WHEN: Sunday, Noon (CST)
WHERE: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
TV: CBS, Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
SERIES: 10th meeting. Jets lead series, 7-2. In the last meeting in 2002, Chad Pennington threw four touchdowns as the Jets drubbed the Packers, 42-17, in the regular-season finale. That win, coupled with New England's comeback victory over Miami, gave the Jets the AFC East title. In their last visit to Lambeau Field, the Jets won the 2000 season-opener, 20-16. It was the first game of coach Al Groh's short-lived tenure.
2006 RANKINGS: Jets: offense 27th (19th rush, 22nd pass); defense 29th (26th rush, 20th pass). Packers: offense 11th (23rd rush, 9th pass); defense 25th (16th rush, 29th pass)
PREDICTION: Jets 24-23
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Packers gave up 235 rushing yards on Monday night, but MLB Nick Barnett is expected to return this Sunday and the Jets might not have the running game to get anywhere near that production. The trio of Kevan Barlow, Cedric Houston and rookie Leon Washington has been inconsistent, but the Jets will see if someone can get the hot hand to help set up play-action for QB Chad Pennington. With the Jets lacking big vertical threats in the passing game, look for the Packers to stack the box and attempt to put consistent pressure on Pennington.
Green Bay's own running game has struggled without RT Mark Tauscher, who is expected to miss his third consecutive game. The Jets know if they can contain RB Ahman Green, they can force QB Brett Favre into mistakes in long passing situations. But the Jets are allowing 135.2 rushing yards per game, so that game plan is easier said than executed.
Jets: Remaining opponents are a combined 13 games under .500. ... Will play just their fourth game in Lambeau Field. ... Have held five of past six opponents to 20 points or less.
Packers: Are 22-7 (.759) in games after Dec. 1 since 2000. ... WR Donald Driver needs 98 receiving yards for his third consecutive 1,000-yard season.