The New York Jets bring swagger to their chase for a championship
“We’re gonna win the game. I guarantee it.”
Not since shortly after Joe Namath’s bold declaration while drunk at the Miami Touchdown Club has there been so much hype surrounding the New York Jets. Sure, 1998 and 2010 were nice moments, but Vinny Testaverde and Mark Sanchez were not anyone’s idea of a franchise quarterback. Now, the Jets have their guy in Aaron Rodgers.
And that puts the pressure on.
Robert Saleh’s profanity-laced avowal that he hates being told that his team played hard echoes the sentiments of Jets players and fans everywhere. They’re sick and tired of being the “at least” team. They know that bringing in Aaron Rodgers has put a target on their back, but they embrace the target.
2021-22 were years to build. The 2022 draft brought an influx of elite talent. The 2023 offseason added the most important piece.
As Rodgers said in his introductory press conference, Namath’s Super Bowl III Lombardi trophy looks a little lonely in its case. He can cement his legacy as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time by adding to it.
Roster and depth chart
After all the hoopla leading up to the trade for Rodgers, the quarterback’s eager demeanor has been refreshing for fans to see. All the other offseason moves were supplemental, including Dalvin Cook, Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, Wes Schweitzer, Billy Turner, Al Woods, Quinton Jefferson, Chuck Clark, and Adrian Amos following Clark’s torn ACL. The top of the draft was somewhat surprising but gave the Jets perhaps the deepest defensive line in the NFL.
- Aaron Rodgers
- Dalvin Cook
- Izzy Abanikanda
- Allen Lazard
- Mecole Hardman
- Randall Cobb
- Xavier Gipson
- Jason Brownlee
- Billy Turner
- Wes Schweitzer
- Carter Warren (short-term injured reserve)
- Joe Tippmann
- Will McDonald
- Al Woods
- Quinton Jefferson
- Zaire Barnes
- Chuck Clark (injured reserve)
- Adrian Amos
- Jarrick Bernard-Converse (PUP list)
- Thomas Morstead
- Mike White
- Joe Flacco
- James Robinson
- Zonovan Knight
- Ty Johnson
- Elijah Moore
- Corey Davis
- Braxton Berrios
- Denzel Mims
- Jeff Smith
- George Fant
- Nate Herbig
- Cedric Ogbuehi
- Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
- Mike Remmers
- Dan Feeney
- Vinny Curry
- Sheldon Rankins
- Nathan Shepherd
- Kwon Alexander
- Will Parks
- Braden Mann
- QB (2): Aaron Rodgers, Zach Wilson
- RB (4): Breece Hall, Dalvin Cook, Michael Carter, Izzy Abanikanda
- FB (1): Nick Bawden
- WR (7): Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman, Randall Cobb, Xavier Gipson, Jason Brownlee, Irvin Charles
- TE (3): Tyler Conklin, C.J. Uzomah, Jeremy Ruckert
- OT (4): Duane Brown, Mekhi Becton, Billy Turner, Max Mitchell
- OG (3): Laken Tomlinson, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Wes Schweitzer
- C (2): Connor McGovern, Joe Tippmann
- EDGE (6): Carl Lawson, John Franklin-Myers, Jermaine Johnson, Will McDonald, Bryce Huff, Micheal Clemons
- IDL (4): Quinnen Williams, Al Woods, Quinton Jefferson, Solomon Thomas
- LB (5): C.J. Mosley, Quincy Williams, Jamien Sherwood, Chazz Surratt, Zaire Barnes
- CB (4): Sauce Gardner, D.J. Reed, Michael Carter II, Bryce Hall **Brandin Echols (suspended)**
- S (4): Tony Adams, Jordan Whitehead, Adrian Amos, Ashtyn Davis
Special teams (4)
- K: Greg Zuerlein
- P: Thomas Morstead
- LS: Thomas Hennessy
- ST: Justin Hardee
- KR/PR: Xavier Gipson
- Head coach: Robert Saleh
- Offensive coordinator: Nathaniel Hackett
- Defensive coordinator: Jeff Ulbrich
- Special teams coordinator: Brant Boyer
Roster notes and comments
- Brandin Echols’ Week 1 suspension likely opened up an extra wide receiver spot. Expect a cut after Week 1, most likely Jason Brownlee (whom I would expect to go to the practice squad). Irvin Charles appears to have taken Jeff Smith’s special teams spot on the roster.
