Will Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets live up to prime-time scheduling hype?


NFL fans will be seeing Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets in prime time next season — a lot.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that New York has six prime-time games next season, which all come before Thanksgiving, as well as a game in London. When asked about the reasoning, NFL VP of Broadcast Planning Mike North told ESPN that the Jets “kind of owe” the NFL after their disappointing 2023 season — low-lighted by Rodgers suffering an eventual season-ending Achilles tear on their opening possession and the team going 7-10.

On Friday’s edition of “The Carton Show,” host Craig Carton opined that the NFL is justified in putting the Jets firmly in the limelight.

“We were all bullish on the Jets because of Aaron Rodgers less than 12 months ago, so what’s changed?,” Carton questioned. “The Jets think they have a really good team. We all agree they have a great defense. We all think they’re going to be better on offense because they an improved offensive line, on paper. And yes, oh, by the way, you have Aaron Rodgers back, and the last time Aaron Rodgers was healthy for an entire season, he won an MVP award. 

“So the NFL’s merely saying ‘we’re buying into the exact same thing we bought into a year ago that Aaron Rodgers, who for a decade was the face of the NFL, is going to kind of regain his status as one of the top, if not the best quarterback in all of football.’ If he doesn’t get hurt, the NFL’s right.”

Rodgers is coupled with his former offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who holds the same position in New York. The 10-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl XLV MVP won back-to-back league MVPs under Hackett with the Green Bay Packers from 2020-21. Rodgers played through a broken thumb in 2022, his final season with the Packers.

On the other side of the ball, New York’s defense — which is headlined by cornerback Sauce Gardner and defensive lineman Quinnen Williams, among others — surrendered just 292.3 total yards per game last season, good for third in the NFL.

The Jets have put together a highly productive offseason, signing wide receiver Mike Williams, offensive tackle Tyron Smith and defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, while acquiring defensive end Haason Reddick from the Philadelphia Eagles in the wake of losing Bryce Huff. They also re-signed defensive lineman Solomon Thomas and safety Ashtyn Davis.

Will the Jets live up to expectations?

In the draft, New York traded back one slot and took Penn State offensive tackle Olu Fashanu at No. 11. It then traded up to No. 65 to select Western Kentucky wide receiver Malachi Corley and took Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen at No. 134.

As for New York’s 2024 quarterback room, it signed veteran Tyrod Taylor and selected Florida State‘s Jordan Travis with the No. 171 pick in the draft. The Jets traded former No. 2 draft pick Zach Wilson to the Denver Broncos.

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