Line: Packers -8

Two completely different offenses square off in this week 2 matchup. Ever since the Jets hired Rex Ryan as their head coach he has preached a “ground and pound” running attack offense that would minimize turnovers and win the battle of field position. In recent seasons the team got away from that theory and it showed with no playoff appearances over the last two seasons after reaching the AFC championship game in the two prior seasons. This season they seem to have recommitted themselves to the running attack with the dangerous trio of Bilal Powell, Chris Ivory, and former 2000 yard rusher Chris Johnson leading the ground attack. The Packers were said to be committed more to the running game this season however in week one running back Eddie Lacy had 12 carries for only 34 yards before suffering a concussion. The Packers have 2 stud receivers in Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb who combined for 15 catches and over 140 yards receiving in the team’s week one loss.

Aaron Rogers is by far the most important piece of the Packers puzzle. The team fell out of layoff contention last season when he missed 6 games due to injury. His protection struggled throughout the game forcing him into quicker throws than he would have wanted. The team will likely look to speed the tempo of the game up with their no huddle offense. The Jets like to rotate their defensive players and if the Packers can keep the ball moving they will not allow the Jets to make defensive substitutions. The Packers have won 28 of the last 31 home games started by Rogers and are in desperate need of a win so they can avoid a 0-2 start.

The Jets dominated throughout their game last week vs. Oakland in every category except on the scoreboard. They outgained them by 244 yards and completely shut down the Raiders running game. The Jets front 7 is amongst the elite in the NFL and they will have a tough task getting to Rogers on a consistent basis. Second year quarterback Geno Smith looked impressive and poised in his first start. He found the open receivers when he needed to and he managed the game very well. Chris Ivory had 102 yards rushing and a touchdown and teammate Chris Johnson has 13 carries for 68 yards. If they can establish a running game, it will make the play action pass game even more lethal. The team must improve in the redzone as it scored a touchdown in only one out of four possessions that got inside the 20 yard line.

The Jets historically play much better as an underdog and will have that chance on Sunday afternoon. If Smith can keep his composure and the team establishes their running game then there is reason to see an upset here. The Packers did little to change their roster in the offseason and have a multitude of injuries already. If they look past the Jets they will find themselves at 0-2.

Pick: Jets +8

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