The NY Jets will be heading into the 2023 season with high expectations. Adding Aaron Rodgers to a seven-win team that won in spite of terrible quarterback play should make them a lot better, right?
Here are five bold predictions for the Jets' 2023 season.
Aaron Rodgers breaks multiple NY Jets single-season QB records
The Jets have only had one 4,000-yard passer — Joe Namath in 1967. The Jets have also only had one 30-touchdown passer — Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2015.
This season, Rodgers should be able to break both of those records and have the best passing season by a Jets quarterback. The bar isn’t very high.
Garrett Wilson breaks the NY Jets single-season receiving yards record
Another Jets player who could break a team single-season record is Garrett Wilson. Wilson had an impressive 1,103 receiving yards as a rookie with some of the worst quarterback play in the league.
With Rodgers in the fold, Brandon Marshall’s 1,502-yard record might not be safe. The Jets do have a lot of receivers, and that could prevent Wilson from getting the targets needed to break the record, but if he does take the Davante Adams role in Nathaniel Hackett’s offense, he should have a chance.
The NY Jets win 12 games in the regular season
The Jets have one of the tougher schedules in 2023, the sixth-toughest schedule in fact. It certainly won’t be easy, but the Jets are a really good team and should be able to compete with every opponent they face, which we have not been able to say in a long time.
Last season, the Jets had impressive wins over the top two teams in the division, the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins, with Zach Wilson at quarterback.
The Jets' defense, which was one of the league's best last season, is largely the same. The offense is much improved, and the Jets could get to 12 wins despite the tough schedule because of it.
Sauce Gardner wins Defensive Player of the Year
Sauce Gardner was unbelievable as a rookie. He was truly one of, if not the best, cornerbacks in the NFL. Gardner had the best Pro Football Focus coverage grade (90.0) among all NFL cornerbacks by over 3.0 points.
With another year of development and the Jets' additions on the defensive line and at safety, Gardner could be even better in his sophomore season.
Any improvement from what was already an elite cornerback season should put him squarely in the Defensive Player of the Year discussion. Currently, Gardner has the fifth-best betting odds to win the award.
The NY Jets end their playoff drought and make it to the AFC Championship Game
After the Rodgers trade, the most important thing for the Jets this season has to be ending their 12-season playoff drought. The pressure to win it all this season is not as bad as it seemed it would be, with all signs pointing to Rodgers being a Jet for two or maybe even three seasons.
This season, the Jets have a good enough team to make it to the playoffs and make a run once they get there. Adding Rodgers to a team with very few holes should allow them to compete with the Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals, and Buffalo Bills, who seemed primed to run the AFC for the foreseeable future.
An AFC Championship Game appearance should be enough to bring life back into the organization and convince Rodgers to come back for one or two more tries to win it all.