Steffen: Okay, Green Bay Packers fans, enjoy these last few moments of euphoria. The Packers defeated Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings last week.
They did it.
Let that soak in a little bit more…
…and now back to reality.
The reality is the Packers are about to face one of the best teams in the league with an injury-depleted roster and all the problems I mentioned last week — horrible special teams play, penalties and no running game.
With defensive ends Ryan Pickett and Cullen Jenkins likely out again this week, you can add run defense to this list of problems and liabilities.
Adrian Peterson gashed the Packers for 131 yards last week, so you can expect a heavy dose of LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene from the New York Jets, this Sunday.
Also, look out for Dustin Keller. The athletic tight end is quietly having a breakout year and has a similiar skill set to Minnesota’s Vinsanthe Shiancoe. Shiancoe burned Brandon Chillar and the Packers last week, so Keller will get his.
There has been a lot of hype surrounding Darrelle Revis and the Jets defense, but they aren’t playing as well as they were last year. The Packers have the ability to move the ball on them, but they will have to play focused, mistake-free ball.
I know, I know, that’s a lot to ask of the Packers offensive line, but if they can hold Jared Allen and the Vikings at bay they can do the same against the Jets.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy needs to get a quick strike, three-step-drop offense going early on, utilizing the tight ends and the slot. This is good game to get away from the long ball appproach the Packers seem to favor. Against Revis and Antonio Cromartie, it simply is not advisable. Why not make them non factors early on?
Here’s hoping that Aaron Rodgers and his receivers worked out whatever the hell was going on with those timing routes last week.
The Packers are still scrambling to fill holes and the Jets are rested, coming off a bye. The X factor will be whatever momentum the Packers can harness from last week’s victory.
The Packers will need a huge game from Rodgers and turnovers from the defense to have any hope. In the end, the Jets are too motivated and talented to come up short.
Jets 24, Packers 19
Sarah: This is going to be a tough game for the injury-riddled Packers.
The Jets share the league’s best record at 5-1 with the Pittsburgh Steelers and have 45 takeaways in Rex Ryan’s 22 games as coach. Green Bay has turned it over 13 times this year.
The game even has stone face Mike McCarthy concerned — and that says a lot.
“Our giveaways are way too high. Our turnover ratio is minus-1. That’s not where we want to be,” he said this week.
Green Bay has gotten some key starters back from injuries, but is still missing some big names from the starting lineup. New York is coming off the bye. Rested.
As a unit, the New York defense is holding opponents to 16.8 points per contest, fourth best in the NFL. And running back LaDainian Tomlinson has been an adrenaline shot for the Jets’ anemic offense from a year ago. Even quarterback Mark Sanchez is looking good.
The Packers have lost to Chicago, Washington and Miami, and barely beat Detroit and Minnesota. They just don’t look like the dominating team most thought they’d be.
And at this point, I don’t think they can pull off an upset victory against a relaxed Jets team coming off a bye week.
Again, it’s going to be a tough game.
Jets 27, Packers 24
Shawn: Normally, the Jets are a favorable match up for the Packers, but the Packers’ run defense has not been what it was supposed to be and injuries continue to be a factor.
The Packers could have Cullen Jenkins back for this game, which should help the pass rush, and frankly, the Packers have more than enough talent in their secondary to slow down the Jets’ passing offense. However, the Jets have a better run blocking O-line than the Minnesota Vikings, and even if they don’t have anyone near as good as Adrian Peterson, their tandem of LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene should be able to take the pressure off of quarterback Mark Sanchez.
The Jets themselves are without defensive lineman Kris Jenkins, but that shouldn’t pose a big problem against a team like the Packers, who rarely run the football.
The biggest injury on either side is to Jerimichael Finley. Without him, the Packers are without a middle-of-the-field weapon the Jets can’t match up with. The Jets are one of the few teams that have the cornerbacks capable of matching up well with the Packers’ receivers, and that match up is even more favorable with Donald Driver at less than 100 percent.
The Packers defense can keep this close, but they won’t win without an MVP-type performance from Aaron Rodgers or some huge plays from their defense. The Jets should be ready to go from their bye week, and their defense and special teams will make enough plays to help their offense outscore the Packers.
Jets 24, Packers 13