Packers-Jets

Packers offensive line vs. Jets defensive line<p> In a scheme similar to what the Bears use, the Jets count on their defensive front to tie up blockers to enable their linebackers to run free and make tackles.

While the Jets' linebackers aren't in the same class as Chicago's trio, Marvin Jones, Mo Lewis and Sam Cowart form one of the league's top units. If the Packers' line can't handle the Jets' front four of John Abraham, Shaun Ellis, Jason Ferguson and Josh Evans, the Jets' linebackers will be able to ruin Green Bay's running attack. Size won't be an issue: Only Ferguson at 305 pounds tops the 300-pound barrier. Evans is effective, but at 275 he's one of the league's smallest players at his position.

Packers cornerbacks vs. Jets wide receivers

In an intriguing matchup, Jets quarterback Chad Pennington leads the NFL in completion percentage while the Packers' defense ranks second in completion percentage allowed. Obviously, something has to give. Expect Mike McKenzie to face the Jets' Wayne Chrebet while Tyrone Williams will face Laveranues Coles. Coles is the big-play threat while Chrebet is a nuisance on third downs. The Chrebet-McKenzie matchup is particularly key. The Packers rank third in third-down defense, which is a big reason for their defensive success this season. If McKenzie can take Chrebet out of the offense, the Jets will struggle to move the chains and — because they rarely strike for big plays — score points.

Jets C Kevin Mawae vs. Packers DTs

Mawae is a Pro Bowl center and the Jets' best lineman. Since most of the Jets' running game comes between the tackles, how Mawae handles Cletidus Hunt and, if healthy, Gilbert Brown will determine how much success Curtis Martin will have running the ball. Mawae is equal parts talent and grit — "He plays dirty," said former teammate and current Patriot Steve Martin — so composure will be key for the Packers.


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