Robert Saleh’s New York Jets test themselves against his buddy Matt LaFleur’s Green Bay Packers
Just imagine the scene for a moment: There’s Robert Saleh, awaiting his lovely bride to reach the altar. Standing aside the New York Jets head coach is his best man, Matt LaFleur.
For some strange reason, Vince Vaughn-Old School vibes smack me in the face, but how in the world could Saleh play the role of Will Ferrell’s character? Besides, do we really think the master staircase runner is blasting Whitesnake tunes in his home driveway?
No matter how that joyous Saleh wedding played out, the fact that Saleh and LaFleur are good buddies as head coaches in the National Football League is something of a unique note. Throw Mike LaFleur into the mix—Saleh’s offensive coordinator, of course—and the Green Bay Packers suddenly become long-lost friends of the NFC (for whom the Jets play just once every four years).
Week 6 features an upstart 3-2 Jets team looking to make it three straight victories when they invade Lambeau Field to take on the also 3-2 Packers.
Jets vs. Packers game info
- New York Jets (3-2)
- Green Bay Packers (3-2)
- NFL, Week 6, Oct. 16, 2022, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX
- Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
For the first time this season, the Jets will be televised somewhere not named CBS. Interestingly, the Jets are the road team in this interconference matchup—which would normally mean CBS broadcasts the game—but that routine is a thing of the past.
FOX is set the broadcast the 1 p.m. ET game with the NFL on FOX’s No. 1 team set to call the action, Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen.
New York’s second-place AFC East standing is on the line, with the Miami Dolphins hosting the Minnesota Vikings.
|3||New England Patriots||8||9||0||.471||3-3||364||347||4-4||4-5||L1|
|4||New York Jets||7||10||0||.412||2-4||296||316||3-5||4-5||L6|
For the third-straight week, the Jets will wear their white tops and black pants.
New week, same fit. pic.twitter.com/XekYpe7yMJ
— New York Jets (@nyjets) October 15, 2022
Jets vs. Packers history
- The Jets lead the all-time series 8-5.
Sure, the Green Bay Packers may have won four Super Bowls and may have 13 NFL Championships in their back pocket, but they’ve only defeated the New York Jets three times in eight tries.
Green Bay is one of just a handful of NFL franchises the Jets currently hold an all-time advantage over. At one point, the Jets led the all-time series 8-2, but the Pack have won the last three, the last of which was a 44-38 overtime victory at MetLife Stadium in December 2018.
Jets vs. Packers odds (FanDuel Sportsbook)
- Spread: Jets +7.5 (-115), Packers -7.5 (-105)
- Moneyline: Jets +290, Packers -375
- Over/Under: 45.5 (O: -104, U: -118)
Not even two wins can get the Jets just a bit more respect from the oddsmakers. The Packers head into this one as a 7.5-point home favorite.
The over-under number, set at 4.5.5, is an interesting play considering both of the quarterbacks that are set to take snaps. We all know how quickly Aaron Rodgers can put points on the board, and while Zach Wilson can turn the ball over, he too can score in bunches.
Then again, a kid named Sauce Gardner is beginning to make a serious impact in this league.
Jets vs. Packers injury report
New York Jets
- Out: DE Jermaine Johnson (ankle)
- Questionable: LT Duane Brown (shoulder)
Other than the fellas on injured reserve, the Jets head into this one relatively healthy. Rookie EDGE Jermaine Johnson will miss the first game of his NFL career with an ankle, while veteran tackle Duane Brown is officially listed as questionable—although he is expected to play.
Green Bay Packers
- Out: OLB Tipa Galeai (hamstring), WR Christian Watson (hamstring)
- Questionable: OLB Rashan Gary (toe)
Rookie wideout Christian Watson will miss this one with a hamstring, but the big one is EDGE Rashan Gary, whose status is in doubt with a toe injury.
New York Jets keys to win
Bend but do not break
Yes, it’s true: Green Bay does not employ the caliber of offensive weapon it has in recent years. Davante Adams is now in Las Vegas, and even rookie wideout Christian Watson will miss this one.
That leaves impressive rookie Romeo Doubs, lanky Allen Lazard, and the usually reliable Randall Cobb. Therefore, New York comes into the contest with a serious advantage in the pass-defense department.
However, No. 12 makes things tricky.
On one hand, Jeff Ulbrich may want to get a little cute in terms of pressures, courtesy of the lack of fear Green Bay’s weaponry provides. On the other hand, Rodgers makes up for it and then some.
The Jets’ best course of action in this one is to open up the same way they have the previous two games—with a bend-but-don’t-break vibe running through all 11 defenders. This does not mean a mix of rare blitzes is off the table—see Sauce Gardner’s corner blitz to open the Miami Dolphins game. It instead means that this Jets’ defensive DNA starts from a competitive back-end feel that plays situationally and over the top.
Of course—adjustments will be needed, as usually is the case—but ensuring the Packers stay in front should be the early goal. Jordan Whitehead can creep up into the box on most plays, as having that extra guy in the box to stop Green Bay’s solid rushing attack (11th in the NFL) will be needed. But when it’s single-high, that shell feel will be critical.
Make them pay
Building an identity is important, but it can never totally supersede the idea of taking what the opponent is allowing.
At times, Mike LaFleur pounds the rock in an attempt to build an appropriate offensive identity. However, when the defense is playing aggressively and incredibly on its toes, something is needed to make them pay for those actions.
LaFleur’s brilliantly-timed play-action wheel shot to Breece Hall in the Jets’ 40-17 win over the Miami Dolphins last week was that very moment the Jets said, “Enough.” It was that play that forced the Dolphins to start playing them more straight up.
After rushing for just 12 yards on their first five attempts, the Jets then ran incredibly well after the big 79-yard chunk play down to the 1-yard line.
Considering how well Green Bay’s pass defense has played this year—currently ranked second, allowing just 885 yards in five games—it would not be a surprise to see them play with a stacked box. Forcing the young quarterback (Zach Wilson) to come out throwing is usually the defense’s game plan, and LaFleur is probably expecting that this week as well.
The only question is this: How long does LaFleur wait to make them pay? New York’s offense will need one of these make-them-pay moments early in order to comfortably get into a rhythm, one that’s possible after Green Bay’s defense is forced to adjust.
Jets vs. Packers prediction
- New York Jets 31, Green Bay Packers 26
Yes, that’s right: I have the New York Jets beating the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau Field. Not only have the Jets been on a roll, but Jets X-Factor’s official pregame predictions (this weekly article) have also been on point (as we’re currently 4-1, missing only in the Jets’ loss to the Cincinnati Bengals).
Although Aaron Rodgers will do work, I see a costly interception going in favor of the Jets’ defense in the fourth quarter of this one. It may not be Sauce Gardner who comes away with the theft, but his dominance in this game will be a huge factor in why the Jets will win.
Offensively, as long as Zach Wilson continues to play within the Mike LaFleur scheme and continues living for the next down (when appropriate), and as long as this offense does the right thing when necessary, Breece Hall and Michael Carter should both have huge days.
Give me the New York Jets in a nailbiter, 31-26, over the Green Bay Packers on the road.
Can lose this horrible uniform combo already! What are we, superstitious?? We are Gang Green! Show it!
I hope you’re right. I at least want to see a close game. I can live with 3-3 with Denver and NE before the bye.