The New York Jets have the seventh-best odds to win the Super Bowl. After acquiring Aaron Rodgers, we have heard and read many opinions suggesting that New York is a legitimate title contender.
The Jets solved their most obvious problem when they made the badly-needed upgrade at quarterback. The former Packers standout is the first genuine superstar QB since Joe Namath to don the green and white, as the disappointing single season of Brett Favre doesn’t really count.
We all know the great accomplishments on Rodgers’ resume and how promising the Jets have looked elsewhere on their roster, especially on defense.
As far as Jets futures odds go, the team is a great bet to make the playoffs and end the league’s longest postseason drought (12 seasons).
Getting into the playoffs seems realistic and is a step forward for the franchise when you consider New York’s recent futility, but trading for the four-time MVP changed the team’s perceived shorter-term goals. Even winning the AFC, though, might be a lot to ask of these Jets in 2023.
The 39-year-old QB doesn’t have much of a window left to win his second Super Bowl. And unfortunately for Jets fans, there are several legitimate factors that may prevent him from winning that title in his first season in New York.
Why the Jets Won’t Win Super Bowl 58
Rodgers’ Recent Performances And Results
The backers of the Jets’ new QB will point out that he won his fourth MVP award two seasons ago. But while Rodgers has been an outstanding regular-season performer, his postseason results in recent years have left him open to much criticism.
Green Bay won 13 regular-season games in three consecutive seasons from 2019 to 2021, yet those teams won just two playoff games. Rodgers has lost in four straight trips to the NFC Championship Game and takes a lot of heat for his overall 12-10 playoff record, which clearly clashes with the rest of his illustrious career profile.
Of course, pro football is a team game, and other factors certainly played a role in some of those playoff defeats. But the fact remains that Rodgers was a key element on those Green Bay teams that fell short of even conference championship goals, and he has not delivered any defining postseason moments in recent years.
While playing through a significant thumb injury and without Davante Adams in 2022 were true challenges for Rodgers, there were other factors at play when considering why he was not able to lead the Packers to a winning record.
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One year after winning his fourth MVP award, Rodgers did not look like the same elite QB. His slippage in certain performance areas was well-described by an NFL Scout in a Sports Illustrated feature article earlier this year.
“He hasn’t changed. He’s the same guy in terms of his play style. But his play has fallen off,” the team scout told Packers beat reporter Bill Huber. “The biggest piece is he just can’t move as well as he used to.”
“That used to be – on top of being great at extending plays and having rare accuracy – he can’t do that anymore. And his arm has taken a dip. Aaron is built on holding the ball and making stuff happen off-schedule. When you can’t move as well, you lose that component.”
When combining Rodgers’ playoff results in recent years with his age and perceived step down from his prime, I view him as a still-good, but not-great NFL QB. The 2021 NFL Passer Rating leader may still be very capable of piloting his new team to a playoff berth, but expecting Rodgers to elevate the Jets to an AFC Championship appears to be aiming too high.
New York’s Supporting Cast
The trade to New York gave Rodgers an instant upgrade to Garrett Wilson at the No. 1 wide receiver spot. But the rest of the pass-catching crew is not going to scare opposing secondaries.
The Jets lack an ideal No. 2 WR on the roster. Ex-Packer Allen Lazard never stepped into that role effectively in four years as a regular, topping out at 60 receptions, and Mecole Hardman failed to reach the 800-yard mark in four years working with the best QB in the game in Kansas City.
The receiving group also features a well past-his-prime Randall Cobb, the annually underwhelming Corey Davis, and 2020 draft bust Denzel Mims. Tight ends Tyler Conklin and C.J. Uzomah are decent options but aren’t difference-makers.
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Breece Hall has the potential to be a standout running back, but expectations must be tempered some in his first season back from a major knee injury.
Wilson is the one guy who can realistically be projected to deliver a superb year, and Rodgers might not be able to carry this offense to championship heights, even though the unit will perform respectably enough.
A Championship Transformation Takes Time
I will certainly lay more than one unit on the Jets to make the playoffs (-130) and winning a game on Wild Card Weekend very possible. But going from seven wins to raising the Lombardi Trophy is just a feat that seems too great to accomplish based on the addition of an older QB that hasn’t been able to get to a Super Bowl since 2010.
Rodgers is certainly capable of leading the Jets to a promising winning season that can be the foundation for a possible deeper playoff run in 2024, as there is a good chance he returns for a second year in New York. The 2023 campaign can likely lead to a much-improved outlook for the Jets, but Rodgers is joining a new team that still has to gel over the course of the season.
The offense includes key players that have no playoff experience or guys who have not made much of a significant impact in the postseason yet in their careers.
New York’s defense certainly looked like a top-level unit in 2022 and will play an instrumental role in how far the team goes this season. There aren’t any significant reasons to downplay the defense.
Predicting that the Jets won’t make the Super Bowl is not forecasting an overall negative outlook for the team in 2023. But expecting a championship right away for a team that is still coming together is just too much.
A lot has to break right to even overcome sizable AFC Championship odds, and looking for it all to happen in one season after posting a mediocre record appears to be a reach. The short-term future is much brighter for the Jets, but the ceiling of success for this season is being slightly exaggerated by some observers.