Are the Jets About to Take Flight?
The New York Jets are coming off of their best performance of the season against the Miami Dolphins. The Jets toppled the Dolphins 40-17, as their defense took over in the fourth quarter, blowing this game out of reach of Miami. New York improved to 3-2 with the win this past Sunday and are looking to keep their win streak alive as they head to Lambeau Field to take on the Packers.
Squish the Fish
The Jets took care of business Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins entered the game without their starting quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, as he was ruled out of the contest due to a concussion. Then, on the first play on offense for Miami, they lost their backup quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, when his head slammed to the turf on a corner blitz, which resulted in a safety for New York.
Miami was forced to play rookie quarterback Skylar Thompson. Thompson had a rough afternoon, as he was only able to pass for 166 yards while also throwing an interception. Despite this, Miami was able to keep the game close for three quarters. The major reasons Miami was even in this contest was their strong run game, and some egregious pass interference penalties that occurred on all three of their scoring drives.
New York was able to score forty points for the first time in 63 games, as the team accounted for five rushing touchdowns. A big part of their offensive success came from the legs of rookie running back Breece Hall, who accounted for 197 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. In all honesty, Hall should have had three scores but was tackled one yard short of the endzone twice.
Quarterback Zach Wilson was very efficient, as he completed 66.7% of his passes for 210 yards and added a rushing touchdown. Wilson also had zero turnover-worthy plays for just the third time in his career. It is clear that Wilson is not the same quarterback that he was during his rookie season. He is much more calm and poised in the pocket, and his short accuracy has improved greatly. A notable difference in his game is his willingness to stay in the pocket and deliver throws while the defense is in his face.
New York’s pass rush was able to take over this game in the fourth quarter. Highly paid edge rusher Carl Lawson accounted for a sack and seven quarterback hits. After this monster performance, Lawson is now second in the NFL with 14 quarterback hits, trailing only Nick Bosa, who has 16. Lawson was also able to force a fumble on his only sack of the afternoon, which the Jets were able to recover. New York gave Lawson a huge contract two offseason’s ago and it seems that their investment is starting to pay off. After the fumble, New York took advantage of the short field as Breece Hall ran for his only touchdown of the day seconds later.
Quinnen Williams was dominant once again, as he was disruptive in both the run and pass game. Williams has played at an all-pro level this season and will most likely be paid as one of the best defensive linemen in the league. Williams currently has an outstanding 88.8 grade from Pro Football Focus and has accounted for four sacks in just five games, which is tied for first among interior defensive linemen.
Onto Green Bay
New York has yet to beat a notable quarterback this season, but this could all change with a win over the Packers this Sunday. Green Bay is coming off a disappointing loss against the Giants and team chemistry seems to be becoming a major issue. It is evident that star quarterback Aaron Rodgers has become frustrated with his team's mistakes and this may give New York an advantage, as they will be coming into this game with a lot of confidence.
The Jets match up well with the Packers on both sides of the ball. Defensively, the Jets arguably have the best cornerback duo in football, as both D.J. Reed and Sauce Gardner are playing at high levels this season. The Jets invested greatly into the cornerback position this past offseason and they should be very pleased with the return. Reed is allowing one of the lowest passer ratings in the NFL and Gardner has flashed numerous times and is living up to the expectations of being the fourth overall pick. Gardner had his first career interception this past Sunday on a pass where Thompson’s hand was hit during the throw. Looking ahead to the Packers, it is evident they don’t have a proven wide receiver one, so the Jets will be able to stack the box and force Green Bay to beat them through the air. This may sound simple enough, but Rodgers has diced up defenses his entire career, so trying to stop him is no small task.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Jets will look to continue to pound the rock, as Green Bay allowed Giants running back Saquan Barkley to rush for 5.4 yards per carry. Breece Hall should continue to impress and is in line for another big game this Sunday. Zach Wilson should also fare well against this Packers defense, as they allowed Daniel Jones to pass for 217 yards with a nearly 78% completion percentage. Wilson was able to rack up 210 yards on only twenty one attempts, so with increased volume, Wilson’s numbers could easily reach the 250-270 mark during this matchup.
The Giants were able to have success with subpar weapons and poor offensive line play, so I would expect the Jets to have a ton of offensive success. The Packers allowed 338 total yards for the game and made numerous mistakes in their defeat. With the Jets coming into the game with a ton of confidence, an upset is not out of the question.