Packers Win Super Bowl: Differences Between the Jets and Green Bay
Just two days ago, the Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers to take the Lombardi trophy back home. They beat the team who beat the Jets to get to the Super Bowl.
That brings up the following question: what are the differences between the Jets and the Super Bowl-winning Packers? What is it that the Packers were able to do that the Jets couldn't?
Is it just simply the fact that Aaron Rodgers is on a higher level than Mark Sanchez or is it more than that? Not only did the Packers win it all, but they did it with a ton of injuries all season and a huge one in the Super Bowl itself.
As you Jets fans sit back and wonder what could have been and whether or not your team could've beaten the Packers on Sunday, here's a couple of differences between the two teams.
Packers Have The More Balanced Offense
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One of the reasons the Green Bay Packers were able to be so successful in the playoffs was because of their offense. Of course it all begins and ends with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but their entire offensive scheme and the weapons he utilizes is what makes Green Bay dangerous.
They have a great mixture of guys who can do different things as receivers. Greg Jennings is the most explosive wide receiver, as he went for 1,265 yards this season and had two touchdowns in the Super Bowl. Including the postseason, he had seven games of at least 100 receiving yards or more.
Out of nowhere in Week 16 came Jordy Nelson, when he broke out for 124 yards on only four catches against the Giants. He then saved his best postseason game for Dallas as he caught a touchdown, along with 140 yards.
Even at the advanced age of 36, Donald Driver is still able to make some big plays, giving the Packers even more to work with. Don't forget about James Jones either, who made some big catches against the Steelers.
At the running back position, the Packers lost Ryan Grant for the season in Week 1. That made many people think the Packers' Super Bowl chances would decrease but they got some good play from Brandon Jackson and then James Starks erupted against the Eagles in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
The Jets don't have a bad offense, but it isn't as productive as Green Bay's. None of their receivers reached 1,000 yards during the season or had too many standout games—albeit Santonio Holmes missed the first four games.
Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer couldn't decide all season who to let run the ball more—LaDainian Tomlinson or Shonn Greene.
It just seems as if the Packers are a bit more explosive, and have more options on offense.
Plus, it appears Packers coach Mike McCarthy believes in his offense as opposed to Jets coach Rex Ryan who mostly cares about his defense.
Packers Have a Deeper Secondary
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The Jets have a pretty good secondary. No one can question the ability of their cornerbacks, as Darrelle Revis is the best CB in football and Antonio Cromartie can make plays.
But, the Packers secondary is a bit deeper with more guys that can impact a game. You'd know that by watching the Super Bowl—and if you saw the Jets and Packers match up in Week 8 of the season.
In that game, Aaron Rodgers was never picked off, while Mark Sanchez threw two interceptions. In the Super Bowl, safety Nick Collins intercepted Ben Roethlisberger and ran it back for a touchdown.
The Jets do have a nice group of safeties, such as Jim Leonhard, Brodney Pool, Eric Smith, and James Ihedigbo, but they aren't as talented as the group on the Packers.
Just take a look at this statistic: the Jets safeties combined for two interceptions during the regular season, while the Packers safeties combined for eight. Nick Collins had four of those and the huge one that gave the Packers a 14-point lead against Pittsburgh. So, although the Jets safeties aren't bad, the Packers guys produce more and are better play makers.
Regarding the cornerbacks, the Jets have every team in the NFL beat when it comes to the top guy on the depth chart. No one is better than Revis and paired with Cromartie, it may be the best CB tandem in the league. But, the Jets don't have as many on their team with play-making potential as the Packers do.
In his first season out of Boise State, Jets first-round pick Kyle Wilson looked completely lost. He didn't intercept one pass, and couldn't stay with his man for the most part. If the Jets don't bring Cromartie back, they better hope that Wilson improves in a hurry next season.
Along with Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams, the Packers have Sam Shields, who had two interceptions against the Bears in the NFC Championship game.
Once again, the Packers have more depth than the Jets in the secondary.
Unlike Jets, Packers Did Their Talking On The Field
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All the Jets ever try to do is intimidate their opponent through the media.
They make bold proclamations and guarantee wins and eventual championships. Not just their head coach Rex Ryan, but even the players—most notably Antonio Cromartie during the playoffs.
He showed his hatred towards Patriots quarterback Tom Brady before the Jets faced them in the Divisional round of the playoffs. His comments are probably not what got Brady rattled on the field, but the Jets did get the huge win.
Then, as if that wasn't enough, Cromartie knocked Hines Ward before the AFC Championship game against the Steelers. Ward and his teammates had the final say by knocking Cromartie and Jets out of the playoffs.
