The prospects were spooky heading into today's matchup of division leaders but the Packers defense donned costumes of the '96 Pack in shutting out the New York Jets 9-0 in the New Meadowlands Stadium. It was a courageous defensive effort, as players who were on the street a week ago turned in big plays. Anthony Smith catching punter Steve Weatherford just a yard short of the first down from his surprise fake punt from his own 20 yard line. Erik Walden and Howard Green, signed just last week, combined for four tackles as the Pack held the NFL's second best rushing attack in check. LaDanian Tomlinson averaged 3.4 yards a carry with a long of 8, Shonne Greene averaged 3.7 a rush with a long of 8. The Packers had three takeaways, a fumble recovery from Tramon Williams after Frank Zombo stripped Brad Smith. Williams and Charles Woodson literally wrestled the ball away from Jericho Cotchery and Dustin Keller for interceptions. Finally, in the 4th quarter, the Packers made two more 4th down stops, Charlie Peprah knocking the ball loose on one pass and after Clay Matthews sacked his college teammate Mark Sanchez forcing a 4th and 11, Sanchez threw the ball hopelessly wide to Braylon Edwards. Mason Crosby pounded through three field goals, a 20 yarder after the Packers took over on the failed fake punt in the first quarter, after missing a 45 yard try, he connected from 41 after Woodson's pick and finished the scoring from 40 yards out as the Packers drained the clock to the final :27. Offensively, the Packers had trouble finding any consistency. Brandon Jackson ran for 55 yards but 27 came on a draw late in the first half. Aaron Rodgers was just 15 of 34 for 170 yards, getting sacked twice, but he did not turn the ball over. Green Bay converted only 2 of 14 third down chances against a very stout New York defense, but a huge conversion from Jordy Nelson led to Green Bay's second field goal. Considering this team now has 10 players on injured reserve and was without 7 starters, to beat the top team in the AFC, on the road, coming off a bye, will do wonders for the team's confidence heading into another prime time date with the 1-6 Dallas Cowboys next Sunday night at Lambeau Field. Post game quotes will be posted soon.
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