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Key Matchups: Packers vs. Jets- The Battle of Losing Teams in the Shadow of Gotham

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Key Matchups: Packers vs. Jets- The Battle of Losing Teams in the Shadow of Gotham

As we approach week 16, there is no life left in the Packers season and we find ourselves searching for meaning in this meaningless final string of games.  This week 16 matchup has still managed to leave me with a bunch of angry feelings with how the Packers are approaching the final two games of the season and you all are going to hear about it as my grinch-like qualities are going to come out all over the page during this latest installment of key matchups.  

Here are the Key Matchups for week 16 versus the Jets that could have a lasting impact for the Packers moving forward:

1. Aaron Rodgers vs. His Own Stubbornness 

I really have to think long and hard about whether Aaron Rodgers has ever infuriated me during his time in Green Bay.  Even during this year while he has missed throws and not played up to his impossible standards, I have still been proud of the example that he set by playing through his knee injury and giving this team a glimmer of hope.  

It is not a secret that I am a huge fan of Aaron Rodgers work over the course of his career and am also a huge defender of his play although it is seemingly an unpopular position to take with the fan base this year.  However, Aaron deciding to play out this meaningless string of games over the final two weeks of this season has absolutely infuriated me.  

I understand that Aaron is trying to set an example to the young players on this roster but a part of me has to wonder whether this is just a bunch of pointless bravado due to the fact that he is getting paid over $80 million during this calendar year (in base salary and signing bonuses,from August to March).  This decision to play seems to be a decision that Aaron has made and there is nothing that anyone can do or say to make him change his mind.  Oh, wait, I stand corrected; there is a front office and coaching staff that can earn their paychecks by showing some leadership and acting like the adults in the room by putting their foot down and protecting Aaron Rodgers from himself.  

The decision to play is a short sited one because the Packers playoff hopes are gone, and the right side of the offensive line has been obliterated with injuries. There is literally nothing good that can come out of Aaron Rodgers playing in these final two games with a compromised offensive unit; unless Aaron throwing for 25 touchdown passes and the Packers going 7-8-1 gets you excited.  

Furthermore, if Rodgers plays, we will not be able to see what, if anything, that DeShone Kizer has to offer the organization and we will all have to hold our collective breath and hope that Aaron does not get himself injured.  All I can say is that Aaron better have a huge incentive bonus for playing in all sixteen games this season because this is a catastrophically stupid decision to start him by all members involved.  

2. Tyler Lancaster vs. The Jets interior offensive lineman

One player that has stood out to me this season has been Tyler Lancaster.  I have been impressed with where he has come from training camp until now, and am excited to see him play the majority of the snaps in the final two games to see if he can continue to make an impact for the Packers up front.  I am interested to see how Lancaster will handle receiving the majority of the reps and being game planned for.  

I will be looking for Lancaster to continue his development by making an impact inside the A gap in both running and passing situations.  If he is able to continue to make plays, the Packers will certainly have their eyes on him to make the 2nd year jump next year and start up front alongside Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry.    It is not a secret that the Packers have some decisions to make this offseason with members of their front seven.  Tyler Lancaster’s play during the next two games could put the Packers in a position to hold leverage over Mike Daniels when discussing the final year of his contract for next year, (1 year @ $10.9 million) at the end of the season.  

3. MVS and ESB vs. The Jets Secondary 

If anything good can come from Aaron Rodgers playing in the final two games of the season, it will be that he gets additional reps throwing to MVS and ESB.  Aaron should look to force feed his young wide receivers so that they can develop some much-needed continuity and chemistry within the offense.  Rodgers should be demanding of them and really force them to master the ”details” of their routes in the seasons final weeks so that they are ready to make an impact in 2019.  

I will be looking for these two talented rookies to start to turn the corner and tighten up their route running and figure out how to find the cushions in the opponent's coverages.  Cleaning up this aspect of their games will allow them to work well with Rodgers in the scramble drill and allow them to develop as playmakers, get open more consistently, and become reliable targets for the Packers in 2019 and beyond.

Note: If there is truth to the stories circulating about the Packers wide receiver coach (David Raih) being as inept as the reports would indicate, then he should be fired immediately and should have been fired along with McCarthy.  The Packers can ill afford to have a wide receiver coach who is not an expert on the offense when you have four rookie wide receivers on your fifty-three man roster.  This is absolutely inexcusable and the Packers "power structure" must address this and rectify this situation immediately. (per Bob McGinn)

        

Predictions:

  • The Packers add to their total of third-down sacks surrendered.
  • Mike Pettine makes Sam Darnold one dimensional, forcing multiple turnovers.
  • Aaron Rodgers throws two touchdown passes.
  • Sam Darnold throws two picks.
  • The Packers win their first and only game on the road by a score of 34-17. 

