On opening night against Baltimore, New York's defense took a page from its 2009 playbook, when the Jets sent the most blitzes of any team in the NFL. They constantly were on the attack against third-year Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, but Flacco usually beat the blitz by going to receivers who were facing single coverage.
Since that defeat, the Jets' only loss this season, they have preferred to play coverage more often, using nickel and dime defenses to thwart pass-happy teams such as Denver and New England. The Jets have dialed back on their all-out blitzes, sometimes using them on third down or when they are ahead in the fourth quarter.
In their 24-20 win over the Broncos before the bye, the Jets managed only one sack, and that was by lineman Sione Pouha. But the strategy worked, as Kyle Orton completed only 14-of-34 attempts and was held to fewer than 300 passing yards for the first time since opening day.
The Jets may choose to mix up their tactics more against Rodgers, who was sacked four times in an overtime loss to Washington and five times in an overtime defeat against Miami but emerged from Sunday night's showdown with Minnesota with a clean jersey.
It will help the Jets that star cornerback Darrelle Revis says he's healthy. The cornerback was a shadow of his usual self against Denver, and he was burned several times, including once for a touchdown. He has allowed three touchdowns in three games after allowing two in 19 games (including none in the playoffs) last year. A healthy Revis, with his ability to take away receivers one-on-one, will help if coach Rex Ryan wants to blitz Rodgers.
"I'm ready to go. I'll be there Sunday. We did everything we could this week," Revis said on Monday. "The [past] week helped out for me to stay up here and get all the treatment that I needed to get, so I'm ready to go."
In the past four weeks, other than a blowout of winless Buffalo, the Jets have won three games in which the outcome was uncertain after the two-minute warning. The latest high-wire escape came last Sunday when they parlayed a pass interference penalty on a fourth-down play with 1:16 left into a game-winning touchdown against host Denver to improve to an NFL-best 5-1.
Before that, they beat Minnesota by nine with Dwight Lowery's touchdown on an interception sealing the win in the final 2 minutes, but only after Brett Favre had overthrown a wide-open Percy Harvin on a play that could have the brought the Vikings to near midfield, trailing by only two.
And before that, the Jets held off the Dolphins by eight, but only after surviving Miami's fourth-down throw into the end zone in the final minute.
The victory over Denver marked the first regular-season fourth-quarter comeback victory for second-year quarterback Mark Sanchez.
Ryan indicated that he believes the Jets are the best team in the NFL, as shown by their record, he let his players know there is plenty of room for improvement.
"That's the mentality that they take," Ryan said. "We talked about it last year, about challenging our team to get better in the offseason (and) finding a way. I think we did that physically (in conditioning). Now, we're trying to do it collectively and as a unit. That's what you want to do, just keep going. You either improve or you get worse."
— Ryan, on coming off the bye to face the Packers: "This first week, we have a heck of test a right here with Green Bay coming into town — one of the best offenses in football, but we'll welcome that challenge. Right now, I think with the people we have on defense, like I said, we don't have any excuses. Put the ball out there, whatever you want to do, and we'll see what happens.:
— LaDainian Tomlinson was stymied for much of the game by Denver, but had touchdown runs of 20 and two yards in the fourth-quarter comeback. The two-yarder proved to be the game-winner. The future Hall of Famer admits to being rejuvenated after a frustrating 2009 season in San Diego. "Just being in a different environment, being around this team, this coaching staff, having a new baby boy, all that stuff has a way of rejuvenating me," Tomlinson said. "I'm just so excited about the chance to play football. This is what I love to do. I've done it for 20-some years now."
— Nick Folk had a career-long and franchise-record 56-yard field goal against Denver. He is 13-for-15 on field-goal attempts this season, with one of the misses from 61 yards. Folk appears to have conquered the yips that plagued him with Dallas last season and caused the Cowboys to release him.
— Brad Smith, the former Missouri quarterback, has seen his reps at receiver dwindle severely with the return of Santonio Holmes. However, Smith is getting multiple opportunities per game in the Jets' Wildcat offense, with 13 rushes for 101 yard (7.8 average), one catch for 11 yards and a 3-yard touchdown pass. He's scored touchdowns passing, rushing, receiving and on returns in his career. Plus, he's averaging 31.8 yards per kickoff return this year with a long of 86 yards.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.