This Sunday, the Green Bay Packers play the against New York Jets in the final road game of their season. Michael Nania of Gang Green Nation was kind enough to answer some of our questions about the Jets and provide some insight into their strengths and weaknesses.
APC: If you were game planning against the Jets, how would you attack them on offense? On defense?
Against the Jets offense, I wouldn’t be too aggressive. Sam Darnold is on an absolute roll making plays outside of the pocket. You can beat this Jets offensive line (now down two Week 1 starters) without blitzing. All four starters are below average pass blockers, save for the solid Kelvin Beachum at left tackle. Make Darnold read your defense and digest complex looks. Take away Robby Anderson, who has become Darnold’s favorite target. Double him - the Jets have literally no other wide receivers worth fearing (with Quincy Enunwa out). Rookie tight end Chris Herndon out of Miami is a weapon. You probably want to put your best cover linebacker on him man-to-man. He is great at improvising his routes on Darnold scramble drills and knows how to give Sam a window to throw to when he extends a play. He’s 5th in receiving yards among tight ends since Week 6.
Against the Jets defense, test these corners. Trumaine Johnson and Morris Claiborne are the core of the league’s most expensive cornerback room, but both have had disappointing years. Claiborne is having a very rough second half after a strong first. Johnson has had some solid games against bad quarterbacks, but has folded in tougher situations. Both lack confidence in their speed after taking toastings early on. The easy 10-15 yard curls, outs, and slants will be there for the taking like candy out of a pinata. Ignore their salaries and go at them aggressively. Also - spotlight Jamal Adams and try to avoid him. This seems like a generic cliche applied to great defenders, but teams are starting to really do this weekly. The Texans didn’t even target Adams last Saturday - Jamal has allowed 6/13 passing in his direction for 29 yards and zero first downs over his last six games. That includes a lockdown performance against Gronk. He’ll get home on a stunning percentage of his pass rush snaps, deflect passes on blitzes, and make nearly every play presented to him in the run game as an unblocked edge off the weakside. He’s become a complete star. Try not to let him get involved - nobody on the Jets defense will play any role as well as Adams will play all of his.
We’d like to thank Michael for his insight. Be sure to check out our Q&A session over at Gang Green Nation as well as their fantastic coverage of all things Jets. As always, keep your internet machines tuned to Acme Packing Company for our comprehensive game-day coverage of Packers versus Jets.