staff predictions

Packers or Jets? Pundit panel divided over Sunday's game

Matt Tevsh, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 9-2
Sunday's game: Jets 17, Packers 13
Comment: Eric Mangini, a mini-me Bill Belichick, is already making a name for himself with the Jets doing a nice job in his first season. His defense will bog down the Packers in the red zone, an area where they have struggled lately. That leaves Mike McCarthy and Jeff Jagodzinski with more questions to answer.

Ken Stills, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 8-3
Sunday's game: Green Bay 27, New York Jets 23
Comment: The Packers need to do what we've talked about each week - protect the football. Bottom line: When the Packers take care of the football they win the game. They'll need to slow down Laveranues Coles and play solid special teams. Take care of these things and I see a Packer victory at home.

Harry Sydney, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 7-4
Sunday's game: Jets 21, Packers 17
Comment: This will be a good measuring stick for where the Green bay Packers are because the Jets are the surprise team of the east. I want to go with the Packers, but I can't because I don't think they know who they are or what their strengths are at this point. When they should run they pass, and when they should pass they run. And the Packers special teams is horrible and the Jets have a good return man, so I'll go with Jets.

W. Keith Roerdink, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 7-4
Sunday's game: New York Jets 24, Green Bay 17
Comment: I saw that new show 'Day Break' the other night on ABC. It's about this cop who wakes up at the same time everyday only to find out it's the same day and he has to figure out what he needs to change to get things the way they are supposed to be. It's pretty much a dramatic interpretation of the old 'Groundhog Day' movie with Bill Murray. I also think I came up with this idea about eight years ago, but never sent my screen play off to the networks. That's too bad, but I digress. Anyway, it's also a lot like the Packer's 2006 season. Each week try to figure out what they need to do to make game day end differently, yet wake up the next day with another loss. The Packers are improving, but they still can't put enough of the pieces together enough of the time to get a 'W.' The Jets are a good, but not great team. Once again the Packers will lose a game they're fully capable of winning.

Doug Ritchay, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 7-4
Sunday's game: Jets 23, Packers 20
Comment: The Packers have thrown out the welcome mat this year at Lambeau, winning just once. The Jets are playing good football under first-year coach Eric Mangini, while the Packers are up and down under first-year mentor Mike McCarthy. Green Bay's injury problems on defense will be too much to overcome, as it has no defensive mind to prevent big plays.

Jay Royle, Publisher
Packers season prediction record: 7-4
Sunday's game: Jets 23, Packers 13
Comment: Unfortunately, I just don't sense a lot of confidence or direction in the team. They seem to be all over the place, meaning if it's not one thing it's another. The momentum they seemed to be gaining the first half of the season is gone, but some key injuries will do that. With that said, I think the slide continues.

Steve Lawrence, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 6-5
Sunday's game: Packers 24, Jets 21
Comment: I can't figure out the Packers (what happened to that midseason improvement), and I can't figure out the Jets (a good record, but one of the worst offenses and defenses in the league). For no good reason, I'll pick the Packers.

Bob Fox, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 5-6
Sunday's game: Packers 24, Jets 20
Comment: The Packers should be kicking themselves after Monday night. How many games have they had an opportunity to win this year, only to lose late because of mistakes? I count at least three games. That's what happens to a young football team and a rookie head coach. My advice to coach McCarthy - stay committed to the running game. It will HELP the passing game, no matter the success rate of it early. Defensively, the Packers need to shore up their run defense. Luckily, Shaun Alexander plays in Seattle and not New York.

Todd Korth, Managing Editor
Packers season prediction record: 5-6
Sunday's game: Jets 24, Packers 17
Comment: The Jets have been playing good football in recent games and will do enough to edge the inconsistent Packers and improve their chances for a playoff berth. Without tackle Mark Tauscher, Green Bay's offensive line will continue to struggle. This is a game, earlier in the year, I thought the Packers could win, but not now.

Tom Andrews, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 5-6
Sunday's game: Packers 24, Jets 20
Comment: I may be just thinking with my heart instead of my head on this one, but the Packers are due for a really good game at home. The Jets come into this game at 6-5 off their victory over Houston last week and Chad Pennington is really clicking with his receivers right now. How well Green Bay's secondary fares - especially with rookie Tyrone Culver stepping in for Nick Collins - against New York's receivers will probably have a lot to say about the outcome of this contest. Laveranues Coles snagged nine passes for 111 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown against the Texans. Jerricho Cotchery added seven grabs for 110 yards. If Green Bay can't put some heat on Pennington they're in for a long day. Conversely, the Packers must get their running game finally untracked and they've got to figure out more ways to score than simply a slant pass to Donald Driver. I look for Green Bay to be revved up and to finish the job they started but failed to complete against Seattle on Monday Night.

Laura Veras Marran, Correspondent
Packers season prediction record: 5-6
Sunday's game: Packers 24, Jets 17
Comment: Like the Packers, the Jets have suffered from inconsistent play which has made 2006 a rocky ride for rookie coaches. Green Bay can blame the youth movement for that, and it was to be expected. The Jets, on the other hand, have been a disappointment on both sides of the ball and their rushing defense ranks near the bottom of the league. While the Jets are still vying for a playoff spot, and the Packers are likely playing only for pride at Lambeau, I still give the edge to Green Bay, providing the Packers' ground attack is able to take advantage of the Jets' weaknesses.

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