- Carter Warren (short-term IR) and Jarrick Bernard-Converse (PUP) could return at some point during the season, leading to some interesting roster decisions. Kenny Yeboah (IR) could also potentially find his way onto the roster for his special teams ability.
- Chuck Clark’s season-ending ACL tear during OTAs led to the signing of Adrian Amos. Expect big nickel sets with Amos playing linebacker more than base 4-3, diminishing Jamien Sherwood’s playing time.
- Micheal Clemons’ quiet preseason leads me to believe that he may see less playing time than I had initially anticipated. I wonder if the interior experiment is mostly dead in the water.
- The Jets don’t have a backup slot corner on the roster with Adams entrenched as a starting safety.
- Despite all the questions about Breece Hall’s health and production following his ACL tear, Hall should be the Jets’ clear choice in obvious passing situations. None of their other three backs can pass protect. I think that will end up increasing his playing time sooner rather than later, as Rodgers won’t be happy with running backs who can’t pick up the blitz.
Jets 2023 season predictions
- vs. Buffalo Bills (MNF): Win (1-0)
- at Dallas Cowboys: Loss (1-1)
- vs. New England Patriots: Win (2-1)
- vs. Kansas City Chiefs (SNF): Loss (2-2)
- at Denver Broncos: Win (3-2)
- vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Loss (3-3)
- at New York Giants: Win (4-3)
- vs. Los Angeles Chargers (MNF): Win (5-3)
- at Las Vegas Raiders (SNF): Win (6-3)
- at Buffalo Bills: Loss (6-4)
- vs. Miami Dolphins (Black Friday): Win (7-4)
- vs. Atlanta Falcons: Win (8-4)
- vs. Houston Texans: Win (9-4)
- at Miami Dolphins: Loss (9-5)
- vs. Washington Commanders: Win (10-5)
- at Cleveland Browns (TNF): Loss (10-6)
- at New England Patriots: Win (11-6)
Final Record: 11-6
My one truly surprising pick is a loss to the Browns in Week 17. I have a bad feeling about that game for no definable reason. Other than that, I expect the Jets to go 4-2 in the division, 2-2 against the NFC East, 3-1 against the AFC West, and 2-0 in their other same-place games.
Jets X-Factor staff 2023 season predictions
|Robby Sabo||Michael Nania||Joe Blewett||Rivka Boord||Andrew Golden||Ian Roddy||Brandyn Pokrass||Stefan Stelling||Oliver Cochrane||Benjamin Jacob|
|AFC East finish||1||1||1||2||1||1||1||1||1||2|
|AFC playoff seed||2||3||3||6||3||4||3||3||2||6|
|Playoff record (team to|
knock them off)
|4-0 (N/A)||1-1 (Bengals)||2-1 (Chiefs)||2-1 (Chiefs)||2-1 (Bengals)||1-1 (Chiefs)||2-1 (Chiefs)||2-1||2-1 (Chiefs)||1-1 (Bengals)|
|Team MVP||Aaron Rodgers||Aaron Rodgers||Aaron Rodgers||Aaron Rodgers||Rodgers||Aaron Rodgers||Aaron Rodgers||Garrett Wilson||Aaron Rodgers||Quinnen Williams|
|Offensive Player of the Year||Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson||Rodgers||Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson|
|Defensive Player of the Year||Sauce Gardner||Quinnen Williams||Quinnen Williams||Quinnen Williams||Jermaine Johnson||Sauce Gardner||Quinnen Williams||Sauce Gardner||Sauce Gardner||Quinnen Williams|
|Rookie of the Year||Will McDonald||Will McDonald||Will McDonald||Will McDonald||Will McDonald||Joe Tippmann||Will McDonald||Joe Tippmann||Will McDonald||Xavier Gipson|
|Coach of the Year||Tony Oden||Keith Carter||Aaron Whitecotton||Aaron Whitecotton||Ulbrich||Jeff Ulbrich||Jeff Ulbrich||Jeff Ulbrich||Aaron Whitecotton||Jeff Ulbrich|
|Most surprising player||Xavier Gipson||Tony Adams||Tyler Conklin||Tyler Conklin||Jermaine Johnson||Tony Adams||Xaiver Gipson||Mecole Hardman||Jamien Sherwood||Tony Adams|
