Grounding the Jets? Rodgers That.Posted:Sep 12th, 2014 3:17 pm
The only thing worse than witnessing countless missed tackles, some problematic injuries and a pathological fear of Richard Sherman is having to wait ten days to see what they do for an encore.
When the Packers finally take the field at 3:25 on Sunday for their only home game in the month of September, they'll have some serious 'splainin' to do. You look at the 2014 schedule and this is arguably the easiest game on the slate. The Jets are a non-playoff team looking in, a young team that has an 8-8 feel to it, with a young quarterback who has more weapons than he had a year ago and a defense that continues to be defined by a physical front seven.
The two teams couldn't have had more different opening week opponents. While the Packers were bashed by the champs, the Jets escaped at home against perhaps the league's worst team. That said, they pounded the rock, gashing Oakland for more than 200 yards on the ground. And after watching the Pack swinging and missing 18 times at Marshawn Lynch and company, if they don't wrap up Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson on Sunday, Rex Ryan will have that silly grin on his face as he watches Aaron Rodgers stewing on the sidelines.
Dom Capers' defense looked lost and confused last Thursday. They stayed in the nickel, even though they were playing a team that was killing them on the ground. The next two opponents, Detroit and Chicago, will force the Pack to live in the nickel, but against this opponent, the Pack should stay in base and continue to show us 4-3 looks, to force Geno Smith into second and third and long situations, which will allow Matthews, Peppers and company to do what they do best.
The Jets passing game remains pedestrian and a work in progress. Though Smith's numbers last week are impressive, 23-28 for 221 yards with a TD and a pick, the Raiders are a mess defensively. The Packers' secondary should be able to handle Eric Decker and company, even with the safeties cheating up to handle the run much of the time.
Offensively, the Packers should be able to move the ball through the air with little resistance. Rodgers excels in bounce back situations and he gets a Jets secondary that is in transition. They may be as weak at cornerback than any team in the league and with their best guy, Dee Milliner doubtful to play with a high ankle strain, expect a 300+ yard day from Rodgers, with multiple touchdowns. Needless to say, if the Packers can jump out to a two-score lead, the Jets' dreams of running the ball all day will be dashed.
Looks like Eddie Lacy will return; expect the Pack to rotate all three guys against the Jets. All three can be three down guys and handle the up tempo, no huddle attack the Packers will undoubtedly roll with most of the first half, if not most of the game.
With three straight division games looming, this one is an absolute must. Not to mention, it's the home opener, where Rodgers is undefeated in home openers against teams not called the 49ers. Let's see if Mike Pennel gets a shot at anchoring the nose and providing some beef against the run. Let's see if Jamari Lattimore steps in for the ailing Brad Jones and never gives the job back. Let's see if the Packers get to business, improve to 1-1 and prepare for the Lions and Bears and Vikings, oh my.
Packers 34 Jets 20
Much more to come on this matchup this Sunday, 7am-8am CST on "Packer Preview" on KFAN, kfan.com and iHeart radio. Or podcast it when you wake up at "Fan on Demand" at kfan.com or at iTunes. Tweet me your questions, comments @TCHeadCheese and I'll read them on the air.