Friday, September 12, 2014
The Green Bay Packers Can't Look Past The New York Jets
The Green Bay Packers went into Seattle last Thursday, and fell apart shortly after the second half started. There are many factors that played a role in the Packers self destructing. Lack of defense, loss of Bryan Buluga, and missed tackles. But in the end the Packers just got beat by a much better team. But that was last week, and the Packers have a talented undderated Jets team to contend with at Lambeau Field this sunday. This game is a potential must win in the Packers young season.
The Packers may be facing a trap game scenario on Sunday. They are playing a Jets team who, a season ago, was one of the most ineffective offensive teams in the league. But they boast a strong, and underrated defense. It always seems like Rex Ryan has a solid defensive squad year in and year out. The Jets boast a strong defensive line with DT Muhammed Wilkerson and DT Sheldon Richardson. This is a concern for the Packers who are hurting on the offensive line. Right tackle Derek Sherrod must step up in the absence of Bryan Bulaga. Against Seattle he seemed overwhelmed, and allowed Aaron Rodgers to be sacked 3 times, and pressured on countless other plays. Rodgers needs to be able to trust his offensive line. In 2009 he had the same problem, and it led to him getting "happy feet" on certain occasions. It'll be important for the Packers to have their run game intact, but we won't know how much Eddie Lacy will be used coming off of his second concussion in two years.
Lacy and James Starks could potentially split the load for the Packers on Sunday. That wouldn't be the end of the world, with Starks in the middle of a career resurgance. Starks actually ran very well against the Seattle Seahawks in week 1. Lacy suffered a concussion against the Seahawks, but was cleared to play Sunday. The Packers still have to be smart with Eddie on Sunday. The Packers lost track of the running the ball against the seahawks outside of the first drive. With Sherrod starting it's going to be to a must that the Packers run game is on point. They're going to have to use the run to set up the pass.
Aaron Rodgers should be able to unload on the Jets secondary, esspeically if they are still beat up going into the game. Last week Oakland Raiders rookie QB Derek Carr had a very good game against the Jets secondary, throwing for 151 yards and 2 touchdowns. Those aren't spectauctalr numbers, but for a rookie making his first start it bodes well for an elite QB like Rodgers. Rodgers should also be able to get his third and fourth receivers involved in the game. Against the Seahawks, Jarret Boykin and rookie Davante Adams were basically invisible. A part of that was because Rodgers barely had time to throw, but against the Jets he should be able to build the confidence up in his young receivers.
The Packers can't take this Jets team light on the defensive side either. Second year QB Geno Smith has the potential to light up this Packers secondary. This Dom Capers defense has been lit up by the likes Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder, so Smith could very well be in for a good day. The Jets also boast both power and speed in their backfield with RB's Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson. The Packers defense made a lackluster effort at stopping the run in week 1, and that must get better. Johnson has had his skills dimminish in the last few years, still has the ability to break a huge run with his speed. The Packers must contain him when he's in the game.
In the end I don't think the Jets are going to come into Lambeau and stomp all over the Packers opening day. Look for the Packers to win by at least 10 on sunday, in a game that should be close at half-time.