Jets vs. Packers: Key Positional Matchups for the Green and Gold
The Packers showed Minnesota fans a thing or two Sunday night at Lambeau, winning a thrilling game against Brett Favre and Brad Childress.
I (as much as any of you) love to see this team defy their critics by pounding a divisional rival at their own game to come out with a victory.
Sitting at 4-3, the Pack look towards a showcase match-up against the New York Jets on Sunday. A game that could mean taking a step towards prominence, or a step towards 4-4.
Nevertheless, this game has a boatload of importance for Green Bay. A win against Rex Ryan's crew will put the Packers back on the national scene.
With so many injuries to key players, the Packers still share a NFC North lead with the lackluster Chicago Bears. It's time for McCarthy's crew to make a statement.
Let's go over the battles that will take place Sunday afternoon in New York.
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Aaron Rodgers vs. Jets pass defense
What Aaron Rodgers has to do
Aaron Rodgers will go up against the league's most potent pass defense in the Jets. Coming off a bye, the Jets' defense will be primed and ready for the Green Bay passing attack.
Darrelle Revis will have Greg Jennings' number Sunday, but don't expect a total let-up from McCarthy's play-calling. Jennings will still get his receptions.
Rodgers has to neutralize the Revis-Cromartie tandem by consistently involving back-up tight ends Andrew Quarrless and Donald Lee.
If Rodgers can manage to throw for 100 yards between Quarrless and Lee, the Packers will have a great shot at a win Sunday.
It wont be an easy task, but it absolutely must be done for the Packers to come out on top.
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Brandon Jackson vs. Jets run defense
What Brandon Jackson has to do
Brandon Jackson's performance over the past few week has impressed us all, to a point.
Since the pass-defense of the Jets is more than capable of limiting Aaron Rodgers' options, Jackson will really have to step up when opportunities present themselves.
Jackson only ran for 58 yards last week, but Green Bay's run game never seemed in question. Let's hope that continues this week.
The run-defense of the Jets has no allowed a run over 40 yards this season, and has only allowed three runs over 20 yards. Talk about disciplined.
John Kuhn will be in for short-yardage situations, and will give Jackson rest when he needs it.
The offensive-line for the Packers has their work cut out for them, but they should get the job done.
Andrew Quarless/Donald Lee
Packers Tight-Ends vs. Jets secondary
What the tight ends must do
The absence of all-pro TE Jermichael Finley will be missed -- there's no getting around that.
So back-ups Donald Lee and Andrew Quarless will need to make big plays when the Packers need it most.
The New York-secondary has allowed 10 passing touchdowns, five of which have been given up to opposing tight-ends.
The tight-ends of the Packers must convert, along with helping Aaron Rodgers when he is under pressure -- it is invaluable for the tight ends to play fundamentally-sound football.
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What the wide receivers must do
The objective seems simple: catch the football. But an extremely complex pass-defense lead by Darrelle Revis will be primed and ready.
Although Revis claims to be a bit "banged up", you can't assume anything given the time-range for his recovery, having last week's bye week to heal up.
Jordy Nelson and James Jones (in particular) have seemed to step up and take on a much bigger role this season.
Nevertheless, Donald Driver and Greg Jennings will always be ready for battle, and will be accepting of the fact that they won't see as many passes come their way this week.
Aaron Rodgers should get the great protection he's gotten from the o-line this season, and will get the ball to this talented group of receivers on command.
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Clay Matthews vs. Jets pass defense
What Clay Matthews must do
Given the performance this line-backing group put on last week against the Vikings, we have to have great confidence in the manner in which they've been able to play.
Clay Matthews has to put pressure on Mark Sanchez.
Sanchez has proved to make key mistakes with the football when pressure is applied; one of Matthews' strengths (obviously).
Along with Matthews, Desmond Bishop must be able to drop back into coverage and effectively limit a wide variety of receivers.
If they are able to execute, the Packers have a great shot at a road victory.
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Charles Woodson vs. Santonio Holmes
What Charles Woodson must do
Although Charles Woodson hasn't had quite the year he had last year, he has still been able to limit prime-time receivers thus far.
Santonio Holmes is one of those receivers that change games, and Woodson must be able to effectively shut him down.
Sanchez will look for Holmes for the big-play, and Woodson had better be ready.
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What the game means
The Jets are 5-1, the Packers are 4-3.
By no means are we in "panic" mode.
However, to put things into perspective: Green Bay can defy their critics once again this week by limiting a highly talented Jets squad. It won't be easy -- but it has to be done.
I don't view this as a "must-win", however a marquee win has yet to be won for the Packers thus far this season.
Should all the pieces fall into place this Sunday, the Packers have a dignified victory coming their way.
Dear Mike McCarthy: "Just do it."
Prediction: Green Bay 21, New York 20