 

David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (66) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Dash Riprock's picture

"However, Aaron deciding to play out this meaningless string of games over the final two weeks of this season has absolutely infuriated me."

Agree David. Excellent commentry. It infuriates lots of people. At least 90% according to one poll I read. You are definitely not alone on this.

carlos's picture

Unfortunately I hit the point of not caring. Win or lose at this point I don’t care. I’m still a die hard fan. It’s a great time of year for football and family. It brings joy through Christmas to most. Usually we have at least one extra game at this time of this wonderful “season.” A lot of us are low on money due to the giving Spirit of this time of year and here is our QB making more money than my mind can comprehend. I don’t think this is the time to start building this relationship with rookie receivers. It should be happening at this point. I want to see the guys not making the “big bucks” go and play. Donnerson comes to mind among all the young players. Win- good for future morale. Lose- better draft pick. I’ll watch game because that’s what I do. What ever will be I’m ok with it. I’m more in tune with friends and family at this point. Merry Christmas to all and a prosperous New Year and good health.

Turophile's picture

Rodgers playing or not playing doesn't have to be a binary yes/no decision. The Packers could let him and other vets start, which keeps happy the people who actually pay to go and see the game.

After a while (say half-time, for the sake of argument), you cycle in DeShone Kizer for a quarter with some of the younger players, and in the final quarter let Tim Boyle have control. If you want to avoid another Brett Hundley situation, then give guys a chance at real action and see how they fare.

Finally, make it absolutely, uniquivocally clear to all the players that you want to win, and expect them to do the absolute best to ensure they DO win. Then call the best game you can, and just let the final draft position sort itself out.

Kb999's picture

Upper management doesn't have the stones to tell Arod that you work for us we don't work for you. Ego .

Dash Riprock's picture

Sadly, no they do not kb999. I said it yesterday but I do not like having a team controlled by a single player due to his contract but here we are with that exact thing happening. Aaron Rodgers is gonna do what Aaron Rodgers wants. Instead of being unstoppable on the field like he used to be he's now unstoppable off the field. We are in new dangerous territory here and I don't like where this is heading. No tough leadership on this. As you said kb999, no stones.

fastmoving's picture

maybe AR will change his mind.
……..like always…..you can pray for it, because you got stones, of course. Thats why you dont complain all the time, about everything. Got it.

And I saw a pool with 135,7% of the fan base sharing your opinion

dobber's picture

It's hard to get 90% of people to agree on whether they should wash their hands after using the restroom.

Lare's picture

Young people have lots of energy, might as well let them burn off some of it by beating a dead horse.

Coldworld's picture

Starting is one thing. Playing in the 4th would be another altogether.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Lare,

Who do you think is the youngest CHTV commenter and how old so you think they are? You old curmudgeons have been beating whatever dead horse you can find for years lol. Part of the charm of CHTV.

Dash Riprock's picture

" I saw a pool with 135,7%"

Nice!! lol Fastmoving, maybe you should slow down.

Bert's picture

AR is a professional football player and the Packers are a professional football team in the business of playing and trying to win football games. Although I would like to see what Kizer and Boyle can offer I can't blame AR or the Packers FO for maintaining a semblance of professionalism either.

henry113's picture

Bert, Rodgers should be able to put up 100 points on the Jets secondary. I think he wants to make up for the bad play throughout the season by putting up some points. On the other hand, if they loose another road game against a stinky team, he will then look foolish.

Bert's picture

Well maybe but then again Darnold may put up 101 points against the Packers stinky team. Two stinky teams and I actually hope the Packers lose and improve their draft stock. On the other hand I can't blame AR and Co. for having some pride and wanting to win.

henry113's picture

Good point. He may have pride but no brains.

4thand10's picture

You play to win games, not lose. There is meaning to football besides the Super Bowl or playoffs. Most of us who have been watching football for awhile know this. Pre season is one thing, regular football is another. It’s 16 games and one hour of actual play each game. Games are played to be won regardless of what your chances are.

CAG123's picture

Why do we want to see what Kizer has to offer? I saw 15 games last year from him and about 8 minutes this year where he almost singlehandedly gave the Bears the win.....literally no I think we’ve all seen enough from the human turnover machine. Crazy to think we gave them a pretty damn good safety for him.

dobber's picture

"Crazy to think we gave them a pretty damn good safety for him."

The sad part is that his relationship with the team (or was it just MM?) had soured to the point that they couldn't give a new DC a chance to see what he could do with him.

Lare's picture

The Packers cut ties with a few players (Sitton, Hayward, Hyde, HHCD, Randall, Nelson) that were head scratchers at the time. I'm guessing there was a lot more going on behind the scenes in the locker room than we'll ever know.

Who knows where this team would be right now had they fired McCarthy last offseason along with Thompson.

flackcatcher's picture

Thompson was not fired Lare. He retired after the draft and went back home to be with family.