|Most disappointing player||Carl Lawson||Allen Lazard||Laken Tomlinson||Allen Lazard||Duane Brown||Carl Lawson||Carl Lawson||Carl Lawson||Duane Brown||Dalvin Cook|
|Offensive yards rank||6||11||13||9||7th||8||7th||8||10||14|
|Defensive yards rank||11||8||6||8||5th||4||5th||2||3||5|
|Offensive points rank||5||6||8||9||9th||8||9th||5||10||12|
|Defensive points rank||7||9||5||5||3rd||2||5th||2||6||2|
|Offensive DVOA rank||6||8||10||9||6th||6||8th||5||8||10|
|Defensive DVOA rank||9||9||5||8||7th||3||4th||1||1||2|
|Special teams DVOA rank||10||12||9||15||11th||16||10th||6||11||8|
|2023 first-round pick number||32||28||29||30||29||28||30||27||30||27|
|Pro Bowlers||Aaron Rodgers, Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Quinnen Williams, C.J. Mosley||Quinnen Williams, Sauce Gardner, Aaron Rodgers, Garrett Wilson, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Thomas Hennessy||Quinnen Williams, Sauce Gardner, Aaron Rodgers, C.J. Mosley, Alijah Vera-Tucker||Quinnen Williams, Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson,|
Alijah Vera-Tucker, Breece Hall, C.J. Mosley
|Q, Sauce, Garrett, Rodgers, Jermaine||Sauce Gardner, Quinnen Williams, Jermaine Johnson, CJ Mosley, Garrett Wilson, Alijah Vera-Tucker||Alijah Vera-Tucker, Garrett Wilson, Sauce Gardner, D.J Reed, Aaron Rodgers, Mekhi Becton, C.J Mosley, Quinnen Willaims||Quinnen Williams, Sauce, Gardner, D.J. Reed, Garrett Wilson, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Aaron Rodgers||Quinnen Williams, Garrett Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Sauce Gardner, Alijah Vera-Tucker|
|All-Pros||Sauce Gardner (First Team), Garrett Wilson (Second Team), AVT (Second Team)||Quinnen Williams, Garrett Wilson, Alijah Vera-Tucker||Quinnen Williams, Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson||Quinnen Williams, Sauce Gardner||Q, Sauce, Garrett||Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson, Sauce Gardner, Quinnen Williams||Quinnen Williams, Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson, Alijah Vera-Tucker||Quinnen Williams, Garrett Wilson, Sauce Gardner|
|Aaron Rodgers' stat line (completion %, yards, TD, INT)||67.6%, 4,424 YD, 36 TD, 11 INT||68.7%, 4476 yards, 34 TD, 10 INT||68.1%, 4,231 yards, 35 TD, 8 INT||64.8%, 4,250 yards, 32 TD, 10 INT||63.7% completion, 4224 yards, 39 TDs, 8 INTs||4150||63.4%, 4,300 yards, 38 TDs, 9 INTs||68%, 4100 yards, 32 TDs, 10 INT||62%, 24 TDs, 12 INTs|
|Rushing yards leader||Breece Hall||Breece Hall||Breece Hall||Breece Hall||Dalvin Cook||Dalvin Cook||Breece Hall||Dalvin Cook||Breece Hall|
|Receiving yards leader||Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson|
|Receptions leader||Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson||Garrett Wilson|
|Sacks leader||Will McDonald||Quinnen Williams||Quinnen Williams||Quinnen Williams||Jermaine Johnson||Jermaine Johnson||Bryce Huff||Jermaine Johnson||Quinnen Williams|
|Tackles leader||C.J. Mosley||C.J. Mosley||Quincy Williams||C.J. Mosley||Quincy Williams||CJ Mosley||Quncy Williams||Quincy Williams||Quincy Williams|
|Interceptions leader||Tony Adams||Tony Adams||Reed||Jordan Whitehead||DJ Reed||Tony Adams||Trey Dean||Tony Adams|
Remaining cautiously optimistic about the 2023 New York Jets makes complete sense. After all, this NFL franchise had endured self-conflicting battles (prior to even worrying about the opponent) for the bulk of its six-decade history. Aaron Rodgers’s arrival doesn’t just keep “cautiously optimistic” alive, but it also brings talking heads out of the woodwork en route to hot-take city—disqualifying them because, after all, these are the Jets. The objective observer understands the reality of the situation: This team is as talented as any in the NFL.
