The Green Bay Packers are in an unfamiliar position as the 2018 NFL season winds down towards its end: they have a healthy Aaron Rodgers but no hope of making the postseason. This is just the second time that has happened since Rodgers took over as the team’s starting quarterback in 2008, and it resulted in the firing of head coach Mike McCarthy.
In addition, the Packers have gone 0-7 on the road this season, and on Sunday they will have their final chance to win a game away from Lambeau Field this season. The team will travel to New Jersey for a game against the New York Jets, who have also been eliminated from the postseason race.
However, the Jets’ struggles were expected. After drafting quarterback Sam Darnold third overall in April, the Jets started him in week one and he has been in the lineup for 11 of their 14 games so far. He was under center for each of the team’s four wins this year, but has gone through expected difficulties as a rookie starter with 14 touchdown passes against 15 interceptions.
As for the Packers, pride is the likely motivator for the team as a whole, with some players auditioning for jobs in and out of Green Bay next season over these final two games. Rodgers has said he intends to play, though the team will surely keep him on a short leash should the game become a blowout in either direction. He cited his need to lead by example this week when discussing his plans to suit up, and hopefully he can find some value in additional snaps with his young receivers as well.
For fans outside of Wisconsin and the New York City area, it’s going to be tough to tune in. Because the two teams are out of the playoff hunt and are on FOX in a non-doubleheader week, there are few areas getting the game on Sunday, so tune in on the radio if you must and try to enjoy Sunday’s game.
Green Bay Packers (5-8-1) vs. New York Jets (4-10)
East Rutherford, New Jersey
Sunday, December 23rd, 2018
1:00 PM Eastern Time
Commentators: Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber
Packers favored by 3 points
Over/under total: 47
All-time head-to-head record
Jets lead 8-4-0
Week 2 2014: @Packers 31, Jets 24
Packers have won the last two games