Washington Township native and Green Bay Packer B.J. Raji came home to Bergen County for a game against the New York Giants Sunday.
The Packers ended up losing 38-10, but Raji said he was hopeful about the rest of the season and already looking toward their game against the Vikings next week.
"We can still go ahead and win our division, but we're not going to do that playing the way we were playing tonight," Raji said.
The Giants made the first score of the game after just a few minutes when Eli Manning threw a 39 yard pass to Hakeem Nicks and a 59 yard pass to Ahmad Bradshaw, bringing the ball within two yards of the goal and setting up Andre Brown to bring in the touchdown on the next play.
Green Bay made their only touchdown of the night less than two minutes later when Aaron Rodgers threw a deep pass to Jordy Nelson for a 61 yard play.
Manning followed up with another touchdown pass to Reuben Randle. Lawrence Tynes kicked a field goal after Corey Webster intercepted a pass to Randall Cobb at the 33 yard line, leaving them ahead 17-7 at the end of the first quarter.
By the end of the half, the Packers had made a field goal, but the Giants had pulled further ahead when Manning made another touchdown pass to Victor Cruz and Bradshaw carrier in another, putting them in a 31-10 lead.
Manning threw another touchdown pass to Nicks with 3:41 left in the third, marking his 200th as a Giant and breaking Phil Simms' former record of 199.
Raji credited the Giants for playing a "more physical" game, though he did push through the line of scrimmage several times and made three tackles.
Raji, 26, grew up in Washington Township and played football at Westwood Regional High School, where he earned All-State, All-North Jersey and All-County honors. He went on to play for Boston College before being drafted by the Packers in 2009. He played on the team when they won their most recent Super Bowl victory in 2011.
Raji said they he still makes time to see friends and family while he's home. His family attended the game Sunday, "but they probably left after the third quarter," he said.
This year, Raji has made 13 tackles so far, six of which were unassisted. He has started in every game he has played in, but missed two games due to an ankle injury. Sunday's game against the Giants was Raji's fourth since he returned from the injury.