To win seven games with the NFL’s worst quarterbacking is merit beyond comprehension. Rarely can a franchise load up its depth chart to this degree without even average quarterback play. Yet, the Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh regime did exactly that—and Rodgers was smart enough to realize it.
As crazy as it sounds, with the Jets dominating the back pages and media headlines, the team is actually underrated coming into the season. There are very few deficiencies, and a legend at the most important position in sports takes this squad to Super Bowl-contending status immediately.
Of course there are question marks—such as the elite-weapon depth after Garrett Wilson, the safety position, and offensive line synergy—but this roster stacks up with any across the NFL. Better yet, the Jets enter the 2023 season nearly perfectly healthy, which should quickly put an end to those silly offensive line worries. (As long as Alijah Vera-Tucker and the rest of the big boys are healthy, and Rodgers is the guy taking snaps, this offensive line will be a top-10 unit in the league.)
At 12-5, the New York Jets will snag the No. 2 seed, courtesy of a home win against the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium. (They simply match up well against Patrick Mahomes’s beastly squad.) Unfortunately, a historic season from Joe Burrow will keep them active in the wild-card round.
Why not the Jets? Objectively speaking, an NFL roster has no business starting 5-2, 6-3, and then 7-4 with the league’s worst quarterback play. None, whatsoever. And the idea that Rodgers lost a step is beyond befuddling—especially in today’s “protect the signal-caller at every turn” landscape.
As long as the strategic questions surrounding the Saleh coaching staff are answered confidently, and the injuries remain league average, the 2023 New York Jets can absolutely win Super Bowl 58. Sauce Gardner is as important as any player in the NFL, and Aaron Rodgers will lift his teammates (via a one-year jump in production) more than any player in the league.
Two home playoff games will have Jets fans feeling deliriously bonkers, but the great test will come in the AFC championship game against the Bengals in Cincy (or the Chiefs at Arrowhead, if fate turns out in that direction). A “Robert Saleh vs. Kyle Shanahan and his former team” Super Bowl makes all the sense in the world (akin to Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh, Andy Reid vs. the Philadelphia Eagles, and many more narrative-driven Super Bowl Sundays).
The Jets battle through a tough schedule and emerge as a wild card team. Aaron Rodgers has a typical season for him, and Garrett Wilson becomes the new Davante Adams. The Jets’ defense picks up right where it left off in 2022; the ferocious defensive line wreaks havoc and helps cause more turnovers. The Jets finally get the monkey off their backs and sweep the Patriots. In the playoffs, after knocking off the Ravens and Bills on the road, the Jets fall short to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship.
The Jets, on the back of an MVP-level Aaron Rodgers, break their playoff drought. Garrett Wilson makes the leap to a superstar level and shows a great connection with Rodgers all year.
The defense looks just as good as in 2022; Quinnen Williams continues to dominate in the middle of the defense while the likes of Bryce Huff, Jermaine Johnson, and Will McDonald all chip in six or more sacks. Tony Adams breaks out at safety and is the ball-hawking presence they need with five interceptions.
Xavier Gipson, on both offense and special teams, makes an instant impact and helps put the Jets in position to win a few games. Saleh ends up winning Coach of the Year, while Rodgers and Wilson receive first-place votes for MVP and Offensive Player of the Year, respectively.
After defeating the Ravens and Bengals, the Jets ultimately come up short in a thriller against Kansas City in the AFC Championship Game, setting themselves up as true Super Bowl contenders next season.
Jermaine Johnson comes alive and leads the team in sacks with 11.5. Opposing teams learn the hard way about avoiding Sauce, leading to a six-interception year for D.J. Reed, tied for the league lead.
Rodgers and Wilson form the most prolific quarterback-receiver duo in the NFL, leading all pairs in yards and touchdowns. Age catches up to Duane Brown, as he suffers through most of the year before landing on IR with 6 weeks to go, shifting Mekhi Becton to left tackle and Max Mitchell to the starting right tackle.
