27

October

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Green Bay Packers: Key Matchups

Aaron Rodgers

Jacksonville may be seeing a lot of Aaron Rodgers unloading the deep ball

The Green Bay Packers return home after a rare three game road trip where they managed a 2-1 mark.  They are dinged up and dealing with a plethora of injuries.  This seems like the perfect time for the schedule to ease up a bit and give the Pack a break.  Enter the Jacksonville Jaguars who are also limping into this game.  They will be without starting RB Maurice Jones-Drew, aka MJ-D and QB Blaine Gabbert is dealing with a sore left (non throwing) shoulder.  Let’s look at the key matchups in this week’s contest.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers vs. Jaguars defense

There’s not a whole lot to say here other than it’s MVP Aaron Rodgers against the 31st ranked defense in the league. . at Lambeau Field.  Barring an injury or a hurricane rolling through town, I expect Rodgers to continue the tear that he is currently on:  9 TD’s, 0 INT’s and a QB rating of 140.8 in his last two games.  Rodgers has found his swagger and he’s very likely to take it out on the Jags’ secondary on Sunday.

The Jaguars are giving up 264 passing yards/game.  Green Bay averages 266 through the air.  Don’t be surprised if Rodgers’ total is close to that mark or even a bit less.  The Pack are dinged up at wide receiver and will surely be without Greg Jennings (groin) and likely won’t have Jordy Nelson (hamstring) available.  I expect the Pack to try and establish the run early and work the clock.  If that is the plan of attack, Rodgers likely won’t have to throw more than 25 times.

Either way, I expect to see some explosive throws come off the arm of Rodgers and it should be fun to watch.

Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert vs. Packers defense

With Jones-Drew out, that leaves Gabbert as the key hope the Jags have on offense.  The Packers have had their issues stopping the pass this season, but that was against Drew Brees and a very gifted Andrew Luck.  Gabbert is neither of those two.  By virtue of the number of pass attempts he has, Gabbert may put up some yards, but I hardly expect to see Jacksonville marching down the Lambeau Field turf at will.

26

October

2012 NFL Regular Season Week 8: Packers vs Jaguars Preview

Aaron Rodgers

The Packers offense and Aaron Rodgers should keep rolling against the Jaguars

The Green Bay Packers seem to be on a roll.

One week after their statement victory over the Houston Texans, the Packers followed it up with a 30-20 win over the improved St. Louis Rams.  Aaron Rodgers continued his recent hot streak, going 30 of 37 for 342 yards and three touchdowns.  The offense seemingly has emerged from doldrums it was in early in the season.

This week, the Packers go into a game that by all signs appears to be a cakewalk against the Jacksonville Jaguars.  The Jaguars very likely will go into the game without their star running back Maurice Jones-Drew and their improving but still struggling starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert.   In their places will be Rashad Jennings at running back and Chad Henne at quarterback.

The Packers come into the game without Greg Jennings and perhaps without Jordy Nelson, who is nursing a hamstring injury.  This would leave a receiver group of James Jones, Randall Cobb, Donald Driver and Jarrett Boykin.  The Packers will also not have Charles Woodson on defense who will be out for six weeks with a broken collarbone.

Scouting the Jaguars

On paper, it looks like the Jaguars don’t have a fighting chance against the Packers but it’s still the NFL.  They still have to play the games and anything can happen.

With Henne likely at quarterback, it bears revisiting that Henne beat the Packers at Lambeau Field in 2010 when he was with the Miami Dolphins.   Yes, he had Brandon Marshall at receiver but Henne also took care of the ball and didn’t cost the Dolphins a chance to win the game.  Sometimes that’s the best an underdog can hope for from a mediocre quarterback.

Rashad Jennings has 34 carries for 90 yards and one touchdown.  He’s definitely no MJD and the Jaguars will definitely miss him more than they will miss Gabbert.

At receiver, the Jaguars hoped Justin Blackmon would be the next superstar receiver in the AFC South when they selected him with the fifth pick in this spring’s NFL Draft.  So far, not so good for Blackmon. 14 catches for 126 yards and zero touchdowns.  Maybe he will have some better luck with a veteran like Henne throwing the ball, but so far it seems like Blackmon is in the running for poorest performance by a top five draft pick.