ErnieErnie's picture

Close pal, three years ago ax mac and ted.

carlos's picture

I don’t know, but got the impression Hayward,Hyde and Jordy were all good locker room team guys.

Coldworld's picture

So you have written him off then? Seems to me the personnel people believed that he had potential. Only way to know is to play him. What have we got to lose, other than a meaningless game and draft ranking? Let Rodgers play with his receivers to start and then give Kizer a run at the end.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Agreed. Kizer has considerable physical talent and in 2017 he played like rookies often do. The hope that a year in GB with the QB gurus could transform Kizer, but he had to play in game one instead.

CAG123's picture

The same QB gurus that produced the amazing Brett “Stare down Adams” Hundley? Or the same QB gurus that thought nothing of Taysum Hill and thought Tim Boyle was the worthy of a roster spot? You guys give them way too much credit for what they did with Matt Flynn a guy that ONLY flourished in their system btw.

CAG123's picture

You don’t really see rookies performing that badly anymore they usually show you something that lets a team know this can be the guy so I would really like to know what the Packers saw in 15 winless games that screamed potential besides his physical attributes because there is a guy about 6 inches shorter in Cleveland right now that has that team in playoff contention.

PeteK's picture

Browns are a better team this year even without Mayfield.

CAG123's picture

Based off what? They were 0-1-1 with Taylor in as starter so what are you basing that off of?

PeteK's picture

He's only 22 and would like to give him some game experience with the Packers just in case he's needed.

Lare's picture

I think that is what we'll see. I'm guessing Rodgers will start to let him show his teammates he's going to be there for them at the end, but then when the groin injury flares up in the cold NY weather he'll be forced to the sidelines and Kiser/Boyle will get to play.

If so, it's a win/win for everybody.

CAG123's picture

Yeah as if personnel don’t make mistakes and every move that make is full proof? His own coach knew he should have stayed in school another year to help refine his skills and the Browns seen enough of the 0-15 starter that lead the league in interceptions to know he wasn’t the guy.

Bert's picture

On the other hand if it was Hue Jackson that knew "he wasn't the guy" then he may be worth taking another look at.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Dorsey didn't draft him. Of course his coach wanted him to stay in school another year it would have helped Notre Dame. Your arguments suck CAG which is unlike you.

All we know about Kizer is he's been terrible in the limited opportunities we've seen him in both with the Browns and Packers. We could have used the prick Randall at safety in 2018. Doesn't mean Kizer couldn't turn into a starter just that he's got an uphill battle.

Nick Perry's picture

"If there is truth to the stories circulating about the Packers wide receiver coach (David Raih) being as inept as the reports would indicate, then he should be fired immediately and should have been fired along with McCarthy."

This doesn't surprise me a bit. He's been in the position what, two years or so? His 1st year as WR coach in GB was his first year as a WR coach...Period IIRC. Wasn't he a one or two year quality control coach before that and that was about it?

AND this is the same dude that had the WR's catching bricks wasn't it? BRICKS?

McCarthy had a history of keeping worthless coaches to long. Slocum, Zook, Capers, and Moss (I still wonder what the hell Moss ever did). I understand loyalty and McCarthy is the epitome of loyalty. Right up to and way past the point of it being a quality.

flackcatcher's picture

So old Bob decided to float that old rumor. Off season comes early for everyone. At best, it takes a WR a full season to adjust to the route tree in the system McCarthy runs. The main problem is the entire WR route tree depends on what call is made at the line, and then what signal the QB gives to his WR group pre snap. To say the system is Rodgers centic is a gross understatement. To ask 3 rookie WR to mind meld with a crusty old veteran like Rodgers is asking a bit much, especially with the non existent OTA and shorten training camps. Any way, the growth of MVS and ESB should put that story to bed.

JimR_in_SoCal's picture

Hopefully the next HC & OC run an offense that makes less mental demands on the rookie WRs so they can contribute faster. The offense we currently have wastes all of the WRs early years while they learn to play to Rodgers’ preferences.

Dash Riprock's picture

Bob McGinn is one of the most trusted and highly respected journalists in sports history. He's the gold standard. If he says this David Raih is the weak link there's probably something to it. I didn't know who the hell David Raih was. Never heard of him. Now i know why. I googled him and from the looks of him he's about 20 maybe 22 years old tops. I can see why the rookies would struggle with this guy. I always liked Mike McCarthy but I have to question him with this coaching pick.

dobber's picture

Bob must've caught David Raih on his lawn.

JimR_in_SoCal's picture

Hahahaha!

JimR_in_SoCal's picture

C’mon, Bob, what’s with the “dislike?”

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Raih looks young, but his resume seems pretty good. Did you just google his picture or did you read up about Raih?

