Free NFL Pick: Green Bay at New York Jets 10-31-2010

October 29, 2010

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Green Bay Packers at New York Jets

October 31st, 2010 1:00 PM EST

Line: New York -6

Overview:

The Jets are the cream of the crop in the NFL. Perhaps the Steelers and Patriots aren’t worse, but they certainly aren’t better. The Jets have the longest active win streak in the league, coming away with five victories in their last five outings. The 4-3 Packers have lost two overtime games and the other by just a field goal. They have been hit with countless injuries, yet have persevered, maintaining a winning record and first place in the NFC North. This is definitely the game to watch in the morning.

Keys to the Game:

  • Ladanian Tomlinson needs to get more touches. He is averaging an astounding 5.3 yards a carry. The Jets are putting too much emphasis on preserving Tomlinson because he is 31 and coming off of a toe injury. Aside from turf toe, he has been healthy his entire career. While the Jets are still looking towards the future and the best interest of their team down the road, they can’t afford to limit Tomlinson to 15 carries a game. The Jets beat the Broncos by four last week and Tomlinson was limited to 16 carries. While I can already hear the outcries, the Jets need to unleash Tomlinson. He has the ability to have a 1500 yard year. They can’t worry about his durability. Shonn Greene was supposed to be the feature back going into this year, but there is a clear drop off when he enters the game. If the Jets focus too much on preserving Tomlinson for the playoffs, they might miss them entirely, as the 11-5 Patriots did two years ago.
  • Aaron Rodgers has been average this season. While he seems completely comfortable on the field, he has already thrown two more interceptions than he did all last season. Rodgers has had weapons hurt all over the feel. The season ending injury to Ryan Grant not only destroyed the Packers run game, it took Grant’s pass protection away from the Green Bay offense. Rodgers can no longer check the ball down to Jemichael Finley, so he is trying to fit the ball into tight windows down the field. Green Bay fans know this technique all too well. Rodgers is trying to do whatever he can to dig his team out of the hole the injuries have put them in. They have lost two of their last three games. If Rodgers continues to throw about as many picks as touchdowns, the Packers will hover around a .500 record all season long.
  • Darrelle Revis got hurt and nobody blinked. The Jets are so stout on defense, none of their players are irreplaceable. With Revis island back in action, the Jets defense becomes even more impenetrable. Consider Donald Driver and Greg Jennings locked up. Revis, as we all know, has the unique ability to cover receivers one on one. The Jets might wait until after the bye week to put him one on one with a receiver that has the speed Jennings has, because they don’t want to aggravate his hamstring injury. Cromartie already proved he has the ability to shut down the number one receiver. Cromartie is huge for a corner. At 6-2 210 pounds, he towers over both Jennings and Driver. This is rare in a corner vs receiver battle. Cromartie and Revis will likely play a lot of press coverage. The Jets might play more zone than usual, but it isn’t like the safeties will be too concerned with the Packers other weapons, as they don’t have a tight end or slot receiver  capable of taking over a game like Driver and Jennings can.
  • Clay Matthews is back, which is awful news for Mark Sanchez. Most teams can gear up for a dominant pass rusher like Matthews by leaving a tight end or running back to his side to help in pass protection. What makes Matthews so dangerous is that he can line up on both sides of the ball. That means that unless a quarterback checks at the line, Matthews is likely to be involved in a one on one matchup. D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Damien Woody  are both outstanding tackles, but Matthews has the upper hand in just about every one on one battle. It will be interesting to see how the Jets combat Matthews constant pursuit of Sanchez, but he will inevitably get there in time.

Wrap Up:

While Green Bay has shown resilience while battling injuries, they have lost two of their last three games. The Packers have only beaten one team all year that has a winning record, which won’t bode well for them in this game. In their defense, the Packers have not lost any of their games by the given spread of six. Unfortunately, the Jets could quite possibly have the best offense and defense the Packers have seen all year. To make matters worse, the Jets are coming off a bye week. I like what the Packers are doing, but they are playing the wrong team, at the wrong time, in the wrong place.

Free NFL Pick: New York Jets -6


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