GREEN BAY, Wis. — The surprising New York Jets enjoyed their 27-10 win over the Green Bay Packers so much that they decided to partake in a couple of local traditions on Sunday. They took a Lambeau Leap and celebrated the upset by donning a cheesehead, much to the chagrin of a Packers player.
It was rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner who wore the cheesehead, a gift from an ecstatic Jets fan in the crowd. As he strutted off the field and to the tunnel — the wrong tunnel, as it turned out — Gardner was caught from behind, so to speak, by Allen Lazard. The Packers wide receiver knocked Gardner’s block (of cheese) off, creating a moment that went viral on social media.
“I’m definitely never going to forget this moment,” Gardner said, laughing at his locker. “It’s a tribute to the Jets fans. They put in on my head, the Jets fans. I just had to take it and run with it.”
Lazard took it well, complimenting Gardner on his game and his nickname (“Sauce, that’s a cool name”) and insisting he wasn’t bothered by the rookie’s gesture.
“It’s just a little competitive spirit,” Lazard said. “Nothing too harmful in that aspect or anything. I’m sure he probably would’ve done the same thing if I was wearing a Jets hat or helmet walking off their field, so that’s just the competitiveness in me. No disrespect to him.”
The corny moment capped another convincing victory for the Jets, who turned a 3-3 halftime score into a one-sided second half. The Jets sacked Aaron Rodgers four times and hit him nine times; they outrushed Green Bay 179 yards to 60; and they became the first team since 2018 to block a field goal and a punt in the same game — scoring on the latter.
Who could’ve envisioned this? The Jets won their third straight and improved to 4-2 for the first time since 2015, winning in convincing fashion for the second week in a row. This sort of thing usually doesn’t happen to the Jets. In fact, it was only the second time in the past 20 years that they won by at least 17 points in back-to-back games.
The Jets became only the second team in the Super Bowl era to have a winning record through six games despite being an underdog in all six games, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. The other was the 2001 Cleveland Browns.
“We believe we can be as great as any team in this league,” New York defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said, adding how the Jets are “showing the rest of this world that this is not just a team you can write off or a team that, ‘Oh, maybe they’ll be good in a few years.’ No, we’re coming to win right now.”
Once again, the Jets were led by rookie running back Breece Hall, who rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown. He came became only the second rookie in franchise history to record at least 100 yards from scrimmage in consecutive games. He scored on a 34-yard misdirection play to put the Jets up 24-10 at the start of the fourth quarter.
He decided to take a Lambeau Leap. When in Green Bay …
“We actually had 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. Braxton [Berrios] got the first one, but I don’t think there were any Jets fans on the side he scored.”
Berrios gave the Jets a 10-3 lead on a 20-yard reverse, a gadget play that seemed to snap the offense out of its doldrums. None of it was pretty, as the Jets finished with 99 net passing yards and converted only one of 11 third downs. They became the first team to win with only one third-down conversion and fewer than 100 net passing yards, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
But the Jets kept grinding, wearing down the favored Packers (3-3) despite a mediocre performance from quarterback Zach Wilson (10-for-18 passing, 110 yards).
New York coach Robert Saleh tried to downplay the significance of the victory, saying, “I’ll be honest: It doesn’t mean anything. Just like a loss wouldn’t have meant anything. I’ve said it before: We’ve got to start expecting stuff like this.”
As Jets cornerback D.J. Reed said, “I think we’re just getting started. We’re 3-0 on the road. That speaks volumes to everybody buying in. … You definitely feel the confidence. Winning is becoming normal. It’s expected, really.”
New York’s defense took over the game, especially tackle Quinnen Williams, who registered two sacks, a forced fumble and a blocked field goal. The Jets sensed that Rodgers was rattled throughout the contest, as he was victimized by six drops.
“He was definitely frustrated,” Rankins said. “That’s what we wanted to see. That’s our objective every week, to piss off every quarterback we line up against in a smart, dominant, violent way. I think we were successful in doing that.”