Stumbling Packers Set to Host Rising Jets

The Green Bay Packers will return home this week following a disappointing loss in London against the New York Jets. With a turn of the page, the Packers will now look to host a fellow New Jersey native franchise against the Jets in Week 6.

This certainly isn’t the typical New York Jets team Green Bay will look to face off against early on Sunday. However, the same thing can be said about the Packers.

The Jets (3-2) are bringing a two-game winning streak in Lambeau after knocking off the Miami Dolphins 40-17. The Packers (3-2) are coming off a slap-in-the-face loss to the Giants which has sparked more uncertainty about the team.

The Packers needed a serious wakeup call and last week’s loss might have provided one. The identity in Green Bay is in flux and needs to be figured out soon, preferably this weekend. The biggest aspect the Packers need to figure out this their second-half adjustments on offense.

In the last three games, the Packers have scored 41 points in the first half compared to 19 points in the second half (which includes a free late fourth-quarter safety against the Giants). Figuring out how to adjust and adapt offensively has to be a priority for the Packers’ offense on Sunday.

Last week, during his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show”, quarterback Aaron Rodgers hinted at getting wide receiver Randall Cobb more involved on offense. In response, Cobb led the Packers with seven receptions and 99 yards against the Giants. On this week’s appearance, Rodgers turned his preference toward Allen Lazard.

“We gotta get Allen more involved too, whether that’s calling more plays for him or me giving him a few more looks,” Rodgers said. “Allen is such a talented guy for us, we have to find ways of getting the ball in his hands.”

Getting Lazard more involved in the offense against the Jets looks to be a tough task. After using the fourth overall pick in April’s draft to select cornerback Sauce Gardner, the Jets have appeared to hit a home run. Through five weeks, Gardner has allowed a 17.8 passer rating while in single coverage, ranking first in the league according to Pro Football Focus. He’s also recorded six pass breakups this season and allowed a passer rating of 34.2 against the Dolphins in Week 5.

The Packers will have to get creative with their scheme in order to get their wide receivers open against Robert Saleh’s aggressive defensive unit.

“The first thing you notice when you put on the tape is the effort that they play with,” head coach Matt LaFleur said. “Those guys are flying around, it’s very aggressive. It’s just hard to go out there and consistently execute [against them].”

As for the Packers’ defense, Green Bay has to learn how to overcome the major issue that has been shown in nearly every single game. Last week, I discussed how the Packers’ defense has struggled against the run through the first four weeks. Nothing changed in Week 5. Running back Saquon Barkley steamrolled through the defense averaging 5.4 yards-per-carry and totaled 106 yards on the day.

This week, the Packers’ defense will have to prepare against a “monster” in Jets rookie running back Breece Hall. Last week against the Dolphins, the second-round pick totaled 197 yards of offense and a score while second-year running back Michael Carter punched in two touchdowns of his own. LaFleur realizes this won’t be a cakewalk match-up for Green Bay.

“We know that it’s a very young team that we’re playing, but they have a ton of talent and you can see it,” he said. “It’s a matter of time before they really hit their stride.”

The Packers opted against having an early bye week following their trip to London in favor of this game. It’s now up to Green Bay to show up and prove that they’re a resilient team willing to overcome their glaring issues on Sunday.

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Kole Noble is a lifelong Packers fan currently living in North Carolina and is a huge NFL Draft nut. You can follow him on twitter at @SlawSportsShow.

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