Why the Packers Will Beat New York and Why They Might Not

After being eliminated from playoff contention after another road loss last week, the Green Bay Packers are stuck doing the worst thing possible the next two weeks: Playing out the string.

At this point, Green Bay has nothing but pride to play for. In terms of individuals players, there is plenty of evaluation that needs to be done, which makes the game against the Jets somewhat important. The other thing is the franchise can avoid a 0-8 road record with a win today. But either way, going 1-7 or 0-8 on the road with Aaron Rodgers starting every game is pretty shocking.

That shows just how far this team has fallen. It's not even mediocre at this point. If you are 0-7 on the road you are just plain bad. As the saying goes, you are what your record is and the Packers are a 5-8-1 football team.

Calling this team an abysmal failure is not unreasonable. This team came into the season with Super Bowl expectations but proved to be incapable of beating even decent teams. The defense has been so-so at times and for most of the season, the offense has been terrible.

Rodgers cares more about avoiding interceptions than throwing touchdowns and the offensive line has been a complete mess. 

Thankfully, this miserable campaign is nearly over. With that in mind, here's a look at why the Packers will win against the Jets and why they might not.

Why Green Bay will win

Believe it or not, the Jets might actually be worse than the Packers at 4-10. Sam Darnold has struggled in his rookie season and has just 14 touchdown passes compared to 15 interceptions. 

However, it's hard to put all the blame on Darnold. The Jets have no talent at receiver and their best offensive skill guy is Isaiah Crowell, who has 685 rushing yards this season. Names like Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa are the Jets top pass catchers, which should make this manageable for the Green Bay pass defense.

One thing Darnold has been able to do better than Rodgers is avoiding sacks. The rookie has been taken down 24 times, while Rodgers has been sacked a whopping 44 times. He has also been sacked on third down more than any other quarterback in the league.

Some of that is the fault of the offensive line and some of the faults lie with Rodgers, who is in the midst of his worst season as a professional. The fact that he made the Pro Bowl is a joke because there is no way he deserves that recognition.

Rodgers has been disgustingly average this season and at times, he has not even been that. If he could have hit some open receivers last week, Green Bay could have beaten the Bears. But all season long, Rodgers has failed to deliver when it matters most.

Blame Mike McCarthy all you want, but no one shoulders more blame for this dumpster-fire of a season than Rodgers. If he shows up Sunday, the Packers will win. If he sleepwalks as he has all season, it will be a toss-up and chances are the Packers will choke it away as they did against the Rams, Vikings, Bears, Patriots, Seahawks and Lions. 

Why Green Bay might not win

The Packers might not win this game because they aren't a very good team. The pass rush with Kyler Fackrell and Clay Matthews has been better in recent weeks but it is still not good enough. But Mike Pettine will likely throw the kitchen sink at the rookie which could result in some big plays for the Packers or some big plays for the Jets.

Green Bay has been prone to big mistakes on defense and it seems like allowing a few big plays is one way the Packers can lose this game. Another is allowing the Jets to run all over them, which in the absence of Kenny Clark, might be much easier to do. With Darnold, the Jets will want to pound the ball and maybe take some shots down the field. So stopping the run and forcing the rookie into third and long and other tough situations will be the key to victory. 

The Packers also need to force him into a turnover or two, because I am not sure this Green Bay team is good enough to win on the road without winning the turnover battle.

As meaningless as this game is, it would be really sad to see Rodgers and the Packers drop this one. Hopefully, there is still some pride left with this team. Rodgers said he wanted to play these two games and hopefully, he saved his two best games for last because at this point, Green Bay needs some kind of momentum heading into next season. A win today could help. 

 

 

 

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Chris is a sports journalist from Montana and has been blogging about the Packers since 2011. Chris has been a staff writer for CheeseheadTV since 2017 and looks forward to the day when Aaron Rodgers wins his second Super Bowl. Follow him @thepackersguru

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Comments (30)

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Rossonero's picture

December 23, 2018 at 07:46 am

We'll lose if the team makes stupid mistakes on the road at the worst times. We'll also lose if Rodgers keeps missing wide open WRs.

We'll win if we can take advantage of Sam Darnold.

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Nick Perry's picture

December 23, 2018 at 07:53 am

"Green Bay needs some kind of momentum heading into next season. A win today could help."

Back in 2006 the Packers were 4-8 after 12 weeks and won out to close the season at 8-8. The following season the Packers were 13-3 and many felt the momentum from the end of the 2006 season carried over.

