Offense Aims to Take Flight vs. Jets

Green Bay's high-powered offense ranks just 29th in the league after getting shut down by Seattle's powerhouse defense.

One of the worst offenses in the NFL will try to get back on track this weekend when the New York Jets visit the Packers at Lambeau Field.

Surprise — it's not the Jets seeking to get over a slow start.

After one week, high-powered Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson and Eddie Lacy is ranked 29th in the NFL in total offense. The Jets are 11th in the league in offense, and first in defense.

There are two big caveats, though.

The Packers lost to the Super Bowl champion Seahawks in Seattle in the league opener. New York beat the subpar Oakland Raiders at home.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers hopes his team can pick up the pace in Green Bay's home opener.

"I think as a general rule it's always going to be easier to go faster and be more diverse at home, because we have the luxury of being able to hear and do more verbal stuff," Rodgers said Wednesday. "So we should be able to do a lot more this week formationally. You know it's yet to be seen if we can be more effective."

Being able to run the ball would certainly help.

Lacy had 34 yards on 12 carries against Seattle before leaving with a concussion. He didn't take part in practice Wednesday, though coach Mike McCarthy said last season's Offensive Rookie of the Year is progressing "very quickly" through his concussion protocol.

Backup James Starks had 37 yards on seven carries. Fullback John Kuhn ran for a 2-yard touchdown on his only carry.

But again, facing Seattle is no cakewalk.

"I think the run is going to be as big a helper jump-starting the offense as anything. If we can run it a little more effectively, then we get the play-action game going," Rodgers said.

Getting right tackle Bryan Bulaga back would be a boost, too. He left last week's game with a left knee injury, though McCarthy didn't think it was a major setback for a player who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in the same knee in training camp in 2013.

Bulaga practiced Wednesday on a limited basis.

"He's been chomping at the bit the last couple of days to get out there," McCarthy said. "So really we'll just see how Bryan feels tomorrow and see how we can progress with him through the padded work."

If Bulaga can't go, fourth-year tackle Derek Sherrod would likely get his first career start. The former first-round pick, who has played only 13 games in his career because of injuries, allowed two sacks last week.

J.C. Tretter would have made his first career start at Seattle but got hurt in the preseason. Instead, he was replaced in the starting lineup by rookie Corey Linsley, a fifth-round draft pick. The Packers are also hoping that two other rookies, tight end Richard Rodgers and receiver Davante Adams, can make key contributions.

Of the three rookies, Linsley played well given he debuted against the Seahawks' defense.

"He did a good job of holding his own in the middle. ... It must have been the prayers," said Aaron Rodgers, making an apparent reference to comments last week by Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin that he would pray for the rookie in his debut.

There are plenty of veterans around on offense to help calm any rookie nerves, starting with the quarterback. The Packers are moving forward without panic, determined to fix their mistakes from the Seattle game.

"I wouldn't necessarily say play angry. I would say execute. We know the offensive power that we have," said veteran receiver Randall Cobb. "We know we can be dominant. It's just about executing the plays that are called."


Find Genaro Armas on Twitter at twitter.com/GArmasAP.


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