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The NFL world can’t handle the NY Jets being good

Aaron Rodgers, NY Jets, Fans
Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets Fans, Getty Images

The NFL community isn’t ready for the New York Jets to emerge from obscurity

For years, the New York Jets have been the butt of many jokes. Whether from division rivals, fans, or ESPN putting the “butt fumble” atop their “Not Top Ten” list for forty straight weeks, the world is used to laughing at the Jets – and by association, their fans.

Even in the midst of the team’s strong start to the 2022 season, pundits couldn’t wait to bring up the worst of the team – yet again.

It’s hard to fault them, really. After all, the Jets hold the longest playoff drought in the four major professional sports played in North America. But that’s likely to change soon.

The Jets are starting to turn the page – and the reality that the team will likely no longer be a laughingstock can’t be fathomed by the NFL community.

Are the Bright Lights Just for Show?

Aaron Rodgers may be bringing the spotlight with him to New York, but that hasn’t stopped anti-Jets takes from formulating. We’ve seen players – and even a former Jets GM – insinuate that Rodgers isn’t capable of turning the team into playoff contenders despite leading the Green Bay Packers to the playoffs 12 times in the last 15 years.

Pundits have even selected teams such as the Browns, Panthers, Falcons, and Broncos to make the playoffs over the Jets this season. None of those teams had a better record than the Jets last year, and none added a future first-ballot Hall of Famer at quarterback this offseason.

Prior to the 2022 season, the Packers ranked sixth in ESPN’s NFL power rankings. They were given this rank despite losing Davante Adams and having a middling offensive line and defense. So far this offseason, the Jets rank 12th by the very same rankers despite arguably having a more complete team than the 2022 Packers.

Rodgers isn’t the only Jets player facing disrespect, however.

Is it the Media or the Player?

This week, Sauce Gardner was announced as the second-best CB in the NFL by his peers. Gardner came into the NFL guns-blazing. The Jets’ rookie led the NFL in pass deflections (20) while winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, making the Pro Bowl, and earning first-team All-Pro honors. He was the first rookie CB to be named a first-team All-Pro since Ronnie Lott in 1981.

You would think those accolades would be enough to acknowledge Gardner as one of the best players in the NFL. Instead, it has only brought detractors.

Asante Samuel is the most recent critic to accuse the New York media as the source behind Gardner’s hype instead of his elite play in his rookie season.

The former New England Patriot wasn’t alone, however. Lions’ CB C.J. Gardner-Johnson echoed Samuel’s sentiments and spoke about it in a Twitter Spaces hosted by the Jets’ cornerback.

The common theme is the inability to take the Jets – or their players – seriously. Instead of acknowledgment of greatness, the Jets’ accomplishments are met with pessimistic questioning. It’s something that you don’t normally see when elite players are discussed. But it’s something that follows Gang Green around like a shadow, and it’s given Jets fans a chip on their shoulder.

Now that the New York Giants’ “little brother” is on the cusp of success once again, the NFL world isn’t prepared for it.

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11 months ago

It’s a bit annoying but to be fair to the detractors we haven’t won enough games. We need to win consistently for a long time to shut people up and even then, if we were to stumble, the SOJ stuff would get dusted off immediately.