Last week’s game against the Raiders was anything but pretty for the Jets as they finished the game with eleven penalties and two turnovers. Rex Ryan said
after the game on Sunday, “This game should have been a rat kill and is wasn’t, it was close because of the penalties.” Frankly Ryan is right if the Jets
could have held on to the ball and not committed so many penalties in the red zone the Jets would have won by double digits easily. The reason they didn’t
lose the game was because they were going up against a rookie quarterback in Derek Carr.
This week the Jets will have to eliminate those penalties and turnovers. If they leave points on the board and give the Packers a short field to work with the Jets will be in for a long day. They are not going up against a rookie quarterback this week they are going up against one of the top three quarterbacks in the league, Aaron Rodgers.
Another interesting wrinkle in this game is weather or not the Jets number one corner back, Dee Milliner, will play this week. Milliner suffered a high ankle sprain about three weeks ago and should be on track to play this week. The conventional wisdom around the team was that they would hold Milliner out for week one because they didn’t need him and wanted to save him for week two against the Packers. Hopefully Milliner can be ready this Sunday as the Packers have more than “marginal” receivers on their roster.
All jokes aside the Jets will have to be up to the challenge and understand that they are going up against a way better and more experienced team in the Green Bay Packers. This Sunday will be a huge test for the Jets as they start their brutal run of playing six weeks in a row against former pro bowl quarterbacks.
When: Sunday, September 14th, @4:25pm EST (TV- CBS, Radio- ESPN)
Where: Lambeau Field Green Bay, Wisconsin
Keys to the Game
Pass Rush- The Jets will have to get pressure on Aaron Rodgers if they want to win this game. They cannot let Rodgers sit back, survey the field and have his pick of any receiver because the Jets will get torched. With the inexperience and lack of continuity the Packers offense line has right now the Jets should be able to rush the passer. The Packers have a rookie center, Cory Linsley, starting for them. Also because of the Injury to veteran right tackle Bryan Bulaga the Packers may also have to start Derek Sherrod a young inexperienced guy at right tackle. If the Jets can take advantage of this offensive line they could force Rodgers into some mistakes.
Stick to the Run- Last week the Jets ran for a league high 212 yards against the Raiders. If the Jets want to have a chance of winning this game they will have to stick to that formula against the Packers. The Packers let up 207 yards on the ground last week against the Seahawks, which was second worst in the league. The Packers run defense has not looked good since the injury to defensive tackle B.J. Raji. The Packers are lacking a true defensive tackle that can plug up the hole in the middle. The Jets are going to have to exploit that.
Turnover Battle- Last season the Jets were -13 in turnover differential, which was worst in the league. This season they didn’t start off well, as they are already -2. The Jets are going to have to hold on to the football as well as force the Packers into some turnovers. Takeaways were a huge problem last season for the Jets and that will have to change if they want to be a more than average team this year.
Secondary Play- The defensive backfield is coming off a good game against the Raiders having only allowed 133 yards through the air. This was without their top corner Dee Milliner. This week Milliner should be back if only in a limited role which should help out. The Jets are going up against a more experienced offense in the Packers and the secondary will need to bring their A-game or Rodgers and his receivers will have a field day.
Jeremy Kerley- One aspect that the Seahawks used in their offense to beat the Packers was the flexibility of Percy Harvin. Besides the fact the Harvin and Kerley have the same number, the two are at different levels in their career. However Kerley has some similarities to Harvin’s game. Kerley has that ability to be used in a number of packages including running the ball on a sweep play. This specific play hurt the Packers in a big way last week. Look for Kerley to get the ball in some key situations to take advantage of the Packers defensive schemes.
Sheldon Richardson- The reigning defensive rookie of the year didn’t have the best start to his sophomore season last week as he came up with zero tackles. Rex Ryan did caution everyone early in the week that even though he didn’t come up with a tackle Richardson did other things that helped the defense dominate the Raiders. Richardson will have to get a little more involved this week as the team is going to need him to step up and make some big plays.
Jeff Cumberland- Cumberland was second on the team last week in receiving with four catches for 50 yards. The Jets are going to need Cumberland to produce more of that this week against the Packers. Cumberland was plagued with injuries all preseason so we didn’t get to see much of him but he came out firing in week one. Look for Cumberland to be a huge focal point for the offense in the middle part of the field for the Jets.
The Jets managed to play a sloppy game but still get the win last week. If the Jets play the way they played last week they will get blown out in this game. The Packers will capitalize on any mistakes the Jets make. I do think the Jets will play much more of a clean game this week. However that doesn’t mean they will get the win. The Packers have had 10 days to prepare for the Jets they also have had 10 days with that bad taste in their mouth from the beat down they took last week. That plus the fact that this is the Packers home opener unfortunately will equal a Jets loss. The Packers have never started 0-2 under Mike McCarthy with Aaron Rodgers as his quarterback. I don’t see that trend changing and I think in this game, even though it might be close, the Packers will beat the Jets 31-24.