Across the sideline: Jets will pound ball vs. Packers

Robert Zizzo
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Green Bay Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk (50) upends Seattle Seahawks tight end Luke Wilson (82) at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

Press-Gazette Media talked with Steve Edelson, sports columnist with the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey, about the New York Jets and about some of the story lines as seen from the other sideline leading up to Sunday's game in Green Bay.

"The first thing with the Jets, is that the Jets run the ball well and stop the run well," Edelson said. "They will be looking at the Seahawks' blueprint and attacking the Packers. They'll spread out the Packers' defense with three wide receivers and run Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson all day. They will try to pound them.

"That leads into taking pressure off quarterback Geno Smith."

On Sunday, in their 19-14 home-opening victory over the Oakland Raiders, the Jets ran for 212 yards, including 170 combined from Ivory and Johnson. That duo split snaps fairly evenly with the 6-foot, 222-pound Ivory getting 30 and former Tennessee Titans star Johnson getting 34.

Smith, New York's second-year quarterback, completed 23 of 28 passes for 221 yards and one touchdown. His quarterback rating was a respectable 96, but he made some costly errors: He threw an interception and fumbled twice, losing one of them inside the Raiders' 5-yard line.

"He made some mistakes," Edelson said, "but overall played pretty well. He fumbled trying to run inside the 5 and lost that, and he took a 19-yard sack, which took them out of field-goal range.

"But those were plays in which he's trying to make plays. And he did make other plays with his legs. He made other mistakes, too. He was picked off by Charles Woodson, but a lot of guys have been picked off by Charles Woodson."

Perhaps the biggest concern for the Jets, though, is injuries in the secondary. They are down a number of defensive backs and likely will be without starting cornerback Dee Milliner, who missed the Raiders game with a high ankle sprain. Against Oakland, the Jets started Darrin Walls, a backup, and safety Antonio Allen at cornerback.

"They did pretty well, but it was against a rookie quarterback in Derek Carr," Edelson said. "But now, against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers receivers, it will be much more of an issue, much more of a test.

"It will be hard to run against the Jets. The Raiders ran for 25 yards, and they have some decent backs in Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew. That's not to say the Packers won't do better. They will probably run to keep them honest, but teams will try to exploit the Jets' secondary."

Another issue was penalties. The Jets were flagged 11 times for 105 yards against Oakland. Right guard Willie Colon accounted for three of the penalties.


Rex Ryan's defense gave the Packers fits when they last played during the 2010 season. Green Bay's defense bailed out the offense in a 9-0 victory.

Rodgers, on Tuesday, said the Packers should expect the same on Sunday.

"Very well-coached team," he said. "They always have some really elaborate schemes, but also some really intelligent ones. They're going to give you different looks and different pressures or coverages out of the same look, which is always a scheme that is difficult to play against.

"They throw a lot of different personnel groups at you and looks up front as we saw a few years back when we played them. They did a good job of keeping us off balance and covering really well."

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