Monday, December 24, 2018

Road Trip to Victory for Green Bay in New York

By Eric Goska
Aaron Rodgers connected with Davante Adams for the game-winning touchdown
in the Packers’ 44-38 overtime victory over the Jets Sunday in New York.
(screenshots from NFL Game Pass)
Two Pro Bowlers did their best to help Green Bay past the Jets Sunday.

As a result, a potential commonality that could have linked the Packers of 2018 with the worst team in franchise history was avoided.

Green Bay rallied from 15 down to topple the Jets 44-38 in overtime at MetLife Stadium. The victory was the Packers' first on the road this season.

From Los Angeles to Foxboro and all points in between, Green Bay has struggled in games away from Lambeau Field. Seven times it came up short this season, most recently falling 24-17 to the Bears at Soldier Field.

Sixty years have passed since a Packers team last went winless on the road. Head coach Ray (Scooter) McLean’s 1958 crew went 0-6 in away games while posting the poorest record (1-10-1) in club history.

The six-point win in New York ensured there would be no 0-8. An unwelcome comparison to that rag-tag outfit of yesteryear was averted.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and receiver Davante Adams, the only Packers selected to the Pro Bowl, were integral to the victory. They spearheaded an offensive explosion of 540 yards and 35 first downs.

Should the pair have played in this late-season game with no playoff implications? Some said yes; some said no.

Rodgers and Adams emphatically answered in the affirmative. Their competitive nature became contagious in a game Green Bay never led until the final snap.

Rodgers was in for every offensive play. Adams missed but four.

The pair set or tied a number of team records, some trivial and some of greater importance. The duo clearly had no intention of tanking regardless of what a loss might have meant for the team in terms of next year’s college draft.

Rodgers completed 37 of 55 passes for 442 yards and two touchdowns. It was the third road game in which he has passed for more than 400 yards, a team record.

His yardage total ties the record for the most by a Packers quarterback in a game outside Wisconsin. Rodgers also passed for 442 yards against the Lions in Detroit in October.

The 37 completions is a road record. The previous high was 36 by Brett Favre at Chicago in 1993.

In eight road games this season, Rodgers threw for 265, 442, 286, 259, 332, 198, 274 and 442 yards. That total of 2,498 snapped the existing single-season mark of 2,494 established by Rodgers in 2011.

Rodgers has now thrown for 2,000 or more yards on the road in seven different campaigns. Favre also had seven such seasons while with the Packers.

Adams came away with 11 catches for 71 yards. It is the second time this season he has snared 10 or more passes in an away game, tying the team record held by Don Hutson (1942), Sterling Sharpe (1993) and Donald Driver (2004).

Adams caught at least one pass in every quarter. His lone catch in overtime was the game-winner, a 16-yard strike from Rodgers that capped an 8-play, 75-yard drive.

In eight road games this season, Adams snared 7, 9, 5, 6, 10, 5, 8, and 11 passes. Those numbers add to 61, enough to have broken Jordy Nelson’s 2014 team mark of 58.

What makes Adam’s take on the road so remarkable is the degree to which he outperformed his teammates. Jimmy Graham, in second place, managed just 25 catches away from Lambeau.

That difference of 36 between first place (61) and second place (25) is the greatest in team history. The largest gap had been 32 between Don Hutson (42) and Andy Uram (10) in 1942.

While the contest in New York was the last away game for the Packers, it may not have meant the end of the road for these two. The season finale at Lambeau Field beckons.

Should Rodgers and Adams play, both can add to their haul of records. Rodgers needs 228 passing yards to break the single-season Packers record of 4,643 he produced in 2011. Adams is two catches shy of Sterling Sharpe’s team record 112 set in 1993.

Heavily Traveled Roads
Most passing yards on the road by a Packers quarterback in one season.

Yards     Player                      Year
2,498      Aaron Rodgers          2018
2,494      Aaron Rodgers          2011
2,311      Aaron Rodgers          2009
2,249      Aaron Rodgers          2012
2,245      Aaron Rodgers          2016
2,229      Brett Favre                2006
2,181      Brett Favre                1998
2,147      Lynn Dickey              1983

Most pass receptions on the road by a Packers receiver in one season.
No.         Player                      Year
61           Davante Adams         2018
58           Jordy Nelson             2014
56           Robert Brooks          1995
55           Sterling Sharpe          1993
54           Sterling Sharpe          1994
52           Sterling Sharpe          1992
51           Jordy Nelson             2013
51           Jordy Nelson             2016 was a source for some of these numbers

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