Aaron Rodgers a huge quarterback test for Jets defense

In the Jets’ three victories this season, they have faced four backup quarterbacks, one a third-stringer, two rookies playing their first games and one quarterback who became a backup after facing the Jets.

It has not been the most impressive group.

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But that changes this week. The Jets go to Lambeau Field and take on Aaron Rodgers. The defense can prove that what it’s done against Jacoby Brissett, Kenny Pickett, Teddy Bridgewater (for a play), Skylar Thompson and Mitch Trubisky was not a fluke.

“We’re going against a future Hall of Fame quarterback at a great stadium with great coaches and a great team, a Super Bowl contending team a lot of people would say,” linebacker C.J. Mosley said. “It’s going to be a great test for us to go their home and try to put on a show.”

The Jets don’t need to apologize for being 3-2, but an easy criticism is they have done it against backup quarterbacks. The Browns win came against Brissett, who is starting in place of the suspended Deshaun Watson. Trubisky started against the Jets then was benched at halftime for Pickett. Bridgewater started in place of the injured Tua Tagovailoa, then he left the game after one play and was replaced by Thompson.

Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley (inset) says it will be a "great test" going up against Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley (inset) says it will be a “great test” going up against Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Getty Images; Bill Kostroun

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Both Pickett and Thompson took their first NFL snaps against the Jets. By comparison, Rodgers has taken 8,060 snaps between the regular season and postseason.

“Hall of fame quarterback. He’s a special talent, obviously,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said. “He gets the ball where it needs to go, he gets it there quick, can change the play at the line of scrimmage, he makes everyone around him better, he challenges you from a defensive standpoint to substitutions to everything, so, he’s obviously deserving of everything he’s gotten in his life, and he’s going to be a big challenge.”

Rodgers has had some early-season struggles as he adjusts to life without receiver Davante Adams. Rogers has thrown eight touchdowns and three interceptions and could not rally Green Bay late against the Giants last weekend in London.

Still, he’s Rodgers, and the Jets expect him to figure things out.

Rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner said this is a matchup he’s dreamed about.

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“It’s a great feeling,” Gardner said. “I’ve dreamed of being on the field with guys like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady and some of the other great quarterbacks. It’s definitely a blessing and something I’ve always wanted.”

Gardner said this is a good test for the Jets.

“We know certain things he likes to do,” Gardner said. “He’s smart. He’s seen pretty much everything. He’s a vet. It’s definitely going to help us see where we’re at.”

Saleh said Rodgers will challenge the defensive backs with just how good he is at finding open windows.

“Aaron’s going to find the hole to get it to him, so just completely be alert, don’t fall asleep on the down,” Saleh said, “don’t think that just because your body position will tell normal quarterbacks that this play is over, he’ll find a way to make you pay and just know that you are a rookie, he’s probably going to try and test you and just play your best and see what happens.”

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