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Sunday Morning: Tailgate Times (Week Two: Green Bay Packers)

Man does it feel good to be writing the introduction to this post at 1-0, undefeated and with the team and fanbase high on confidence. This week it will be a much sterner test against a high powered Green Bay offense, can we get our run game going, can we move the ball through the air and more importantly, can we prevent the Packers from moving the ball through the air.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Football season is officially back and we have already had upset alerts, overtime wins and a number of injuries to key players throughout the league. We've had some draft picks stumble out of the gates and some unheralded guys making a name for themselves. Does this ever have to go away again? Unfortunately it does, but that time is a long way away.

On to the Jets and the week one performance. We made it look difficult but we got the win and that's what matters. Hopefully you've enjoyed the coverage this week as we detailed every aspect of the game, and we'll continue to do our best throughout the year. This week we have the Packers, so it's time to get into the Tailgate Times this Sunday morning.

It's All In The History

With the Green Bay Packers being an NFC team, we don't share the longest history. Having only faced each other 11 times in our history, the Jets hold the comprehensive edge with an 8-3 record overall. Obviously the Jets have never faced the Packers in post-season play so all contests have been regular season affairs.

Despite the Jets owning the series lead, we actually lost the first ever game between the two franchises back in 1973, in a game played in Milwaukee. It was the opening game of the season. The Jets 73 season was one to forget with the team going 4-10, finishing 4th in the AFC East and missing the play-offs. Joe Namath was struggling and the Jets started three QB's over the course of the season, including Al Woodall and Bill Demory. Despite fielding impressive rushers Emerson Boozer and John Riggins, the Jets still came up short.


New York Jets wide receiver Johnny Jones (#80) catches a 23-yard 
touchdown pass thrown by Jets quarterback Richard Todd as Green Bay 
Packers cornerback Estus Hood watches from behind during a game at Shea 
Stadium, Flushing, New York, November 28, 1982. (Photo by Bruce Bennett 
Studios/Getty Images)

However following that loss, the Jets went 5 games unbeaten against the Packers before falling victim to Brett Fave and the 1994 Cheeseheads. New York would have to wait 6 years for another crack at Favre, but this time the boys in Green came out winners, with Victor Green sealing a vital interception to sea the game on the final drive.

We would go on to beat Favre again in 2002, limiting him to 172 yards and a single touchdown, with an interception in for good measure. You may remember that game as the day Chad Pennington threw 4 touchdowns, while completing 17 of 24 passes. Curtis Martin pounded the rock and team hero Wayne Chrebet had two touchdowns on three receptions.

If we fast forward to the most recent game, a dire 9-0 loss for the Jets in 2010. Mark Sanchez completed less than 50% of his passes, tossed up two really poor interceptions and Brad Smith lost a bad fumble. Our most recent memory isn't a positive one but at the end of the day, we hold a good record against the Packers and we are 3-1 at Lambeau Field, so if you believe in stuff like that, it may be a good omen.

Brett Favre - We Barely Knew Ye

Although we don't share a storied history with Green Bay, we do have a legendary link and that's Brett Favre. I love it when any HOF'er plays for the Jets, even if he won't go in as a Jet, I like the fact that had LT for a couple of seasons. However there is a part of me that wishes Favre had never played for us. Not because I don't like him, in fact it's the opposite of that. I didn't enjoy watching a legend like Favre falter so badly at the end, we lost four of our last five games in 2008 and a lot of it was down to Favre playing injured. We didn't report the injury and got slapped on the wrist to the tune of $125,000. Then there was the whole Jenn Sterger aspect with him allegedly sexting and leaving inappropriate voice messages.

However none of this can hide the fact that he was a tremendous player. The true definition of a gun-slinger. Over 71,000 passing yards, 500 touchdowns in a career that spanned nearly two decades. A Superbowl Champ, an 11x Pro Bowler and 5 times NFC player of the year. He was a true legend of the game and he won't be forgotten. As I type this in my home study, I look around and see a little #4 figurine of Brett Favre as a Jet. We may not have a storied past, but we do share a storied player.


