Sean Jensen at the Chicago Sun-Times addresses the similarity between the Jets defense and the Packers defense:
“The New York Jets did Sunday what every other Bears opponent would not: They attacked the speedy receivers at the line of scrimmage, and they dared quarterback Jay Cutler to beat single coverage by arguably the league’s best group of cornerbacks, headlined by Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie.”
Its all about the pass rush. But unlike the Bears who built their defense around getting pressure from the front four, the Jets defense starts with the corners. They allow them to bring extra pressure from all directions on the quarterback.
“According to an NFC personnel director, there isn’t another team in the conference that plays defense like the Jets. But the Green Bay Packers, the Bears’ opponent Sunday in the regular-season finale, are one team capable of playing that brand, and they’ve done so more in recent games.”
Jensen mentions that the Packers played a lot of cover two against the Bears the first time around. But the Bears aren’t’ the same team offensively that they were then. For one thing a lot will depend upon their ability to stop the Bears running game in it, something they are going to find a lot more difficult now than they did then.
And the Packers do always like to be aggressive and they may need to be this game. The offensive line is better, at least in the second half of games, and Green Bay is going to have a tougher time getting pressure on Cutler if they aren’t a bit more aggressive, than they were the first time around, I think.
The guess here is that Green Bay will still try to sit back in the zone again and wait for Cutler to get impatient or react badly to pressure and make a mistake. But I think they know that they’re going to have to be more flexible than usual and ready to change depending upon how things are working. They know the Bears a lot better than the Jets did. They know their weaknesses and they’ll exploit them. For instance, I think we can count on occasionally seeing them mix it up, coming out of the defense to bring that corner that Cutler has a bad habit of not seeing coming off the edge.
In any case how watching to see what they do and how successful they will be is just one more thing that makes this a fascinating matchup.