AFC East: Offensive Comparison (Patriots)
Good morning! ☕
The Sports Illustrated article I shared yesterday got me thinking about the shape of the AFC East. Where do the Jets really stand? It’s easy to take a quick glance up and down the roster, but if you were to look at the stats and the grades, where would the Jets rank in terms of starting personnel? So that’s what I’m going to do today, starting with the offensive side of the ball, and comparing the Jets to the New England Patriots. We’ll have the defensive comparison later this week. This is the start of a series that will see us through some of the darker days of the NFL off-season.
🧐 If you’re a fan of satire, then this piece on the Onion is well worth reading: Complimenting the quarterback for the speed with which he’d acclimated to their team, members of the New York Jets coaching staff told reporters Wednesday they were impressed by how quickly Aaron Rodgers was complaining about the roster. “It’s amazing to watch how Aaron’s mind works, how rapidly he found at least one thing about every single guy on this team that he absolutely loathes,” said Jets head coach Robert Saleh, adding that Rodgers had been proactive about meeting with wide receivers Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, and Mecole Hardman individually to offer them personalized criticism about their play.
💰 Mike Florio of Yahoo Sports asks whether Aaron Rodges will cut the Jets a financial break: “The manner in which the money is split between the next two years could shed considerable light on whether he plans to stay with the team for one season or two. But there’s another wrinkle to consider, one that might not make his agents particularly happy. Rodgers could decide to cut the Jets a break, reducing the total dollars due and owing over the next two years, in lieu of simply moving money around.”
📢 Defensive Tackle Ndamukong Suh had some good things to say about Jets QB Aaron Rodgers in an appearance on NFL Total Access: “Aaron Rodgers is a great guy,” said Suh. “I’ve gone against him year after year after year and he makes it a point not to give up sacks … that body clock in his head, he’s moving around in the pocket, he’s going to make sure he gets rid of the ball and/or throw it out of bounds so you don’t get that sack.”
2️⃣5️⃣ PFF outlined their top 25 players under 25 with Sauce Gardner coming in at number 5: “Some might call it an overreaction for Gardner to be so high on the list after just one year in the NFL. But that one year was so impressive that it’s hard to have him much lower. He recorded an elite 90.0 coverage grade with 20 forced incompletions and less than 400 receiving yards allowed on 613 total coverage snaps. As often is the case with rookies, he was targeted constantly (74 times), but he remained a shutdown player.”
Garrett Wilson was also on the list, coming in at #19: “Wilson led all rookie receivers last year with 26 explosive plays of 20 yards or more — and that was with sub-par quarterback play (to put it lightly). His recording more than 1,100 receiving yards is an accomplishment in and of itself, but when you take into account who was throwing him the ball, it’s even more impressive. With Aaron Rodgers under center for 2023, and potentially beyond, expect another great year from the former Buckeye.”
Mac Jones (New England Patriots)
Aaron Rodgers (New York Jets)
I don’t think there is much of an argument here and even the most diehard of Patriots fans will concede this point. Even in a down year for Aaron Rodgers, he was head and shoulders the better statistical quarterback, and that’s before you consider his leadership and influence on the rest of the roster.
Now if you compare and contrast the last two years, the gap is even more distinct. Now, it’s not exactly fair to compare the veteran Rodgers to the rookie numbers of Jones, but that’s all the data we have, so that’s the data we’ll use.
Rhamondre Stevenson (New England Patriots)
Breece Hall (New York Jets)