New York Jets (10-5-1) 28, Green Bay Packers (8-8) 3
Sunday December 20th 1981 (at New York)
(NEW YORK) - Christmas is five days away but as far as New York's football fans are concerned it came on Sunday. The Jets crushed the Packers to earn a playoff berth, guaranteeing their first playoff appearance in 12 years. The Jets' victory eliminated Green Bay from playoff contention and also brought the rival Giants into the playoffs as an NFC wild card club. The Giants will be making their first post-season appearance in 18 years. Had Green Bay won, the Packers would have made it as a wild card thanks to Philadelphia's 38-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. Kevin Long and Bruce Harper scored on short runs and Richard Todd had touchdown passes of 47 yards to Lam Jones and 38 yards to Wesley Walker for the Jets. New York's defense, meanwhile, overwhelmed Green Bay. The Jets bottled up the Packers' explosive receivers, James Lofton and John Jefferson, all afternoon. The Jets sacked Lynn Dickey nine times to finish the season with a league-leading 66 sacks, one shy of the league record set by Oakland in 1967. Packer Coach Bart Starr admitted his team was overwhelmed. "They played well," he said. "Except for a few plays defensively and a few offensively, we didn't do anything. They did it all. Early in the game we were able to control it. At halftime, we had plenty of optimism in the dressing room even though we were behind 21-3. But in the second half we made foolish mistakes that we hadn't been doing recently. The credit belongs to the Jets. They played very well. I take exception to anyone saying the Packers choked. Getting this close will help the team next year." Green Bay was limited to just 68 yards in total offense, the best defensive effort in Jets' history, as New York raised its record to 10-5-1. Green Bay, which had won six of its last seven games to move into playoff contention, finished at 8-8. Todd hit 15 of 33 passes for 247 yards. Packer QB Lynn Dickey, under heavy pressure throughout, hit only 12-of-33 for 96 yards. The Jets needed just 2:18 to go ahead and then scored two more touchdowns in the second period to take a 21-3 halftime lead. The only bright spot was Packer K Jan Stenerud, who set a then-NFL record by making 91.7 percent of his field goal attempts. He missed only two of 24 attempts (a 47-yarder in the first Minnesota game and a 28-yard attempt against San Francisco). 
GREEN BAY -  0  3  0  0 -  3
NEW YORK  -  7 14  0  7 - 28
                       GREEN BAY       NY JETS
First downs                    8            22
Rush-yards-TDs           15-45-0      49-153-2
Comp-Att-Yd-TD-INT  12-33-96-0-1 15-33-247-2-1
Sacked-yards                9-57           1-7
Net pass yards                39           240
Total yards                   84           393
Fumbles-lost                 6-2           3-3
Turnovers                      3             4
Penalties-yards             3-16          5-53
SCORING
1st - NYJ - Kevin Long, 1-yard run (Pat Leahy kick) NEW YORK 7-0
2nd - GB - Stenerud, 31-yard field goal NEW YORK 7-3
2nd - NYJ - Bruce Harper, 3-yard run (Leahy kick) NEW YORK 14-3
2nd - NYJ - Lam Jones, 47-yard pass from Richard Todd (Leahy kick) NEW YORK 21-3
4th - NYJ - Wesley Walker, 38-yard pass from Todd (Leahy kick) NEW YORK 28-3
RUSHING
GREEN BAY - Gerry Ellis 11-44, Harlan Huckleby 2-1, Lynn Dickey 2-0
NY JETS - Freeman McNeil 18-70, Kevin Long 15-57 1 TD, Scott Dierking 7-20, Tom Newton 2-7, Bruce Harper 4-1 1 TD, Richard Todd 3-(-2)
PASSING
GREEN BAY - Lynn Dickey 33-12-96 1 INT
NY JETS - Richard Todd 33-15-247 2 TD 1 INT
RECEIVING
GREEN BAY - Gerry Ellis 4-14, John Jefferson 2-39, James Lofton 2-27, Harlan Huckleby 2-14, Paul Coffman 2-2
NY JETS - Lam Jones 3-68 1 TD, Scott Dierking 3-38, Bruce Harper 3-30, Wesley Walker 2-54 1 TD, Jerome Barkum 2-29, Bobby Jones 1-19, Freeman McNeil 1-9