Jordy Nelson caught nine passes for a career-best 209 yards as the Green Bay Packers overcame an early 21-3 deficit and defeated the New York Jets 31-24 at Lambeau Field. The comeback win improved the Packers record to 1-1 on the young season.

Aaron Rodgers completed 25-of-42 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns including two touchdown tosses to wide receiver Randall Cobb.

“It’s a game of adversity, it’s a game of momentum swings, it’s a game of big plays,” Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said after the game. “We were in a spot, but our players stayed the course.”

Packers Fall Behind Early

The spot was an 18-point deficit as the Jets scored on each of their first three drives. The Packers got the ball first, but Rodgers fumbled on the first play from scrimmage and the Jets took over at the Green Bay 16. They cashed in on a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Geno Smith to make it 7-0.

Smith later found Eric Decker for a 29-yard touchdown on the Jets second possession and followed that up with a four-yard touchdown run by Chris Ivory. The Packers kicked a field goal in between the Jets second and third touchdowns so early in the second quarter Green Bay trailed 21-3.

Two more field goals by Mason Crosby made it 21-9 including a 55-yard boot with 3:12 left in the half.

The Turning Point Begins the Packers Comeback

The Packers tried an onside kick after the long field goal, but the Jets recovered it and took over at their own 48. But four plays later, cornerback Tramon Williams intercepted Smith at the Green Bay 3 which gave the Packers one last chance to score before halftime.

“In years past, we have needed a big play to get us going at times, and at times it had to be an offensive big play, but today it was an interception by Tramon that gave us some hope and then we put together a good drive to pull within five there at halftime,” Rodgers said.

The Packers put together a 10-play, 97-yard drive that pulled them to within a score before the half. Rodgers completed passes to Davante Adams, Andrew Quarless, Cobb and DuJuan Harris. Rodgers also scrambled 11 yards for a key first down. The drive ended with a six-yard touchdown pass to Cobb with just eight seconds left in the half. The extra point made the score 21-16 Jets at the break.

The interception by Williams was a major turning point in the game. “You know what, you have a feeling during the game that we can get started at any time,” Williams said. “We didn’t know when that time was going to be. Things weren’t going right, but we still had the hope and belief that OK, we’re going to win this game. That’s what keeps you together. When you’re down 21-3, it’s kind of hard, but those guys ain’t going nowhere. They’re going to be there and try to put more points up on you, so we have to get things together and that’s what we did.”

The Packers Comeback Continues as Jordy Nelson Gets On Track

The Packers took the lead late in the third quarter on an eight-play, 67-yard drive that included a 33-yard strike to Nelson. Cobb caught his second touchdown pass of the game, this one from just a yard out to put the Pack ahead 22-21. Rodgers found Cobb for the two-point conversion and the lead was 24-21 with 5:48 left in the third quarter.

The Jets didn’t quit and managed to tie the game late in the third quarter on a 52-yard field goal by Nick Folk.

But it took the Packers only one play to regain the lead. After the ensuring kickoff went out of the end zone for a touchback, Rodgers found Nelson deep down the right side for an 80-yard touchdown pass. The safety arrived late, and Nelson outran all Jets defenders to the end zone. The Packers led 31-24 with 2:21 left in the third quarter.

The Packers Put the Game Away Thanks to Jordy Nelson

The Jets had one more chance to tie the game with less than five minutes left in the game. Smith found receiver Jeremy Kerley on an apparent 37-yard touchdown pass on fourth down, but the whistle blew because the Jets called timeout just before the ball was snapped.

The Jets faced a 4th-and-8 situation with 3:31 left but Sam Shields broke up Smith’s pass for Kerley. The Packers got the ball back but ran out the clock on two runs by Eddie Lacy and a 15-yard pass to Nelson that gave the Pack the clinching first down and put Nelson over the 200-yard mark for the game.

“Pretty impressive,” Rodgers said when asked about Nelson’s performance. [We] take it for granted sometimes. He’s not a big ‘me’ guy … so, he kind of gets overlooked sometimes. We know the kind of player he is.”

“Very proud of our football team,” McCarthy said. “We all know about the start. But just the grit [they showed] throughout the football game, that’s the way you need to play.”

This was Nelson’s only 200-yard receiving game of his NFL career. Nelson and Josh Sitton were inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame earlier this week.



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