On Sunday the New York Jets (5-1) take on the Green Bay Packers (4-3) at the New Meadowlands Stadium (1 pm EST). The Jets enter the game winners of five in a row, while Green Bay is coming off of an emotional Sunday night victory over the Vikings. Lets take a look at some of the keys to the game.
1) Ground and pound- The New York Jets must set the tempo early by establishing their running game. Getting the running game going will serve two purposes: 1) It will keep the Packer offense off of the field 2) It will wear down a banged up Green Bay defense. In addition if the Jets can move the ball on the ground the passing game will open up, especially play action. This is very important as Gang Green needs to get quarterback Mark Sanchez in rhythm in order to avoid errant throws and poor decisions.
2) Contain Clay- Clay Matthews leads the NFL with 8.5 sacks and is quickly emerging as one of the best defensive players in the league. Gang Green must account for Clay at all times as he can disrupt an offense with his pass rushing abilities. Most of this responsibility could fall into the lap of offensive lineman Damien Woody, but I would not be surprised to see him get some help from the backs and tight ends.
Fun Fact: Running back LaDainian Tomlinson needs 20 rushing yards to become 7th player to reach 13,000.
1) Rock Rodgers- The Green Bay Packers offense is built around their passing attack as their running game is non-existent. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is one of the best in the business and does an excellent job spreading the ball around the field. Gang Green must find ways to get pressure on Rodgers, without letting him escape from the pocket (Rodgers has 3 rushing tds). Qb hits should be the name of the game for the Jets defense.
2) Revis returns- Cornerback Darrelle Revis returns to the starting lineup this week and is said to be 100% healthy. Now the question is can Revis regain his All-Pro form? One thing that is for certain, the Packers and Aaron Rodgers will surely test out Darrelle early and often to find out.
Fun Fact: Jason Taylor seeks 4th consecutive game with a sack against the Packers.
The bye week came at a good time for the Jets as several key members of the team were banged up and needed some rest. Now the question is how will a rested Jets team play after hearing everyone sing their praises for 2 weeks? Will the Jets continue to play physical and aggressive? Or will the the team come out somewhat flat, with overconfidence being to blame? One can only hope that Rex Ryan and his veteran players have kept the team’s eye on the prize as a record of 5-1 means nothing in a 16 game season. Especially when the New England Patriots have the same record.
A home game on Halloween, what else can a Jets fan ask for. This game will be a good test for Gang Green, as the Packers could end up being one of the best teams in the NFC. I expect the Jets to come out a motivated team looking to make their mark on the game early. Look for aggressive blitzing and a power running game to get the game going. In the end the more physical Jets team will prevail 27-20.