I'm not so sure about momentum from one season to the next, especially with the turnover the Packers have/will be going through as Gutekunst builds "His Team". There's also that thing about a new HC coming in and hopefully running an entirely different offense.

My point is with all the change coming to GB this offseason how much momentum can they really hope to gain in 2 meaningless games. If McCarthy had been replaced BEFORE this season then I can see a chance at building momentum. But now? Not so much.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

December 23, 2018 at 08:15 am

Completely agree NP. The Packer fan in me wants to see a win. The realist in me wants the Packers to lose for draft stock. Either way it doesn't really matter if we win or lose which is just sad. What matters is talent evaluation and avoiding serious injuries to our roster.

Strange that Rodgers has been reverse Hundley. Brett couldn't get a TD at home but had his "best" performances on the road. The Packers go as far as Rodgers can take them we've been saying that for years. If Rodgers gets his mono back the Packers can easily shred the jets and it'll be awesome to see. That's the momentum I could see carrying over NP.

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Bert's picture

December 23, 2018 at 09:50 am

I didn't know AR had mono. I got mine back kissing girls.

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Gort's picture

December 23, 2018 at 10:52 am

How did that get a dislike?

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Skip greenBayless's picture

December 23, 2018 at 11:08 am

Gort I once got 3 dislikes for saying I love Jesus.

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fastmoving's picture

December 23, 2018 at 04:25 pm

because nobody else thinks he is a WR.
But great win anyway. I was hard on AR, but that was at least a start. Just the right way. Good overall leadership from the front office till the QB.

keep on wining! oh yeah, keep on whining for you. About the world, about draft order and life in general. So sad, so sad……..maybe you should had tried any kind of sport by yourself in your life.

Yeahhhhhh!! go pack go

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stockholder's picture

December 23, 2018 at 08:45 am

The Packer fan in me doesn't want a win. The coaches need it more than the players. Arron Rodgers needs it for damage Control. The pre-season starts today. Jobs are on the line. A win only means your better than the jets. Winning, wrecks getting a game changer. I am hoping they play well but lose. I'm sorry to sound like a grinch. But the way to the super-bowl is through the draft. Packers 45 Jets 21.

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SJ EC's picture

December 23, 2018 at 09:41 am

These are definitely strange days to be a Packers fan.... My head tells me we shouldn’t be putting Rodgers out there to risk an injury, and that with him playing, we’ll be potentially moving back a few spots in the 2019 draft. My heart, though, says that we play to win, no matter the implications down the road...

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carlos's picture

December 23, 2018 at 10:37 am

Head scratcher. Boyle and Donnerson inactive.

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HankScorpio's picture

December 23, 2018 at 12:01 pm

Why is that a head scratcher? The Packers have given every indication they are playing to win this week. The inactive list looks like they were not lying about that.

That it include Clark and Cobb is the first indicator they plan on trying to win next week, too. At least that is the plan as of now.

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tincada's picture

December 23, 2018 at 12:58 pm

If the way to the super-bowl is through the draft GB is screwed. That's the dumbest statement I've ever heard. Look at the results of the last 5 yrs of draft picks including this years version of Terrible Ted. Is that how Belichk builds his teams, NO! and how many rings does Bill have? End of discussion.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

December 24, 2018 at 04:39 am

People who say end of discussion are woefully insecure and probably shouldn't be posting on a forum in a blog that's about... wait for it.... DISCUSSION. You're comparing a previous GM, a HC with a history of cheating in a different conference to what? Gute?

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CAG123's picture

December 23, 2018 at 09:01 am

This has nothing to do with the article but what about Ken Whisenhunt as the next HC? I know his record is a bit gross and that season and a half with the Titans was forgettable but you know it’s the Titans but he helped revive a veteran QB like Kurt Warner and helped bring Phillip Rivers along in 2013 as a OC and his offenses are usually well balanced the Chargers I think are 8th in passing and 10th in rushing that might have changed after the squeeze the Ravens put on him. Could be the kind of coach Rodgers needs what do you guys think?

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blacke00's picture

December 23, 2018 at 09:21 am

Hold on with the hyperbole Bucko!

The Packers are by no means a good team but say they are a horrible team is a gross overstatement. They Packers could have won (with a little luck and yes luck is involved) 3 maybe 4 games.

