We’re probably underrating Week 11 opponent Houston a little bit here, but you can make a strong argument that if the Jets can beat Green Bay at home on Sunday afternoon, they’re going to be undefeated between the dates of September 14 and December 5, at a minimum. Their opponents after this week: at Detroit, at Cleveland, home against Houston, home against Cincinnati. That could be nearly three months of zero losses, heading into a huge Monday-night game in Foxboro on December 6. They just have to get through this one.
Earlier this week, Jets coach Rex Ryan said that despite his team’s 5-1 record, “I don’t think we’re close on either side of the ball.” That might seem like a silly thing to say about a 5-1 team, but he’s right: The Jets really haven’t entirely clicked yet. Mark Sanchez is still a little wobbly, the receivers aren’t a cohesive unit yet, and, most important, the defense isn’t nearly as dominant as everyone expected it to be, ranking fourteenth in the NFL rather than, you know, first.
A large part of that is because of Darrelle Revis’s continued injuries — Revis is the rare player whose absence changes every aspect of a team’s defense, from coverage to run stoppage to pass rush — and that should be over now, as Revis has proclaimed himself “100 percent.” (We always love when athletes describe their wellness using percentages, as if there is some sort of meat thermometer that gives such an exact figure. We are writing this paragraph at 83 percent capacity right now.) With Revis back at full speed and strength, the Jets defense can be what it was supposed to be all along.
The Packers are reeling from the loss of tight end Jermichael Finley, but the preseason NFC favorite still is 4-3 and in a solid position to win their division, unless Brett Favre lops ten years off his age. They’re coming off a thrilling win over Favre and the Vikings last week, but they lost at home to Miami two weeks ago, a team the Jets handled on the road early this year. The Packers are the best team over the next month, and the Jets are still clearly the better team. The Jets had their off-week right before the stretch of the season in which they can completely take over the AFC. If they get past this game, look out.