Packers Periscope: Week 2 vs New York Jets

The Past: Do you remember a time where the Packers defense carried the team?  If you are a newer fan of the Green Bay Packers, that idea might be a bit ludicrous, considering the Packers have fielded a consistently inconsistent defensive squad since a historically bad 2011 season.  But in the Packers last meeting with the Jets, it was the Packers defense who bailed out an out of sync offense to a 9-0 shutout at the meadow lands.  If only to add even more confusion to the mix, Mason Crosby was the only player to score any points that game, going 3/4 with a long of 41 yards.  In a game that featured only 3 field goals, you can bet the offense didn’t get much going; Aaron Rodgers posted a un-Rodgers like 57.9 QB rating with two sacks but was overshadowed by a truly terrible performance by Mark Sanchez, who posted a 43.3 QB rating with 2 sacks and 2 interceptions.  The running game for both teams didn’t have much of a day either; Brandon Jackson lead the Packers with 55 yards on 15 carries (this was the year Ryan Grant was injured in the season opener) while LaDainian Tomlinson (yes that LT) lead the Jets with 54 yards on 13 attempts.  Overall, the Packers only mustered 237 yards, the 2nd lowest total yardage by the Packers since 2010.  Defense was a different matter with the Packers getting consistent pressure on Sanchez with Clay Matthews and Brandon Chillar sacking Sanchez each, Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson pitching in an interception each and Tramon Williams adding to the defensive highlight reel with a fumble recovery.

The Present: It’s only one game, but the Jets barely squeaked by against the Oakland Raiders, who stood no chance against the Packers during the dress rehearsal that is the 3rd preseason game.  Perhaps most notable is Geno Smith’s penchant for taking very long sacks and some attempted trickeration with a pseudo-wild cat look that features Michael Vick in the slot.  Other than that, the Jets are staying true to the Rex Ryan motto of ground and pound, Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson combined for 170 yards on the ground in 23 carries while the Jets passing game only mustered 221 yards.  Defense is probably still the Jets forte, even with a considerably shaky defensive secondary that may or may not feature former 1st round pick Dee Milliner.  Milliner hasn’t had a great career to date but is still the Jets most talented secondary player after shipping Darrelle Revis off.

For the Packers, the passing game should have it’s way with the Jets defense, especially with a friendly home crowd and considerably less pass rushing talent on the field, even with Derek Sherrod subbing in for Bryan Bulaga, who is likely out for the next couple of weeks.  Add to that Eddie Lacy officially being cleared for the game after practicing in full yesterday and again the big question mark is the defense.  Luckily for the defense, they only have to play smart and not give up too much as opposed to contributing equally to the game plan.  The Packers were remarkable strong in run defense during the preseason and if they can force the Jets to abandon the run and put the game on Geno Smith’s shoulders, then the Packers should have a win in the bag.

The Future: After years of mismanagement under the Mike Tannebaum era, the Jets are actually looking pretty financially stable with enough cap room to comfortably operate this year and no major free agents in the next two years; the most important pending free agent is likely Muhammed Wilkerson, who is a prototypical 3-4 defensive end and was voted second team All-Pro and Pro Bowl alternate in 2013.  Unfortunately, Wilkerson was part of the first draft class where 1st round picks have a 5th year bonus and the Jets did decide to pick it up, meaning Wilkerson has another two years plus the threat of a franchise tag in 2016 before he can really get paid.

Of the Jets 2014 draft class, the two biggest names are Calvin Pryor, who was the other candidate for 1st round safety with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (there actually ended up being 4 safeties drafted in the 1st round, but that’s another story) and Jace Amaro, a tight end who really plays like a big wide receiver from the Texas Tech spread offense.  Pryor did well, grading out positively according to Pro Football Focus while Amaro had a very quiet rookie opener, going 2 catches for 7 yards.  Perhaps more interesting is the number of drafted rookies that the Jets did not keep on their 53; 6 drafted rookies are not currently on the 53 man roster with two being on injured reserved.  The most notable release was quarterback Tajh Boyd, who some thought might be the sleeper star of the quarterback class in 2014.  Boyd is currently a free agent who recently tried out for the Buffalo Bills.

In terms of team identity, this is still a Rex Ryan team and not a Geno Smith team nor will it ever be.  Ryan has a history of being an incredibly player friendly coach with a brilliant defensive mind, but probably lacks the consistency and offensive pedigree to really groom a quarterback like Mike McCarthy or Sean Payton can.  This does lead to some locker room concerns, Ryan often bites more than he can chew and usually becomes the focal point of the team even when he shouldn’t.  It is believed that after several years of mediocre seasons, Ryan is/was/kind of still is on the hot seat and it will be interesting to see how the team copes when they lose their identity; it certainly doesn’t appear as if the Jets have a player capable of filling the role.


Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s


2 thoughts on “Packers Periscope: Week 2 vs New York Jets

  1. The Packers should crush them. Plain and simple. The Jets are mediocre at best, and after the Packers embarrassing loss last week, there’s no reason they shouldn’t come out angry.

    I’m glad the Jets have a strong defense. This will be a good test to see if McCarthy learned anything from the loss last week, or if he’s going to continue with the same predictable gameplan he’s used for years.

    The offense better move the ball. The defense better create some turnover since Geno Smith is terrible. Barely scraping out a win isn’t good enough. They need to put a beatdown on the Jets!

  2. Am I the only one who thinks one of the most and perhaps overlooked (via denial) things the Packers and Jets have in common is..they both play to the caliber of its opponent?

    If I were forced to say which one is more likely to break that mold…I’d go with the Jets simply because of the energy that Rex endeavors weekly into his team,especially defense,that the complacent looking MM and the hidden in the booth Capers seem unable or to do.

    Punch or be punched.

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