The Jets beat the Dolphins and Jaguars in the playoffs before being taken out by the top-seeded Bengals in the AFC Championship.
- No Jets X-Factor analysts rocked the boat and dared pull a Brian Costello, who predicted that the Jets would go 8-9. All but one of us think the Jets will make the playoffs and go at least 11-6. I am the only analyst who thinks that it will not be enough to win the division. With the strength of the AFC and the difficult schedules of all the teams in the division, perhaps there will be enough cross-cancellation for the Jets to grab the title.
- In 2022, Elijah Moore was our pick across the board for the Jets’ Offensive Player of the Year. This year, Garrett Wilson is almost universal. Take what you want from that.
- All of us seem to be expecting an excellent year from Rodgers, but a little short of his MVP level.
- With Joe Tippmann on the bench to start the season, the only rookie expected to get a decent amount of playing time is Will McDonald. He therefore became the default Rookie of the Year candidate, though some expect Tippmann to overtake Connor McGovern and show his potential immediately.
Keys to the 2022 season
- Protect Rodgers: There isn’t much that hasn’t been said about the Jets’ offensive line. At least three of the five positions have significant questions regarding health and/or performance. If the Jets can’t field at least a mediocre offensive line, all the hopes and dreams of the season could be for naught.
- Gardner and Reed keep it up: There is an assumption around Jetsland that the team’s cornerback duo will continue to be the best in the NFL. While that is definitely possible, cornerback play tends to be volatile from year to year. Sauce Gardner has drawn a lot of hate around the NFL, which could lead to more flags as the referees home in on Gardner’s more handsy style. Meanwhile, D.J. Reed has been rock-solid for two consecutive seasons and is very underrated in the NFL landscape, but he is still 5-foot-9 and may have been somewhat lucky at times last season.
- Garrett Wilson’s health: Few have any questions about whether Garrett Wilson will be elite. The guy had over 80 catches and 1,100 yards while catching balls from the worst quarterback room in the NFL. The biggest concern is health, especially with the Jets’ razor-thin depth at the position.
- Linebacker and safety coverage: The Jets survived defensively last season despite poor coverage from their linebackers and safeties. With their best cover linebacker, Kwon Alexander, gone to Pittsburgh, the question is if they have anyone to cover tight ends and running backs. Adrian Amos figures to take many big nickel snaps, but he is not great in coverage, either. Perhaps Jordan Whitehead will come down into the box more with a true deep safety in Tony Adams, which could rejuvenate his play. Still, the biggest question on the defense continues to be this area.
- Get some more turnovers: As good as the Jets’ defense was last year, the one ingredient missing was forcing turnovers. When playing a bend-but-don’t-break defense, one of the key ways to prevent points is to force the offense into mistakes. Although turnovers are fluky, Will McDonald could be a key part of getting more takeaways than the Jets had in 2022.
- Breece Hall’s health: As deep as the Jets’ running back room seems, the most complete back on their roster is Breece Hall, and it’s not particularly close. No one really knows how Hall will respond after his ACL tear, and past results from other backs have not been promising. The Jets will need Hall to be at least above average to run the ball like they want to.
