 40, Rodgers got hit as he was throw­ing and his pass to Mar­quez Valdes-Scantling hung in the air and fell in­com­plete – but Tru­maine John­son was called for pass in­ter­fer­ence, putting the ball at the Jets 27. Mo­ments later, a pass in­ter­fer­ence call on Buster Skrine gave the Pack­ers the ball at the 6.

Rodgers ran it in – but right tackle Bryan Bu­laga was called for hold­ing. On the next play, Rodgers found Adams in the back of the end zone for the rare road vic­tory.

That all came after Rodgers went over a pile and reached past the goal line for a go-ahead 1-yard touch­down with 1:13 left in reg­u­la­tion, giv­ing Green Bay its first lead. Rodgers’ ini­tial 2-point con­ver­sion try was in­ter­cepted by Dar­ryl Roberts – but Roberts was called for de­fen­sive hold­ing. Rodgers then ran it in to make it 3835, fin­ish­ing off a ter­rific drive that in­cluded a 23-yard run to get the ball to the 1.

An­dre Roberts, se­lected to his first Pro Bowl ear­lier in the week, re­turned the en­su­ing kick­off 51 yards to put the Jets in good shape. Darnold com­pleted passes of 9 and 14 yards to get the Jets to the Green Bay 15. But three straight passes fell in­com­plete and New York set­tled for a ty­ing 33-yard field goal by Ja­son My­ers with 17 sec­onds left in reg­u­la­tion.

Leo loses cool: Jets de­fen­sive end Leonard Wil­liams was ejected after throw­ing a punch at Bu­laga in the se­cond quar­ter. The penalty gave the Pack­ers the ball at the Jets 7.

Ja­maal Wil­liams took the en­su­ing hand­off, stayed in bounds after a hit by Ja­mal Adams and stretched his body – and the ball – over the goal line for a TD that made it 21-14 with 1:33 left.

In­juries: Pack­ers LG Lane Tay­lor hurt a knee in the first quar­ter and CB Jaire Alexan­der in­jured his groin in the first half. Nei­ther re­turned.

MIKE DE SISTI / MIL­WAU­KEE JOUR­NAL SENTINEL

Pack­ers re­ceiver Da­vante Adams catches the game-win­ning touch­down pass in over­time on Sun­day.

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