PACKERS FOOTBALL FRIDAY: Fire and Brimstone

Aaron Rodgers Packers

For most of the Favre/Rodgers era the Green Bay Packers have played a prominent game to begin the season.  They have played in the opening Thursday Night game twice.  They have opened against the 49ers twice in the past 3 years. They used to open up against the Eagles during their prime.  Make no bones about it, the Packers are a premium brand in this NFL and the league loves to showcase them during opening weekend.  This should make you proud to be a Packers fan.

That’s all well and good, but sometimes it feels like it would be better if the Packers were allowed to get their feet wet a little bit more.  The people around Packer Nation get a little bit irritable when their team takes a nose dive against a good team in week 1.  This is understandable.  There is a belief that ever since the Packers fell to the Giants in the 2011 playoff game, they have allowed the rest of the NFC to pass them by.  Continuously losing to the Seahawks and 49ers, the two teams at the top of the conference, is not ideal.  What it does, though (and this drives me nuts), is make people forget how good the Green Bay Packers are.

I’ve heard preseason predictions of a 1-3 start.  I’ve heard local radio guys predict the team being a touchdown underdog in Detroit in week 3.  I take a brief run through the comments section on PackersTalk.com and I see people giving up on our team and predicting a loss to the Jets.  We are not going to lose to the Jets.  We are not going to lose to the Jets the same way we didn’t lose to the Redskins in week 2 last year.  We are going to kick some Jet ass.  In fact, I predict a fire and brimstone biblical beat down very similar to the one that the Red**** got last season in week 2.

In home games that Aaron Charles Rodgers has started and finished the Packers are 17-1 in their last 18.  The only team to beat them at home when Rodgers plays the full game was the San Francisco 49ers in 2012.  The San Francisco 49ers participated in the Super Bowl in 2012.  The New York Jets of 2014 are not the San Francisco 49ers of 2012.

Why the Packers Will Win: because at the end of the day they’re still one of the 4 or 5 best teams in football.  The New York Jets have a fantastic defensive coordinator/head coach in Rex Ryan.  He is really going to have to scheme up some stuff this week.  The top 5 defensive backs for the Jets are a banged up Dee Milliner, something called Phillip Adams, Antonio Allen, Dawan Landry and Kyle Wilson.  Woof.  Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are just not going to be something the Jets can match up against on the outside.  I don’t think the Packers are going to have a lot of success running the ball with Eddie Lacy, but I don’t think it’s going to matter one bit.  Once the Packers have a comfortable lead the newly formed pass rush group will finally get to pin their ears back and really cause problems for the Jets trying to throw the ball.

Why the Jets Will Win: The Jets have a chance to pull an upset albeit a small one.  They are built on the principles of running the ball and stopping the run.  Running back Chris’s Ivory and Johnson are certainly able to move the ball behind a pretty good run blocking offensive line.  Sheldon Richardson adn Muhammad Wilkerson are the best 3-4 DE tandem in the league.  It could probably e argued that JJ Watt and whoever he is paired with are better because JJ Watt is a freak show, but the way these two control the line and make life easier on the rest of the front 7 cannot be understated.  The problem is if the Packers step back and play 3 wide and a tight end, those two DL aren’t going to be of much consequence and they’re going to have to try generate pressure with Calvin Pace and Quinton Coples.

Fantasy Packer to Start: Jarret Boykin- go ahead and start JB.  I think the Packers are going to be able to move the ball through the air almost exclusively.  There isn’t a single defensive back on the Jets that can guard Jarret Boykin.  Go ahead.  Go back and read that sentence.  It’s true.  I know that should really cause problems for those trying to guard Jordy and Randall, but Rex might try to scheme them out.

Fantasy Packer to Sit: Eddie Lacy- I wouldn’t do it, because I think there are not 19 running back situations that I prefer to Eddie, but this is not a great matchup for him.  Coming off of a concussion against the best run defense in football I would not expect a whole lot out of Eddie.  With that said Eddie “Moss” Lacy could do some serious damage out of the backfield as a pass catcher and always has a chance at a goal line run.

Packers stat of the week- 18. 18 god damn missed tackles.  That led the NFL in week 1.  Granted, that was against the premier tackle-breaker in the league Marshawn Lynch, but not all of the bouncing off was bouncing off of He Who Is Bout that Action Boss.  The coaching staff needs to get this cleaned up immediately.

Bottom Line: The New York Jets are not the kind of team that is going to come into Lambeau Field and get a win.  They’re just not.  The Packers know for the 3rd straight season that they cannot afford to drop to 0-2.  It’s not a position from which a lot of teams make the playoffs.  The Packers are an awful matchup for the Jets, who hard a hard enough time with the Raiders last week.  Packers 38 Jets 14

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Ross Uglem is a writer at PackersTalk.com. You can follow Ross on twitter at RossUglem

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