NFL league-wide predictions
|Robby Sabo||Michael Nania||Joe Blewett||Rivka Boord||Andrew Golden||Brandyn Pokrass||Stefan Stelling||Benjamin Jacob|
|AFC East winner (record)||Jets (12-5)||Jets (11-6)||Jets (11-6)||Bills (12-5)||Jets (12-5)||Jets (11-6)||Jets||Dolphins (11-6)|
|AFC North (record)||Bengals (13-4)||Bengals (13-4)||Bengals (12-5)||Ravens (12-5)||Bengals (13-4)||Bengals (12-5)||Bengals||Bengals (12-5)|
|AFC South (record)||Jags (10-7)||Jaguars (11-6)||Jaguars (10-7)||Jaguars (10-7)||Jaguars (10-7)||Jaguars (11-6)||Jaguars||Jaguars (10-7)|
|AFC West (record)||Chiefs (12-5)||Chiefs (12-5)||Chiefs (13-4)||Chiefs (12-5)||Chiefs (12-5)||Chiefs (13-4)||Chiefs||Chiefs (12-5)|
|AFC WC 1 (record)||Bills (11-6)||Bills (10-7)||Bills (11-7)||Bengals (12-5)||Bills (11-6)||Buffalo (10-7)||Bills||Steelers (11-6)|
|AFC WC 2 (record)||Steelers (10-7)||Ravens (10-7)||Ravens (10-7)||Jets (11-6)||Dolphins (10-7)||Ravens (10-7)||Chargers||Jets (10-7)|
|AFC WC 3 (record)||Broncos (9-8)||Steelers (10-7)||Chargers (10-7)||Chargers (10-7)||Titans (9-8)||Chargers (10-7)||Ravens||Chargers (10-7)|
|NFC East (record)||Eagles (14-3)||Cowboys (13-4)||Eagles (12-5)||Eagles (13-4)||Eagles (12-5)||Eagles (14-2)||Eagles||Eagles (13-4)|
|NFC North (record)||Vikings (9-8)||Lions (11-6)||Lions (10-7)||Lions (10-7)||Vikings (11-6)||Lions (11-6)||Lions||Lions (11-6)|
|NFC South (record)||Saints (9-8)||Falcons (9-8)||Saints (10-7)||Falcons (10-7)||Saints (9-8)||Falcons (9-8)||Saints||Falcons (9-8)|
|NFC West (record)||Niners (13-4)||49ers (12-5)||49ers (11-6)||Seahawks (12-5)||Seahawks (11-6)||49ers (13-4)||49ers||Seahawks (12-5)|
|NFC WC 1 (record)||Cowboys (11-6)||Eagles (10-7)||Cowboys (11-6)||49ers (11-6)||49ers (10-7)||Seahawks (12-5)||Vikings||49ers (11-6)|
|NFC WC 2 (record)||Sehawks (10-7)||Seahawks (10-7)||Seahawks (10-7)||Giants (10-7)||Cowboys (10-7)||Giants (10-7)||Cowboys||Cowboys (10 -7)|
|NFC WC 3 (record)||Lions (9-8)||Saints (9-8)||Giants (9-8)||Cowboys (10-7)||Falcons (9-8)||Cowboys (10-7)||Seahawks||Giants (10 - 7)|
|AFC Champion (runner up)||Jets (Bengals)||Bengals (Jaguars)||Chiefs (Jets)||Chiefs (Jets)||Bengals||Chiefs (Jets)||Chiefs (Jets)||Bengals|
|NFC Champion (runner up)||49ers (Eagles)||Cowboys (Lions)||49ers (Cowboys)||Seahawks (Eagles)||Cowboys||Eagles (49ers)||49ers||Eagles|
|Super Bowl champion (runner up)||Jets (Niners)||Bengals (Cowboys)||Chiefs (49ers)||Chiefs (Seahawks)||Bengals||Eagles (Chiefs)||Chiefs (49ers)||Eagles (Bengals)|
|Super Bowl MVP||Aaron Rodgers||Joe Burrow||Patrick Mahomes||Patrick Mahomes||Joe Burrow||Jalen Hurts||Chris Jones||Jalen Hurts|
|NFL MVP||Joe Burrow||Joe Burrow||Patrick Mahomes||Joe Burrow||Joe Burrow||Joe Burrow||Justin Jefferson||Jalen Hurts|
|OPOY||Justin Jefferson||Ja'Marr Chase||Justin Jefferson||Tyreek Hill||Joe Burrow||Jalen Hurts||Garrett Wilson||Tyreek Hill|
|DPOY||Sauce Gardner||Micah Parsons||Myles Garrett||Micah Parsons||Maxx Crosby||Micah Parsons||Myles Garrett||Myles Garrett|
|OROY||Jahmyr Gibbs||Bijan Robinson||Bijan Robinson||Jahmyr Gibbs||Bijan Robinson||Anthony Richardson||Bijan Robinson||Zay Flowers|
|DROY||Will Anderson Jr.||Will Anderson||Jalen Carter||Jalen Carter||Jalen Carter||Jalen Carter||Will Anderson||Jalen Carter|
|Comeback Player of the Year||Damar Hamlin||Damar Hamlin||Damar Hamlin||Damar Hamlin||Damar Hamlin||Damar Hamlin||Breece Hall/Damar Hamlin||Damar Hamlin|
|Coach of the Year||Kyle Shanahan||Dan Campbell||Robert Saleh||Arthur Smith||Pete Carroll||Robert Saleh||Robert Saleh||Dan Campbell|
|No. 1 overall pick, 2023||Cardinals||Cardinals||Cardinals||Cardinals||Cardinals||Cardinals||Rams|
|No. 2 overall pick, 2023||Colts||Rams||Rams||Titans||Bucs||Buccaneers||Cardinals|
|No. 3 overall pick, 2023||Raiders||Colts||Panthers||Texans||Rams||Rams||Panthers|
|No. 4 overall pick, 2023||Texans||Raiders||Texans||Raiders||Colts||Cardinals(via Houston)||Raiders|
|No. 5 overall pick, 2023||Patriots||Panthers||Broncos||Panthers||Panthers||Cardinals|
- It’s boring to pick the Chiefs as the Super Bowl champions and Patrick Mahomes as the MVP. Each of those things has occurred twice in the last five seasons. Two of the other MVP seasons belonged to Aaron Rodgers, but many of us seem to think that the moment has come for Joe Burrow to ascend the throne. Still, there’s no consensus about the Super Bowl winner; the votes are the Jets (1), Bengals (2), Eagles (2), and Chiefs (3).
