For the third year in a row, the Green Bay Packers find themselves in the unenvious position of starting the season 0-1. As the Packers have shown the last two seasons, dropping the first game of the season does not preclude a team from making the playoffs but losing back-to-back games to start the season makes it difficult to recover.
When you look at the Packers upcoming schedule, you can see why they absolutely have to beat the New York Jets in Week 2. Otherwise their season could spiral out of control. After the Jets, Green Bay has back-to-back road games in the division at Detroit and Chicago. Neither of those games will be easy and the Packers would do well to get a spilt. Therefore, it is essential that the Packers get into the win column this week.
With than in mind here are five predictions for Green Bay’s Week 2 game against the Jets:
1. Aaron Rodgers will throw for more than 300 yards:
Yes, Rodgers struggled last week against Seattle and has had some issues against elite defenses in the NFL in recent years but one great thing about Rodgers is that when he doesn’t play well he takes it personally. He will have a chip on his shoulder this week and he will take out his frustration on a Jets secondary that may be missing some key parts this Sunday.
2. The Green Bay Defense Will Intercept Geno Smith at least twice:
Last week against Seattle, the defense had some chances to get an interception, in fact multiple chances, they just did not seal the deal. A lot of times, interceptions are about luck and since the Packers had no bounces go their way last week, things should even out this week. Geno Smith is also not Russell Wilson. Smith has started 17 games in the NFL and in those starts he has 22 interceptions. If the Packers can get a lead early and apply some pressure on Smith and the Jets offense, the interceptions will come.
3. The Jets will rush for 100 yards:
The Packers run defense is lackluster at best and after seeing what Seattle did against Green Bay in Week 1, you can be sure the Jets are going to make the Packers prove they can stop the tandem of Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory, who helped the Jets rush for 212 yards last week against the Raiders. New York can hang around in this game is they eclipse the 100 yard mark but if they get close to 200 that could mean another loss for the Packers.
4. Expect to see the Packers running the no-huddle, all damn day:
Last week against Seattle the Packers steered clear of their no-huddle offense for most of the game, which was a huge mistake by head coach Mike McCarthy. Rodgers runs the up tempo offense as well as any quarterback in pro football and with Green Bay’s weapons at receiver and running back, it is very difficult to defend. Now that they will be home, at Lambeau Field, expect the Packers to run the no-huddle almost exclusively throughout the game as they will try to establish a good rhythm early and get off as many plays as they can against a solid New York defense. The Jets will want to slow the game down and play keep away from Rodgers, so when the Packers do have the ball, they need to try and get off as many offensive snaps as possible.
5. The Packers will score early and often:
If the Packers are as good as I believe them to be, they will show their offensive strength early on in this game. Rodgers is always difficult to beat at home a big reason why is the Packers’ tendency to get points early in the game. Look for McCarthy to take the ball if the Packers win the toss and try to get the early lead, which will put pressure on a Jets offense that is average at best. Once, Green Bay gets the lead, they will keep putting the pressure on and if they can score 10-14 points in the first quarter, they should be on their way to earning their first win of the season.
Packers Guru Prediction: Packers 30, Jets 17.