So, two straight seasons of bad-mouthing their opponents, and two straight seasons of missing the Super Bowl by one game.
Hopefully for the Jets—lesson learned.
Then you look at the Packers who are the Super Bowl champions. They completed one of the greatest playoff runs of all time, becoming only the third team to win three road games to reach the Super Bowl.
How'd they do it? Well, one thing is for sure, it wasn't done through media trash-talking. Try and think of one press conference involving a Packers' player or coach saying dirty things about an opponent. Can't think of one, right?
It's because it never happened once.
The Packers kept their mouths shut and did the unthinkable.
They went into Philadelphia and knocked off Michael Vick in his dream return to the NFL. They went into Atlanta and beat the top-seeded Falcons who are tough to beat at home with Matt Ryan. Maybe in less of a stunner, they beat the Bears at Soldier Field.
To cap it off, they knocked off the team with the most Super Bowl championships of all time.
That's how it's done in the NFL. Maybe the Jets did one thing right over the past two weeks—pay attention to the Packers.
Packers Have Clay Matthews, Jets Have...Bart Scott?
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It's been said countless amounts of times for the Jets this season: they don't have a pass rush and that's why they can't get over the top.
What the Jets defense does best is blitz—knowing they have a guy named Darrelle Revis along with Cromartie in the secondary.
What the Jets defense doesn't have is a guy who can consistently get to the quarterback, interfere with his passes, and take him out of his game.
The Packers have that exact guy, and he's Clay Matthews. To show you how big of a joke the Defensive Player of the Year award is, Matthews lost out to the Steelers' Troy Polamalu. How'd that work out in a head-to-head of the two when it counted most?
Anyway, Matthews recorded 13.5 sacks during the regular season. The eight active Jets linebackers combined for 20.5. Bryan Thomas was the leader in the group, recording six sacks. That shows you how much one big play-maker on defense can do for a team.
Sure, the Jets have some linebackers who are solid. There's nothing wrong with Thomas, Calvin Pace, or David Harris. It's just that none of them are at the level of a Matthews and while the Jets allowed Ben Roethlisberger to run on his own 11 times, the Packers only allowed him to rush four times.
The game that would be the most promising for the Jets concerning pressuring the quarterback, would be against the Patriots. In that Divisional round game, the Jets sacked Tom Brady five times and forced him to throw an interception after a record string of passes without one. A major priority this offseason for the Jets will be to either sign or draft a big-time linebacker.
Even when he was asked by the Packers' linebacker coach to step it up a notch in the biggest game of the season, Matthews responded with a huge play against the Steelers. It's great for a team and their defense to be able to rely on a linebacker who can completely take a quarterback out of his game.
The Jets need that guy.
Mark Sanchez Is Good But Aaron Rodgers Is Excellent
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Before you take this the wrong way and call me a "Mark Sanchez hater," I'm not knocking him or calling him a bad quarterback. I think Sanchez is on his way to being in-between good and great. With that being said, how can you make the case that he's better than Aaron Rodgers?
Call it flavor of the month or whatever you want, but until proven otherwise, Rodgers is as good as a quarterback can be. I won't get delirious and put him above Tom Brady and Peyton Manning—yet—but behind those two, he's next on the list.
Rodgers can really do everything as a QB. He can throw the ball, having thrown for 4,000 yards or close to it in each of his first three full seasons.
Not only can he throw the ball which every QB should be able to do, but he throws it perfectly. Instead of making his receivers have to jump or dive for passes, he throws the ball right in between the numbers on the jersey.
He's as accurate as you can possibly be.
Want to know about his quality of mobility? That's not bad either. Rodgers had a stretch of four straight games rushing the ball for 20 yards or more during the season. He also had a 12-carry, 51-yard game against the Falcons in their regular season meeting. Against the Bears in the NFC Championship game, he ran for 39 yards on seven carries.
Rodgers just seems to be the perfect package, and he proved it by winning the Super Bowl MVP award, a feat that not even Brett Favre accomplished.
Now, tell me that Sanchez can do all of what Rodgers can do.
I don't think you can.
Starting off with the mobility portion of the debate, there were four games this season in which Sanchez ran for negative yardage.
Against the Colts in the first round of the playoffs, he had a terrible time accurately passing the football, having his throws sail high frequently.
Sanchez can have stretches of brilliance such as he did through the first five games of the season—not throwing a single interception. Then he can have stretches of inconsistency, as he did for most of the rest of the season after Week 5.
He did outplay Tom Brady in the playoffs, and that was perhaps the best game of his young career.
What Rodgers is, is much more complete than Sanchez.
He does it every game, and at the end, that's what wins you championships. That's exactly what the Packers did that the Jets couldn't.