- Bijan Robinson seems like the most obvious Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate, but how will Atlanta use him with Tyler Allgeier and Cordarelle Patterson also on the roster?
- Damar Hamlin will be the Comeback Player of the Year if he plays half the season. Book that.
- The Cardinals are making it so obvious that they’re Cruising for Caleb that it’s hard to pick anyone else for the No. 1 overall pick in 2024. The Raiders, Rams, and Buccaneers also seem like popular top-five picks.
Some NFL stories we’re following
How long will Chiefs be missing their top players?
Travis Kelce missed Week 1 with a bone bruise. Chris Jones has threatened to sit out until Week 8, and Nick Bosa’s record-setting deal will probably reinforce his contract demands. While the Chiefs managed without a true WR1 in 2022 and have had a poor or mediocre defense in the Mahomes era, that’s a lot of talent to be missing. Jones is the heart and soul of Kansas City’s defense. Will there be trouble in paradise this season? (Hint: I don’t think so.)
Is this the end for Belichick in New England?
Patriots owner Robert Kraft stated that he wants to see a winning season and a playoff berth. Friends of Belichick’s worry that in the absence of winning, Kraft could pull the trigger.
Belichick’s post-Brady years have not gone smoothly, and with the Patriots’ mediocre skill position players, bringing back Bill O’Brien might not be enough to fix Mac Jones and their offensive issues. Belichick is still a defensive genius, but his moves on the offensive side of the ball as a GM have left much to be desired. JuJu Smith-Schuster was fine as a WR1 with Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, but he likely won’t be with Jones.
The Jets have an opportunity to put a nail in Belichick’s coffin in Week 18.
Receivers on the move?
There have been trade rumors swirling about many receivers. The biggest is Davante Adams, who previously expressed dissatisfaction with Josh McDaniels. Mike Evans hasn’t been able to come to an extension agreement with Tampa, and Chris Godwin could also be on the block for the rebuilding Buccaneers. Hunter Renfrow, Hollywood Brown, and Michael Gallup have also been the subjects of rumors.
It will be interesting to monitor how those teams and players perform in the early going. If they’re out of contention, we will likely see blockbuster trades.
Is Philadelphia still the class of the NFC?
The Eagles lost many key players this offseason, including Javon Hargrave, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Isaac Seumalo, Miles Sanders, T.J. Edwards, and Kyzir White. They also added Jalen Carter to replace Hargrave while retaining both Darius Slay and James Bradberry after initially appearing ready to let them go.
At running back, Philadelphia traded for D’Andre Swift and signed Rashaad Penny to replace Sanders. They have developed draft pick Cam Jurgens to replace Seumalo on the offensive line, and have 2022 draft pick Nakobe Dean to replace one of the linebackers. Still, with all these losses, will the Eagles be as elite?
If not, that could open up the NFC for the Cowboys, 49ers, and even the Seahawks. Jalen Hurts must prove that he can sustain his MVP-caliber season rather than falling back a bit a la Lamar Jackson.