4 dream scenarios for the NY Jets in 2024

The Jets have legitimate Super Bowl aspirations in 2024
Aaron Rodgers
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2. Tyron Smith and the rest of the NY Jets offensive line stay healthy

When healthy Tyron Smith is one of the very best left tackles in the game. The operative words there are, "when healthy." Smith hasn't played a full season since 2015 and over the last four years, his availability has been even more erratic.

From 2020 until 2023 he's played two, eleven, four, and thirteen games respectively. Smith missing time is an inevitability that the Jets have planned for drafting former Penn State standout left tackle Olu Fashanu 11th overall.

Smith staying healthy for the duration of the 17-game season plus a deep playoff run would be a huge boon, both for keeping Aaron Rodgers healthy and effective as well as keeping the running game on schedule and unlocking Breece Hall's full potential.

But beyond Smith, the Jets' dream scenario is that the entire starting offensive line unit stays healthy. The last two seasons have seen the unit decimated by injuries which had essentially sunk any designs the team may have had of a functional NFL offense.

In 2022, 11 different players started on the offensive line, and 2023 was even worse with 13 different starters combining for 13 different line combinations as players shifted and played out of position just to field a healthy unit.

Instead of thinking of the offensive line as five individual positions think of it as one unit functioning as a whole. Therefore, talent is maximized by chemistry and communication which can only be achieved via consistent playing time together.

The Jets have a unit that on paper is very talented, and if they achieve their dream scenario can develop the chemistry to be a top-five unit in the league. Often overlooked, that kind of performance can be the lifeblood of an offense and have a trickle-down effect making just about everyone better.

3. NY Jets edge rusher Will McDonald emerges as a premier pass rusher

One of the more controversial offseason decisions has been the revamping of the edge rusher room. From letting Bryce Huff walk to the John Franklin-Myers trade and now the Haason Reddick contract situation, there's plenty to raise an eyebrow at.

With all that said, there's a potential outcome here that could make those decisions look justified and could lead to an even more productive defensive line unit than the high bar we've seen established over the past two seasons.

That would be Will McDonald emerging as a true superstar edge rusher. We've already discussed why McDonald could take a Jermaine Johnson-like leap in year two, but let's extrapolate this even further.

Johnson and McDonald are fundamentally different players. Johnson is known more as a do-it-all type edge rusher who is equally adept at setting the edge and playing stout run defense, rushing the passer with some counters off of his initial power, and even playing QB spy at times against more athletic QBs like division rival Josh Allen.

Whereas McDonald is a more traditional, bendy, speedy, sack artist. He's the type of player that can make offensive tackles look foolish and get to the QB very quickly, creating havoc and splash plays. In short, he's much more in the Reddick mold than the Johnson one.

If he were to arrive on the scene with presumably a much bigger role than last year and prove to be an elite pass rusher, the Jets would win in two distinct ways. One, their pass rush would become that much more lethal with speed demons Reddick and McDonald on either edge in obvious passing situations.

Furthermore, he'd give them leverage in contract negotiations with Reddick, or even straight-up replace him after the season which would save money for mega extensions due to the young core and recouping a comp pick to offset the draft capital going out to Philly.

As we've seen over and over again, dominant pass rushes with championships and McDonald emerging as a truly elite pass rusher would be an incredible dream come true for the Jets in 2024.