Prediction: How will the Green Bay Packers fare In 2014?
By Kenn Korb
Aug 28, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Will Murphy (84) is stopped by New Yor k Jets cornerbackJohnny Patrick (22) and linebacker A.J. Edds in the second half at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Jets, 37-7. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Week 2: N.Y. Jets @ Green Bay Packers
When looking at the schedule, this could be a game many people may overlook. The Jets come right after playing Seattle and before a back-to-back at Detroit and Chicago, so it can be easy to see why. This is as pure a trap game as can be, and more dangerous than most.
Rex Ryan and his Jets are not as talented as they were during their deep playoff runs a few years ago, but this team plays strongly as a cohesive group on defense and can usually keep games close enough to win if the offense has a decent showing. This year, they look to be even weaker than before in the secondary–a huge issue last season–but the front seven help close down the ability to exploit that talent-gap.
Offensively they look to be a running team yet again, though the whole unit should end up as an enhanced version of what was available last year. Geno Smith is expected to improve as a sophomore at QB after an up-and-down rookie year. Chris Johnson has been brought in to be the explosive counterpart to the bruising power of Chris Ivory in a 1-2 RB punch. Eric Decker was added from Denver to give Geno a legitimate WR to throw to, which should dramatically help even if he doesn’t approach Broncos-level stats. So as you can see, there is plenty to be wary of in this matchup.
This would be the perfect time for the Packers to show the hoped-for improvement at run-D; if the Jets cannot run and the ball gets put into Geno’s hands to make plays, he can be exploited. The Jets O-line isn’t as great as it used to be, but they still have players like D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold who can more than hold their own. If Mike Daniels, Datone Jones, and the rest of the D-line rotation can make enough impact against them, it will force the aforementioned scenario with Geno having the game in his hands all day (advantage: Packers).
Another factor that may end up playing out doesn’t even involve the Jets, but it could affect the outcome: playing Seattle the week before. Last year, opponents of the Seahawks ended up going 5-9-1 the week after playing them. Now that can be seen as a fluke obviously (in 2012, the record in that situation was 10-3), but to a certain extent it can be said that playing a very physical team like Seattle will have a more lasting affect on fatigue than against most squads. Having the extra few days to recover because of that game being on a Thursday may be able to nullify that effect however, so it may be nothing to worry about in the end.
When it comes down to it, I think the Packers defense does manage to slow the Jets running game and Rodgers and Co. will be able to take advantage of that lackluster secondary and put up enough points to win handily.
Green Bay 20
N.Y. Jets 10