Three weeks ago, a Jets-Packers matchup at Lambeau Field would be viewed as a lopsided affair in favor of the home team. When the two meet Sunday, the matchup will be an interesting and close one.
The New York Jets will enter Wisconsin with two impressive victories — a tight road triumph in Pittsburgh and a thumping of Miami at MetLife. At 3-2, the Jets are suddenly a topic in playoff discussion circles. That kind of chat surely will heighten with a victory in Green Bay and with Denver and New England on the docket in the next two weeks.
Green Bay, also 3-2, comes back home after it was handled by the Giants in the second half of last week’s game in London. The Packers had a 20-10 lead at the half and were apparently ready to take control of the game when the Giants rallied for a 27-22 victory. The Packers had a three-game winning streak snapped after they suffered a 23-7 loss to Minnesota in their opener.
With postseason implications for both teams in the offing, the game looms as a must-win for both teams.
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N.Y. Jets vs. Green Bay Packers Betting Odds
If you’re betting with the Jets on Sunday, you’ll want to find +7.5 if possible. If you’re betting against the Jets, you can probably find the Packers at -7 as the odds continue to fluctuate leading up to Sunday’s kickoff at Lambeau Field.
Here are some of the best odds available at various sportsbooks.
Jets Earning Their Wings
Jets’ rookie running back Breece Hall and cornerback Sauce Gardner are raising their stock among the league’s first-year players. This Jets’ rookie class already has the potential to be among the best in franchise history.
Hall, the Jets’ second-round pick, has surfaced as a favorite to be the Offensive Rookie of the Year. Hall has 275 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 56 carries and 213 receiving yards on 17 catches and one TD. In recent games, Hall has been the Jets’ main option in the backfield and has run with the makings of a veteran.
Gardner, the team’s top draft pick at No. 4 overall, has been mentioned with Jaguars’ linebacker Devin Lloyd in the race for the top defensive rookie. The Jets cornerback has one interception and six pass defenses in five starts.
Wide receiver Garrett Wilson, the team’s second first-round pick and 10th overall, quietly leads the team with 23 receptions for 282 yards with a pair of scores.
Defensive end Jermaine Johnson, the team’s third first-round pick and 27th overall, has battled an ankle injury and has shown flashes with his 12 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Tackle Max Mitchell, a fourth-round pick, started in the opener for veteran Duane Brown, and he has scored among the top tackles in the league overall, according to Pro Football Focus.
A Closer Look at Each Team
The Jets begin the week as the league’s 12th-ranked offense, a position they haven’t been in for a long time. Their passing game is ninth overall (259 yards per game), while their running game has slowly crept to 24th (97 yards per game). They score an average of 22.8 points per game (11th) and have allowed 12 sacks (19th).
Since his return, Zach Wilson has completed 32 of 57 attempts for 462 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He was an effective 14 of 21 for 210 yards against Miami last week. Wilson will be tested against the league’s second-ranked pass defense (177.0)
Garrett Wilson and Corey Davis (17 catches, 299 yards, two touchdowns) have been the prime targets over the first five weeks. Tight end Tyler Conklin (21 -192) has been emerging as a prime target, and Elijah Moore (16-203) has been back in the fold with Zach Wilson back.
Running back Michael Carter is still a prime threat in the backfield (47-158), and Braxton Berrios is among the league’s elite as a return man (25.5 kickoffs, 14.0 punts) as well as a threat on the outside or in the backfield. The Jets took a big leap in the red zone production (fifth, 70.6%)
Kicker Greg Zuerlein has been an invaluable pickup, making 8 of 9 field goal attempts.
The Jets’ defense continues to improve, significantly over the past two weeks. They are ranked 10th overall (320.2 yards per game), 10th against the pass (205.8), and 16th against the run (114.4). The Jets allow 23.6 points per game (16th).
They still need to lower the marks of third-down efficiency (38.4%, 19th) and red-zone defense (68.8%, 26th), as well as increase their number of sacks (10, 18th).
With Gardner’s stock rising, the secondary has shown signs of improvement. Cornerback DJ Reed is one of eight players to record one forced fumble, two pass defenses, 19 solo tackles, and one interception through the first five weeks.
Linebacker CJ Mosley, the team’s leading tackler with 51 stops, has a streak of 20 games in which he has recorded seven or more tackles.
They still will have to contain Aaron Rodgers, whose team’s passing offense is ranked 20th (227.4)
Despite the Packers’ relatively low passing offense numbers, Rogers can turn a game on a dime. He has thrown for 1,157 yards with a 67.9 completion percentage with eight touchdowns and three interceptions. He has been sacked 11 times. The Packers have the ninth-ranked offense (362.2)
The real threat of the Packers’ offense has been the running game behind Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, which has ranked them 11th in the league (134.8). Jones has 390 yards with a touchdown and Dillon has 245 yards with a score.
Rodgers has had an array of targets beginning with newcomer Romeo Duobs (22 catches, 213 yards, two touchdowns) and holdover Randall Cobb (17-247). Allen Lazard (16-203-3) and tight end Robert Tonyan (17-129) have developed into prime targets.
The Pack is eighth in third-down offense (42.1%) and ninth in red-zone offense (61.1%).
Green Bay’s defense has been its calling card in the early going. The Packers are fifth overall (303.4 yards allowed per game), second in pass defense (177.0), but 21st in rushing defense (126.4). The Pack has allowed 19.2 points per game (11th) and they have 12 sacks (11th).
Their third-down defense is ranked fourth (30.2%), while their red-zone defense is ranked 21st (28.3%).
The Pack’s strength will come from their linebackers where Rashan Gary has five sacks and 22 tackles, and fellow backer De’Vondre Campbell has a team-high 41 stops. Veteran corner Rasul Butler has two interceptions.
This will be the 14th matchup between the two teams with the Jets holding an 8-5 advantage.
The teams last met during the regular season in 2018, and the Packers posted a 44-38 victory. Green Bay has won the last three games in the series, and the Jets’ last win was on Dec. 3, 2006, with a 38-10 victory.
For the Jets, defensive end Jermaine Johnson did not practice Wednesday and is doubtful for Sunday. Brown (shoulder), Mosley (hip), defensive end Carl Lawson (ankle), and linebacker Quincy Williams (ankle) are probable.
For the Packers, Rodgers (right thumb) did not practice Wednesday, but all indications are that he will play Sunday. Linebacker Tipa Galeai (hamstring) and wide receiver Christian Watson (hamstring) are doubtful. Tackle David Bakhtiari (knee), guard/tackle Elgton Jenkins (knee), and defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt (quadricep) all are probable.
This is another major character test for the Jets, especially playing at Lambeau Field. Green Bay will be gunning for them after they let a game against the Giants slip away last week. The Jets nearly let Miami gain back the game’s momentum before they sealed the game away. It will come down to how well Wilson will perform against the Packers’ secondary, and if the Jets can contain Rogers. I like the Jets (-7) as a live dog here, but the Packers pull out a close and entertaining game. Green Bay 27-24
Prediction record: 3-2
AP Photo/Noah K. Murray