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Jets' Young Zach Wilson, Packers' Ageless Aaron Rodgers Face Off in Green Bay

Rookie Edge Jermaine Johnson Inactive; Vet DL Vinny Curry, Signed in '21, Active for 1st Time in Green & White


The Jets took the proverbial 24 hours to celebrate their 40-17 victory over Miami at MetLife Stadium last Sunday. They spent the rest of this past week getting ready to raise the bar on the promising start to their season.

Can they do it in the house that Curley Lambeau built and Vince Lombardi renovated and future Pro Football Hall of Fame QB Aaron Rodgers has made his ritzy home? We're about to find out this afternoon when the Jets and the Packers kick off shortly after 1 p.m. ET at Green Bay's Lambeau Field.

The 3-2 Jets, with a road win over Rodgers and the 3-2 Packers, will:

■ raise their record to 4-2, giving them their first record two-plus wins over .500 after a victory since 2015. Their record was 10-5 after their 26-20 OT win over NE in Game 15 — the Eric Decker "Meadowlands Leap" game.

■ give them their first three-game win streak since 2019, Games 9-11, over the Giants (34-27), Washington (34-17) and Oakland (34-3).

■ secure their first 3-0 start to a road sked since 2010 Games 3, 4 and 6, at Miami (31-23), at Buffalo (38-14) and at Denver (24-20).

■ and propel them their best start to a season at 4-2 since 2015, when they also opened 4-2. Last time they had a better six-game record was 2010 (5-1).

But all the positive vibes and talk of momentum in the Jets locker room during the practice week could easily be dashed by Rodgers & Co. In terms of "ancient" history, the Green & White have fared well in the state of Wisconsin, winning four of seven games there and three of five in the green-and-gold-themed Lambeau. Yet the last win there was in 2006, when Chad Pennington was the Jets' QB and Brett Favre was two years shy of moving from Green Bay to the New York market/

In more current football events, the Jets have struggled against Rodgers, who's 3-0 against them. His three victories have come a variety of ways: in a touchdown-less game, by 9-0 at MetLife in 2010, in a come-from-behind triumph, from 21-3 down to 31-24 ahead at Lambeau in 2014, and in overtime back at MetLife by 44-38 in 2018 when he threw for 442 yards. In those three games, Rodgers has thrown five touchdown passes to no interceptions and has a spiffy 94.3 passer rating.

But in even more current events, Zach Wilson has put up some Rodgers-like numbers in his two games as the Jets' starting QB since returning from his August knee injury. In particular, Wilson:

■ has become the first QB in franchise history to lead five consecutive fourth-quarter touchdown drives, all in the come-from-behind 24-20 win at Pittsburgh and in the 40-17 pullaway home win over Miami.

■ is tied for third-best overall TD drive percentage, 33.3% (8 TDs in 24 drives) among the 34 NFL quarterbacks with at least 20 drives this season and has the best plays/offensive point average, 1.98 plays/point, among those 34 QBs.

■ has led his offense to nine scores and eight touchdowns in their nine red zone opportunities the past two games, lifting the Jets' red zone TD success rate to 70.6%, fifth best in the NFL.

Yet can the suddenly sizzling second-year signal-caller in green and white keep handing off to his relentless running backs and finding his hot receivers against his boyhood idol, the ageless, magical 18th-year field general in green and gold? Can the Jets' newly larcenous defense (seven INTs, nine takeaways) get the edge on the Packers D that ranks fifth in total yards allowed, second in pass yards and seventh in sack rate?

Can Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur earn family braggin' rights with a win over older brother Matt LaFleur, Green Bay's head coach?

A very interesting interconference game, the Jets' first of five this season, is about to unfold in the land of cheese.

Both teams' injury situations appear good. The Jets will not have rookie DL Jermaine Johnson (ankle) in uniform but are regaining the services of LB Quincy Williams (ankle) and expecting to see the Green & White debut of veteran DL Vinny Curry after a year-plus battling physical issues. For the Pack, Rodgers began the week with a sore right thumb but practiced full the last two days and was not listed on their injury report. However, he was reported to be shaking and loosening up the hand after some warmup throws this morning.

The Jets' inactive list for today's game:

  • QB Mike White
  • WR Denzel Mims
  • S Tony Adams
  • CB Bryce Hall
  • DL Jermaine Johnson
  • T Mike Remmers
  • TE Jeremy Ruckert

And the Packers' five-player inactive list:

  • WR Christian Watson
  • T Rasheed Walker
  • OL Sean Rhyan
  • WR Samori Toure
  • DL Jonathan Ford

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