The Jets took care of business against the Raiders in their Week 1 win. Now, they hit the road for a much steeper task: stopping Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
It was far from a perfect opener by the Jets, with 11 penalties and two turnovers by the offense, but positives did emerge.
“I’m really impressed with the Jets defense. I think that the depth, the size of what they have up front, and schematically what they challenge you with” Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said. “It’s an excellent defense. It’s just something we’re obviously going to spend a lot of time on.”
Metro takes a look at three storylines to watch for as the Jets travel to Green Bay on Sunday to face off at historic Lambeau Field (4:25 p.m., CBS).
1. Protecting Rodgers
The Jets aren’t the only team with injury concerns as Green Bay’s offensive line has been hit hard.
Rodgers was sacked three times last week against the Seahawks and pressured into numerous passes to his safety outlets. If given time, he is the best quarterback in the league, but that patchwork offensive line will have to protect him.
“I think we protected pretty well. This was a weekend off for most guys. The coaches had some time to prepare, but this is a normal week for us,” Rodgers said.
Packers right tackle Bryan Bulaga, the team’s first-round pick in 2010, suffered a sprained MCL in Week 1, but he was back on the practice field in a limited capacity Thursday and looks like he could be ready Sunday. He’s wearing a knee brace, and may not be quite as mobile, but that’s a lot better than losing him for the season as they feared initially.
2. Test for Allen
Last week was the first time Antonio Allen has played cornerback in a regular-season NFL game (and only the second, counting preseason).
He performed well in his coverage assignments and it was especially noticeable how sure he was making tackles in the open field. But Allen faces a step
up in competition against the Packers’ weapons.
“Yeah, I guess. I’d like to see us play Delbarton somebody so we might have a better thing,” Ryan said, joking about the New Jersey prep school. “But yeah, it’s going to be a big test, there’s no question about it. It’ll be a big test. But again, this young man stepped up to all the challenges. He came into the league as an outside linebacker, so we converted him to safety, now we convert him to corner. Again, we talk about it all the time — he’s just a football player. That’s how he plays.”
Allen finished the Raiders game with five tackles.
3. Hungry Pack
After a humiliating Week 1 loss at the Seahawks in the first game of the NFL season, the Packers will be looking to make amends.
The Packers will be back home in the friendly confines of Lambeau Field where they won’t have to worry about a hostile atmosphere like they faced in Seattle.
And while the Jets defense is good, it isn’t in the same ballpark as a Seattle unit that is already being talked about among the best of all-time.
“Well, really it feels like we haven’t played in two weeks because we’re coming off of a Thursday night game,” McCarthy said. “So we’ve had plenty of time to correct our last game, and go through that Friday and spend extra time Monday on it.”
Look for Green Bay to come out early and execute well as they look to set the tone, especially on its home field.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.