John Kuhn averaged 2.6 per rush.
Jim Luzzi/Getty Images
PASS DEFENSE: B -- True, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez had a pathetic passer rating of 43.3, completed just 16-o-38 passes, was intercepted twice and didn't lead the Jets to any points, but the Packers dodged a huge bullet because Sanchez threw for a sizable 256 yards. The outcome -- on both Sanchez's ledger and the Jets' side of the scoreboard -- could have been a lot different had New York's receivers not dropped eight passes. Two of those would-be catches resulted in the turnovers against Sanchez when cornerbacks Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson shrewdly wrested the football away as they tackled the receivers. The Woodson takeaway was liable to be nullified by replay, but the Jets were out of challenges. Charlie Peprah, the starting replacement at strong safety the last four games, delivered two big breakups in a span of a minute to crush two separate possessions when the Jets were trying to erase the 6-0 deficit with the fourth-quarter clock inside of five minutes. Linebacker Clay Matthews followed Peprah's second breakup with a takedown of Sanchez, one of two sacks.
Packers posted NFL's first shutout.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
SPECIAL TEAMS: A-minus -- Tim Masthay is coach Mike McCarthy's new best friend after producing the best performance by a Packers punter in a long time. Masthay tilted field position heavily in the Packers' favor with eight kicks that averaged 44 gross yards and, more impressive, 41.5 net yards. Masthay placed five punts inside the 20, the Jets had 0 return yards, and the only touchback came when Jarrett Bush didn't get a bead on the football as it hit inside the Jets' 5-yard line. Kicker Mason Crosby also deserved kudos for connecting on 3-of-4 field-goal attempts in the face of unpredictably windy conditions. His third conversion from 40 yards that sailed just inside the left upright sealed the win with 27 seconds left, when a miss would have given the Jets decent field position to mount one last shot at scoring the go-ahead touchdown. Anthony Smith nudged Steve Weatherford out of bounds just in time to prevent the punter from succeeding on the gutsy fourth-and-18 run from deep in Jets territory early in the game. The Packers once again gave up a long kickoff return, of 47 yards to Brad Smith. Green Bay didn't have any punt-return yards, and the lone kickoff runback went for a feeble 5 yards by Nelson on a short kick to start the game.
COACHING: B -- Defensive coordinator Dom Capers dialed things down with his preferred attacking style of defense, and a preponderance of three- and four-man rushes with few blitzes by his injury-riddled unit paid off in a huge way. The Packers choked off the run by occasionally stacking the box with eight and dared Sanchez and his fingers receivers to beat them through the air, to no avail, as Green Bay pitched the first shutout in the NFL this season. Play-caller McCarthy's offense, on the other hand, continues to be out of sorts. The Packers totaled a season-low 237 yards and didn't score a touchdown for the first time in four years.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.