Jaguars vs. Packers: No Time for the Packers to Take Their Foot off the Gas
About a week ago, I had to talk fellow Bleacher Reporter Aaron Nagler off a ledge because this game smells like a trap to him.
A lot of Green Bay Packer fans remember a time when these games, the easy ones, fell through the cracks. The Packers look ahead and WHAM, you have a loss that shouldn't be.
So sure, perhaps Nagler is certifiable. However, the Packers really do have to keep the gas pedal floored if they are to make sure they win this game.
When the Packers Are on Offense
We may be looking at a game where Jordy Nelson is not playing. As it stands, he is a game-time decision, and it wouldn't shock me if they gave him a week off to heal his hamstring.
It shouldn't make a difference as Randall Cobb and James Jones have really caught fire the last few weeks. Cobb is a guy I've been high on since he was drafted, and he's showing why every time he gets his hands on the ball.
And the team is doing everything it can to make sure he does get the ball, doing everything from passing to him, to lining him up in the backfield.
James Jones has taken huge strides forward this year, and while he occasionally lapses back to the inconsistent receiver he once was, by and large he has become a solid playmaker in the offense.
The Packers should do what they've been doing the last few weeks. Aaron Rodgers should continue to throw the short, sharp passes to open up the vertical game and then use that sparingly but effectively.
If there is one wrinkle I'd like to see, it's a little more Alex Green. Run the ball to see if this guy can be "the" guy once and for all.
Because if he can't look good against this defense, it may be time to look at other options.
When the Packers are on Defense
Blaine Gabbert is bent on playing, despite a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder.
I'm not sure whether that is brave or stupid considering he will be seeing a lot of Clay Matthews and Co.
Maurice Jones-Drew is out, which means Rashad Jennings is taking over, and while I like Jennings, he's nowhere near as good as MJD.
So more than likely, the potential to move the ball is all on the shoulders of Gabbert.
Which means the defense could have a very good day.
Gabbert has very little to work with. Rookie Justin Blackmon is not doing well and the rest of the receivers are pretty poor.
All the Packers need to do is rush Gabbert and start pounding him.
They don't have to knock him out of the game, just pressure him. The injury will hamper him even if it's not on his throwing arm. It will make it harder to do a lot of the things he can do well (they do exist) and make him that much easier to contain.
If for some reason Gabbert cannot play, the team faces Chad Henne.
In which case, the day just got easier.
Ultimately, the Packers need to keep pressure on the quarterback, blitz often and contain Jennings.
If they do that, this should be a cakewalk.
This could be a trap game, but the Jaguars are so battered and bruised that it's hard to imagine the Packers being so flat that they lose this game.
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