Week 6 - Oct. 16, 2022 | Jets at Packers
State of the Team
In Matt LaFleur's three seasons as head coach, the Packers have gone 39-10 in regular season play while winning 13 games from 2019-21. After losing to the 49ers and the Buccaneers in the '19 and '20 NFC title games, the Pack was again tripped up by the 49ers in last year's divisional round. With Aaron Rodgers slinging the rock, the Packers will remain contenders again this season. Leading the Packers to the No. 1 seed, Rodgers started 16 games and completed 68.9% of his passes with 37 TDs and 4 INTs for a passer rating of 111.9. The four-time Associated Press MVP became the fifth player to win the award in consecutive seasons. While Rodgers' favorite target, Davante Adams, was traded to the Raiders this offseason, Green Bay countered with the free agent signing of Sammy Watkins plus the draft selections of Christian Watson (D2, No. 34) and Romeo Doubs (D4, No. 132).
Biggest Offseason Addition
In the 2021 regular season, the Packers finished 9th in total defense (328.2 Yds/G) and 5th in pass yards per play (6.18) and that was despite star DB Jaire Alexander, who signed a long-term extension in May, being limited to four games. Alexander is a lockdown corner when healthy and the Packers used both of their first-round picks on defense — Georgia LB Quay Walker (D1, No. 22) and Georgia DT Devonte Wyatt (D1, No. 28). The Packers might have gone home early in the postseason, but the Green Bay defense held the 49ers to just 212 yards while sacking Jimmy Garoppolo four times. Walker is a long athlete who can bring the heat as a blitzer and Wyatt is an athletic freak. The Packers defense is a solid unit that may be trending upward.
Last summer, we watched then rookie Zach Wilson soak in as many lessons as he could from Rodgers. The quarterbacks will again steal the headlines for this Week 6 matchup, but let's put the spotlight on the Jets' interior OL vs. the Packers defensive interior. GM Joe Douglas believes his team has one of the best, if not the best guard combination in the NFL with LG Laken Tomlinson and RG Alijah-Vera Tucker. They will flank C Connor McGovern against a group that features two-time Pro Bowler Kenny Clark, Jarran Reed (24.5 career sacks), Wyatt, Dean Lowry (5 sacks last season) and T.J. Slaton, a 6-4, 330-pounder who experienced normal ups and downs as a rookie.
Tomlinson said AVT was one of the guys who jumped out to him early in terms of, "paying attention to detail and applying the playbook with his techniques and his physical characteristics."
The coaching battle will also be a fun one as there is a lot of love between these two staffs. Matt LaFleur and his younger brother Mike, the Jets' offensive coordinator, go a long way back with Robert Saleh. The Jets HC and the Packers HC were graduate assistants at Central Michigan in 2004.
"They lived a mile-and-half down the street, didn't have any cable, so they came over and hung out with us," Mike LaFleur said. "My wife, who I had been dating since high school, Lauren got to know Saleh and my brother. It was us four hanging out and watching playoff games. They would come over in the summer because we had a pool and they'd get a little tan.
"Saleh moved on to Texas, and then got my brother in the door as quality control guy/offensive with Kyle Shanahan [who was the offensive coordinator]."
Inside the Numbers
|Passing Yards (TDs)||QB Aaron Rodgers||4,115 (37)|
|Rushing Yards||RB A.J. Dillon||803|
|Receiving Yards||WR Davante Adams*||1,553|
|Receiving TDs||WR Davante Adams*||11|
|Tackles||LB De'Vondre Campbell||145|
|Sacks||OLB Rashan Gary||9.5|
|Interceptions||CB Rasul Douglas||5|
*No longer on roster