Green Bay at NY Jets -6 O/U 42.5
Recommendation: New York
The injury list remains very long for the Green Bay Packers entering Sunday’s showdown against the 5-1 New York Jets. The Packers have had some of the worst luck in the NFL with injuries this year, especially on defense. There are six contributors listed as questionable on that side of the ball; Charles Woodson, Ryan Pickett, Al Harris, Atari Bigby, Derrick Martin and Cullen Jenkins. There are also four more defenders that are on IR and out for the year, along with tight end Jermicheal Finley and running back Ryan Grant; two key members of the offense. Bigby and Harris are important members of the secondary that have yet to play this season; their return would be a huge help to the Packers defense. Offensively, receiver Donald Driver also joins the list of questionable Packers.
At full strength, I felt like Green Bay was the best team in the NFC this year. However, with the roster in its current state, that is no longer the case. They still have a great quarterback in Aaron Rodgers and some solid playmakers on both sides of the ball, but they are not going to contend for the NFC title or beat teams like the Jets on the road. It also hurts the Packers that they are off a huge Monday night win over their division rival Minnesota. They played a very emotional, hard-hitting game and eked out a narrow win in the fourth quarter.
This is not the best spot in the world for the Jets, however, coming off a bye week with a 5-1 record and five-game win streak. That alone keeps me from making a big play on the Jets at -6, but I still think they are the right side of this game. New York hasn’t been as dominant on defense this year and has also dealt with some injuries on that side of the ball to superstar Darrell Revis and Calvin Pace. Still, they are better than average on that side of the ball and they love to blitz and pressure the quarterback. Rodgers has gotten better protection this year from his offensive line, but it will be severely tested this week by the Jets defense.
New York has gotten some solid, if not spectacular play from its offense this year, led by the rejuvenated LaDanian Tomlinson. LT has regained his old form to lead the rushing attack, and second year quarterback Mark Sanchez has also impressed. They should have some success running and throwing against this banged up Packer defense. Take the Jets.
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