Aaron Rodgers would bring plenty of benefits to the New York Jets
While that point’s been hammered home by now, there’s actually another huge benefit the 39-year-old provides that’s hardly been talked about at all.
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The Jets haven’t beaten the New England Patriots since 2015. Even last season, when the Patriots were arguably the worst they’ve been in decades, Bill Belichick still managed to sweep the team he’s become so accustomed to stomping on year after year.
Since that 2015 victory with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center (yes, it’s been that long), the Jets have fallen to the Patriots 14 straight times, losing by an average of over 18 points over that span.
For the Patriots, that isn’t just beating your opponent; it’s dominating them. And you can bet Belichick loves every minute of it.
But why have the Jets been so hopeless against New England for so long?
It’s simple: Belichick’s prowess against young quarterbacks.
Since 2003, rookie and second-year NFL quarterbacks have a record of 4-43 at Gillette Stadium. Seeing as the Jets have trotted out only young, developing quarterbacks since the 2018 season, it doesn’t take a genius to put the pieces together — they’re asking for trouble.
Of course, Sam Darnold was in his third year for both New England losses in 2020, but the point of the stat is to show that Belichick feasts on young signal-callers.
Across Darnold’s four games against the Patriots, he threw just one touchdown to nine interceptions — talk about seeing ghosts. Across Zach Wilson’s four, he threw two touchdowns to seven interceptions. Both young quarterbacks had complete mental breakdowns whenever facing New England.
In short, Belichick knows how to mess with young quarterbacks, and when it comes to the Jets, he pulls out every trick he knows.
Enter Aaron Rodgers, who’s faced Belichick’s Patriots three times over his career (four if you count 2006, when he stepped in for an injured Brett Favre in the second half).
Across those three full games, Rodgers threw six touchdowns to just one interception, while also topping 250 passing yards each time. But it doesn’t take specific stats to know the present version of Rodgers is capable of outperforming whatever Belichick has to throw at him — that’s just what comes with a top-five talent at QB.
New England is not projected to be very good this year, but regardless of the talent on the roster, Belichick still always manages to mess with young Jets signal-callers. That’s why the addition of Rodgers brings with it another benefit: the chance to finally beat Bill Belichick and the Patriots for the first time in almost a decade.
Now it’s just about getting this Rodgers deal done.
Ian Roddy is on Twitter @IanRoddy_