This NY Jets defense contains arguably Rex Ryan’s best pass rush since he came to New York in 2009.
Through the years, he’s been able to call defensive gems against the likes of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. He did so against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers back in 2010, but the offense faltered and the Jets were shutout 9-0. Rodgers went just 15 of 34 for 74 yards and 0 touchdowns in that one.
With the success Ryan has had getting his players to the quarterback in the past, this is the year for his unit to enter elite status. Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, and Damon Harrison are expected to be right there for the best defensive line of the year when all is said and done.
The secondary may look weak, but the NY Jets will get Dee Milliner back.
It may have been the Raiders, but in his first game as a corner back, Antonio Allen held his own. Kyle Wilson didn’t allow Raiders receivers get behind him, and Dawan Landry had one of his best games as safety of the NY Jets. Rookie safety Calvin Pryor was able to make a few big hits, and was one weak drop away from a pick-six. Milliner, who finished last season as one of the best cornerbacks in the league, will only provide more confidence to a defense that dominated last Sunday. With Milliner not starting, but believed to get many snaps, Ryan has the option to give Rodgers different looks in what will be unique personnel packages.
The Packers will be without tackle Bryan Bulaga, which means the Jets pass rush will smell blood. This is a matchup nightmare for the Packers offensive line, especially since Eddie Lacy will have a hard time running on a dominant rush defense. The Packers would be smart to stay patient with the run game but with Rodgers running the hurry-up against a talented front-seven, he should be more pass-happy than usual.
Rodgers will be looking to hit on big plays, but if the Jets pass rush can knock him down early in the game, Rodgers will have to start dinking and dunking, something the Jets defense will always play for, especially since they tackled as well as any team this past week.
Ultimately, it’ll come down to Geno Smith and the New York Jets offense to put together at least three touchdown drives. The offense combined for 212 rushing yards, including 10 rushes for 38 yards from their quarterback who made plays other than with just his arm. The Jets offense was effective last week, something they always should be with a balanced rushing attack and a quarterback who has playmakers.
We’ve seen the Jets go on the road as underdogs and win many big games. It’s difficult to see the Packers dropping to 2-0 by the end of their home opener, but this game has the makings to be a tight one.
For the NY Jets, it starts and ends with how quickly they make Rodgers think twice about holding the ball for more than a few seconds.
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