Team Capsules: New York Jets

August 2, 2023

A look at every NFL franchise heading into the 2023 season

© John Jones-USA TODAY Sports


The New York Football Jets enter the 2023-24 season with real expectations for the first time since the Rex Ryan era. While the Jets finished in last place in the AFC East last season, they managed to win seven games for the year, the second time they’ve reached that threshold in the previous decade.

Robert Saleh enters his third full season at the helm, adding former Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett as offensive coordinator and former Super Bowl champion and league MVP Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. Rodgers instantly becomes one of the most-talented players to hop under center for the Jets in franchise history and will look to bounce back after a down year in Green Bay last season.

What to like about the Jets…

  • They got their guy. Despite his age, Aaron Rodgers is undoubtedly an upgrade at the QB position compared to Zach Wilson. The Jets managed to win seven games last season with Wilson running the show; it should be only up from here. Rodgers is a true pro and one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. Just about anything would have been better than Wilson, but Rodgers brings something to the table that the Jets have not experienced in a long time – winning. Sure, he only has one Super Bowl ring, but that’s more than the Jets have in the last 40 years. Rodgers has experienced tremendous success in the regular season, and playing for a new team could provide him with a breath of fresh air to get his career back on track following his falling out in Green Bay. Landing Rodgers, even at 39 years old, is a win for the Jets.
  • While New York’s offense was abysmal last season, its defense was one of the best units in the NFL. They ranked fourth in total yards allowed per game (311.1), third in passing yards per game (189.4) and fourth in points per game (18.6). The blueprint is there for the Jets to keep teams stuck in the mud this season. If they can replicate their success on defense and up their offensive output, they might have something this season.
  • This is Robert Saleh’s third full season as head coach, and the fruits of his labor should start to pay off. When the Jets poached him from San Francisco, Saleh was considered one of the top defensive minds in the game. Last season, his defense took a leap, and now he’s brought in Hackett to run the offense with his first mate in Rodgers. The Jets probably could have been in the playoff picture last season had they increased their offensive output and had running back Breece Hall stayed healthy. Saleh has control of his locker room and with a massive question being answered at the QB position, Saleh and the Jets are in good shape entering the 2023 season.

What not to like about the Jets…

  • Aaron Rodgers is 39 years old and will turn 40 before the end of the coming season. While Rodgers is not far removed from an MVP-caliber season, the Jets are banking on him to turn back the clock and benefit from a fresh change of scenery. That is far from a guarantee. Tom Brady fell off a cliff last season, and other quarterbacks have deteriorated rather quickly; think Peyton Manning in his final season with Denver. New York is banking on an old QB coming in and turning things around. Brett Favre was the same age as Rodgers when he left Green Bay for New York, leading the Jets to a mediocre 9-7 record. Rodgers is an upgrade at the position, but Father Time is undefeated.
  • While reuniting Rodgers with Hackett seems excellent on paper, the duo is tasked with turning around one of the worst offensive units in the NFL. Last season, the Jets averaged just 17.4 points per game, the fourth fewest in the NFL. Furthermore, they ranked near the bottom of all major offensive statistical categories. Their offense was bad already, and while Rodgers is one of the best QBs of this generation, there is no guarantee he will come in and fix everything instantly.
  • The Jets were selected as the team for “Hard Knocks.” While the series has very little to do with the X’s and O’s on the field, it’s yet another distraction for a team that is searching for its identity and is already under a microscope from the local media. The less distractions, the better. For the Jets, it seems like there will be a ton of noise around the team leading up to Week 1. New York media is a different beast. If the Jets do not play well out of the gate, that could impact the team morale as they will indeed get grilled across the multiple major news outlets covering the team. Winning cures all. Can the Jets figure out a way to succeed with all the moving parts around the team?

Steve Quinne’s Pick: Jets over 9.5 wins (-145)

Seven of New York’s 10 losses last season were within one possession. How much does Rodgers move the needle? The Jets defense should be an upper-echelon unit once again, and Rodgers should provide New York’s offense with a jolt. The Jets brought in his former teammates Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb to pair alongside young stud Garrett Wilson. With Breece Hall set to return from injury, Rodgers will have plenty of weapons on offense. Plus, Rodgers restructured his deal to give the Jets some flexibility to add more talent. Could they add a guy like Dalvin Cook to the mix? If Saleh can maintain his defense and Rodgers reinvents the offense, the Jets should be competitive and reach double-digit wins on the year.