Dash Riprock's picture

First impressions are made within seconds. I saw what the guy looks like and knew why McGinn said what he did. The guy looks like he's about 17 years old. No rookie receivers would take a guy like this with any seriousness no matter what his resume says. I know I wouldn't if I were them. Sometimes gray hair matters. MM was not thinking when he hired this guy. Total failure.

Lare's picture

It's simply well past the time to cut ties with all of McCarthy's coaching and strength & conditioning staff cronies. He, along with them, rode Rodgers coattails to keep their jobs for far too long.

If it takes a couple years to rebuild back to being a legitimate contending team so be it. Just make the right decisions and it will happen.

Dash Riprock's picture

"If it takes a couple years to rebuild back to being a legitimate contending team so be it. Just make the right decisions and it will happen."

Lare, you are all over the board. You want Rodgers to play at all costs tomorrow yet you wouldn't mind taking " a couple years to rebuild". I don't think Aaron Rodgers would like that. You simply can't rebuild a team with a 36 year old quarterback past his prime. Time is not on his side.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Dash ask Nagler about Bob sometime...

carlos's picture

His loyalty was maybe his demise. I think, once again not knowing him, he was a good person. From the few that I’ve talked to who were around him on some occasions said he was a really good down to earth caring person.

mamasboy's picture

Zook should have been tossed out along with MM and Raih

JimR_in_SoCal's picture

Don’t be too harsh on Zook. Maybe he can sell refreshments in the stands.

Lare's picture

Not without dropping every other one.

dobber's picture

...or pushing the popcorn vendor in the back.

JimR_in_SoCal's picture

Muff the Brat

John Galt's picture

Rodgers supported the kneelers and their police brutality garbage so maybe he will give lectures to law enforcement agencies around the countries instead of doing another 562 lousy TV commercials.

I said at the beginning of the season to let him go like Favre, but now he's a fixture for 6 years at a total of $175 million. That'a a lot of $'s to pay for a QB on a team that looks like a loser.

Stupid.

Lare's picture

Hope you have a joyous Christmas. It sounds like you could use one.

ErnieErnie's picture

I said, albeit jokingly knowing it would not happen, trade him for a 1 2 and a 4 in 2020 and rebuild quickly with three ones two twos and a three. Save the money for the new talent. New qb.

JimR_in_SoCal's picture

We still get the cap hit

Nick Perry's picture

I think he meant BEFORE they signed him. Remember the Packers still had him under contract for 2 years and could have franchised him after.

Rufus's picture

No excuses the way Rodgers played against the Bears. The franchise QB cant miss wide open receivers. He shouldn't play against the Jets. He had better watch that young bull rookie Sam Darnold don't show him up. That would be embarrassing.

AgrippaLII's picture

I have no problem with AR playing these last two games. He's a football player and this team's starting QB...I'd have a problem with him if he wanted to sit!

PAPackerbacker's picture

I'm with you on this one. My reason for wanting AR to play is that AR blames the rookie receivers a lot for incompletions. So why not have AR play and get a little more chemistry built up with these young receivers? It just makes sense to me to get the rookies more experience with the starting QB. But I do not believe it is all the rookies fault either. Rodgers has missed his experienced receivers as well when he should have easily completed passes to them. So let him play. And next preseason should get Rodgers involved in the last 2 games of preseason. I distinctly remember someone asking him if he needed the practice in the preseason and he said no. Bullshit.

Kb999's picture

Papckerbak, we're not talking about the same AR that we have seen for the last 10 yrs. If they want to start him, fine. I would like to see him earn his paycheck. But take him out before he gets killed. Don't forget the O line is even more compromised.

Lphill's picture

I live in New York had multiple offers to go to the game for free but can’t get excited over this game I have some Christmas shopping to finish up .

Dash Riprock's picture

Lphill. I hope Mark Murphy and Gute somehow sees your post. It's very telling. It says Aaron Rodgers is not the draw he once was. Now the draw to games is to see Mayfield and Mahomes and other young guns. Gute needs to find a young superstar qb. I personally think we already have him in Tim Boyle but if they don't believe that they better find one quick or they'll be empty seats galore at Lambeau in the next few years. Aaron Rodgers qb'ing and living off his past is not going to cut it.

Rufus's picture

If the story is true about the wide receivers coach, Gute & Murphy have some splainin to do. This crappy season starts with them. Their fingerprints are all over this team.

Spock's picture

"(per Bob McGinn)". McGinn WAS (emphasis on WAS) a good reporter who soured on GB management and has done nothing but put out BS rumors ever since the Packers refused to give him a new press pass after he "retired". I used to like him but I wouldn't trust -anything- he puts out now.

Jonathan Spader's picture

But Spock I read it on the internet so it must be true!

Packers0808's picture

Sure we see either Kizer or Boyle today or next week to see what they have to offer for the future to at least get some idea! It seems that Rodgers better days have passed by!

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