AUGUST 27: Defensive end Mark Gastineau #99 of the New York Jets gets held by a Green Bay Packers linemen during a preaseson game on August 27, 1988. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

We Got Some Connections

In the NFL, almost every single team will share a connection with every other team. It's just the way it is with such big rosters and the amount of turnover we see now, among the players, coaches and front office personnel. So who do we have in common with the Green Bay Packers? Take a look.

Breno Giacomini - Offensive Tackle, New York Jets

Our current starting right tackle started his NFL career with the Packers. Drafted in the 5th round of the 2008 NFL draft, Breno played his football in Green Bay until 2010. The Packers liked the developmental prospect but he was taken from their practice squad by the Seattle Seahawks. Obviously we acquired Breno this off-season and we only have one game to go on, but it looks promising.

Sam Gash - Running Backs Coach, Green Bay Packers

Has anyone heard of Sam Gash, if you have I salute your New York Jets knowledge. He is the current running backs coach for the Packers, but he did spend one year here in 2006 as the assistant running backs coach, it was his first job as an NFL coach, after a playing career that saw him bounce around the AFC East with the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots. This is the first year that Sam will be running the GB running backs after leaving his post in Detroit to take up the job.

Marty Mornhinweg - Offensive coordinator, New York Jets

Marty has been all over the league, but before he got his chance as an offensive coordinator, he spent two years in Green Bay (1995/96), first as an offensive assistant and quality control coach and then as the QB coach. That just so happened to be the year the Packers won the Superbowl, so he was in fact the coach of Brett Favre when he won his one and only Super Bowl ring. I happen to love Marty and think he's the finest offensive coordinator we've had in some time.

Louie Aguiar - Assistant Special Teams Coach, New York Jets

You may not be 100% on Louie's name because he's largely in the background of operations with the New York Jets, however he is our assistant special teams coach. He was a punter with the Jets between 1991-1993 and also punted for the Packers in 1999. A man who played for both franchises and is working for one now.


Picture courtesy of Adam Hunger - USA Today

What's In A Quote

One of the best parts of a preview for me, is hearing what people are saying ahead of the game. Today I'm going to run down five of my favorite quotes from the week regarding either team.

1) "There are some great positives of utilizing a man like Mike Vick because he's so skilled, and it creates some things for you certainly during a game and in the future," he said. "That's all I'm going to say about the thought process."- Marty Mornhinweg on Michael Vick

2) "This is gravy. Making it has been the biggest thing for me. Ever since I was a kid, for more than 20 years, this was a dream and I saw it come to fruition. It's pretty awesome. Hopefully, the gravy train continues."- Trevor Reilly on making his debut for the Jets last week.

3) "I like to stay way from the production thing because a lot of things go into that," Jets coach Rex Ryan said Thursday. "But he's going to be a major factor for our football team, and probably very soon."- Rex Ryan on Jace Amaro

4) "Somehow I'll have to figure out a way to change the way I run, but still keep the physical part of it," Lacy said. "It's not really something I'm trying to change as of now. I guess as I get older I will figure out how it goes." - GB's RB Lacy on coming back from a concussion

5) "Football is about fundamentals, tackling is one of them," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said after Wednesday's practice. "You have drills that you do repeatedly and like all the fundamentals, it comes down to footwork. Our tackling progression of approach, contact and finish, the things we did not do very well were clearly in the area of approach. We had drills today that emphasized that and those are the things we'll continue to do."- Mike McCarthy on missed tackles against the Seahawks

Last Time We Met

Oh boy, oh boy, was this game a dull affair. I can't remember the last time a game put me to sleep like this one. It's fitting that this game was on October 31st because some of the football on show was downright scary. It was a clear afternoon at the New Meadowlands Stadium but the football was dreary, the Packers walked out of New Jersey with a 9-0 win and even they must have relegated that game to the record books, because I can't imagine many fans went back to revisit it.