They were not "blown out" in any game this year(so far).
There could be an argument that this teams just needs a few tweaks. I would disagree with that approach but it would be rational.

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CAG123's picture

December 23, 2018 at 09:47 am

Ehhhh I’d put the Redskins game as a blowout even the Lions game it was 21-3 and 24-0 at the half but other than that the Packers were in a lot of games this year despite the outcome which is why I don’t quite understand why people are saying this team is in a 2-3 year rebuild. This team is a few pieces away from competing next year I mean look at the Seahawks it didn’t take them 3 years despite the Saints three straight 7-9 seasons it was Thomas in 2016 and the draft class of 2017 that got them back in the playoffs. This team isn’t nearly as far as people think.

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Archie's picture

December 23, 2018 at 09:37 am

Treat it like the 3rd pre-season game. Let 12 go most of 1st half then evaluate our back-up QB situation. Throw to the young WRs. Play Tonyan the whole game. Defense already playing the full roster.

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Gort's picture

December 23, 2018 at 09:46 am

Best description yet of what should happen today.

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tincada's picture

December 23, 2018 at 12:48 pm

Why play him even beyond the 1st Qtr. He just damn near had his shoulder ripped off. For why?

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HankScorpio's picture

December 23, 2018 at 10:15 am

"Rodgers cares more about avoiding interceptions than throwing touchdowns ..."

Throwing interceptions is a bad thing. Period. Full Stop. End of Story. Any attempt to argue to the contrary is pure trolling, as far as I'm concerned.

It is equal part trolling to attempt to assert that Rodgers does not know that TD passes are good and it is his job to pile up as many as he can.

There are many legitimate reasons to criticize Rodgers. Not being reckless enough with the football or not wanting to win is not among them. Doing so just shows a lack of understanding that poor decisions don't help a team win, which is a rather obvious point to miss.

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Chris Peterson's picture

December 23, 2018 at 03:54 pm

My point is that Rodgers has been way too safe with the ball. Taken too many sacks instead of throwing the ball away or giving a guy a chance to make a play. He hasn't tried to fit the ball is as many tight windoss as he used to and that is one of the things he does best. Not saying wreckless but sometimes you have to throw it up or throw guys open and he did that much less this season. He seemed content at times to throw away instead of letting guys make a play. Good today though.

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HankScorpio's picture

December 23, 2018 at 04:05 pm

I agree that he's certainly had a bad year where he has taken far too many sacks, held the ball too long too much and thrown it away too much. In short, he's been very bad compared to his previous standard.

I thought the short-hand way of expressing that larger thought was completely unfair. He *cares* plenty about trying to put TDs on the board. That was obvious in week 1 and again today.

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Skip greenBayless's picture

December 23, 2018 at 10:49 am

The Packers will beat the Jets because they currently have nobody in charge at the top. The guy making the decisions is playing quarterback.

The Packers might not win if suddenly someone at the top stepped in and actually did their job instead of handing it off to the guy playing quarterback.

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tincada's picture

December 23, 2018 at 12:44 pm

You've obviously have these two teams confused.

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fastmoving's picture

December 23, 2018 at 04:29 pm

all the other stuff in life he confuses even way more….

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cheesycowboy's picture

December 23, 2018 at 11:29 am

I would like to see Davante have a big game today. Go Pack

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Flow49's picture

December 23, 2018 at 11:35 am

At this point I would be happy with games that are entertaining to watch. Win or lose or tie, the 2018 product is almost unwatchable...

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HankScorpio's picture

December 23, 2018 at 11:43 am

Here is the inactive list for this week with somewhere around half the league eliminated from the playoffs as they take the field.

http://www.nfl.com/inactives

Which guys from that list are healthy scratches that indicate their team is throwing in the towel on the season? I've read that is a very common thing these days. I don't know that I believe it. I'm not up on the better players on the other non-playoff teams very much. With that qualifier, the inactive list does not provide much evidence there are teams that are tanking, at least not that I see. So what am I missing?

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Packers0808's picture

December 23, 2018 at 11:44 am

Funny how I said things about Rodgers very similar to the writer at different times this season and people think I am a Viking fan or some kind of troll! Or they say I know nothing about football, well then I guess they hire writers who don't know anything about football either!

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tincada's picture

December 23, 2018 at 12:36 pm

Why they'll lose? Seven - 7 defensive backs and they can't stop a 15 yard gain in the red zone, seriously? Where the hell is the hated Dom Capers?

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