The game was settled on Mason Crossby's 3 field goals with neither team managing to force the ball into the endzone. We actually had 360 net yards of offense but yet didn't manage to put a single point on the board, Nick Folk missed the only FG attempt he tried, Brad Smith had a fumble and Sanchez tossed up two terrible interceptions. We limited Rodgers to less than 50% completion percentage and under 200 yards and yet we were still unable to come away with the win, but that's what happens when you cough up the football.

I'm boring myself here, so lets never speak of this game again.

Three Keys to the Game

1) Whether it's Bryan Bulaga or Derek Sherrod playing right tackle we need to get after them often and early. We need to generate pressure from our front seven because sending extra blitz personnel against this kind of passing offense is dangerous. We need to get Coples and Babin on the outside shoulder of the tackle and force him to slide across. If we can do that and either get to Rodgers or force them to use extra protection, we'll have a good chance of winning this game.

2) We must be smart with our coverages. If we have the luxury of having Milliner back, then rolling the deep safety over to Allen's side will allow him to play aggressive defense. I don't expect him to play much press because we want to keep the football in front of him as much as possible, but if we can get a safety net over the top to protect against those long throws, I'll feel a lot better about our chances.

3) Exploit the middle of the field in the passing game. We should be able to run between the tackles with B.J Raji on IR but the tackling through the middle for Green Bay was poor against Seattle, especially in the middle linebackers and safety region. If we can get our tight ends in space over the middle, they have the speed and athleticism to really do some damage. I think one of both of Cumberland and Amaro will have a big game.


FLUSHING, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Freeman McNeil #24 of the New York Jets carries the ball in a game against the Green Bay Packers on November 28, l982 at Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York. (Photo by Ronald C. Modra/ Getty Images)

Hat Tip To Atmosphere

Last week I wrote about Long Island native Derek Tabacco leading the Jets chant for the first game of the season and I have to say the atmosphere was absolutely electric. It affected the snap count of Oakland, forced them into calling timeouts and actually resulted in a couple of delay of game penalties. Seattle and Green Bay are horrible places to play because of the 12th man, which is the crowd. If we can create that atmosphere every week and get that reputation among the NFL players. Then we are on to a winner.

Jets Facts

1) Wayne Chrebet had 580 catches for the Jets, but did you know that 379 of his catches resulted in first downs. Now that is production and clutch performance.

2) Rich Kotite decided to trade wide receiver Rob Moore after his most productive season for the Jets. He was traded prior to the 1995 draft, but in 1994 he had 78 receptions, 1010 yards and 6 TD's. At 6'3 and 202lb's, he's not the kind of player you trade away...apart from if you're Rich Kotite.

3) Ken O'Brien was the first Jets QB to ever finish a season as the top rated passer with 96.2 in 1985. He was also the first ever QB to pass for more than 400 yards and earn a perfect passer rating of 158.3.

4) Bill Parcells told his players he was retiring in the form of a 1934 poem by Dale Wimbrow entitled "The Guy in the Glass"

One for the Grill

Last week Jeremy introduced his new series, cooking with Jeremy on a Sunday and so I'm just going to pop a quick recipe up every week just to compliment the work he is doing. Last week we had some absolutely delicious  chicken bacon bites, and this week we are going to try our hand at another tailgate treat.

Brats with "Maple-ized" Onions


2 large onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 oz. cup Crown Royal® Maple Finished Whisky
Pinch of Salt

Instructions: Grill bratwursts over medium heat, turning them every three minutes until they turn golden brown or the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Meanwhile, melt butter and oil in skillet on medium-high heat. Stir in the onions and and add a pinch of salt frequently, until the onions begin to brown, about 5-10 minutes. Add Crown Royal® Maple Finished Whisky to the skillet and continue to cook onions, stirring occasionally, until well "maple-ized" (turn down the heat if onions appear to be browning too quickly). Simmer until there is very little moisture left in the pan. Place brats on buns and top with generous amount of onions.