Is too much expectation being placed on Aaron Rodgers?

Is too much expectation being placed on Aaron Rodgers?

When Aaron Rodgers joined the New York Jets last spring after months of rumors, the hype train left the station full steam ahead. The Jets were on their way to representing the AFC in the Super Bowl in many talking heads’ opinions.

However, four plays into Week 1 of last season, all that changed. Rodgers went down with an Achilles injury which required surgery, ending what was supposed to be a dream season for the Jets. All the hype of the previous six months instantly went out the window.

As we approach the start of NFL training camps, Rodgers is ready to make his return, and the hype machine has been turned back on. Even ESPN senior writer Mike Clay has the Jets winning the Super Bowl with 40-year-old QB leading the way.

But is all of the hype too much this time?

“The best thing we can do is put our heads down, and like I said, we gotta go to work. All the feel good stuff in the offseason doesn’t matter. Gotta win football games,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh said, according to FanNation’s Jets Country.

There’s no denying the Jets have talent all over the roster, especially on defense. What they haven’t had for a long time is the right quarterback. Rodgers’ resume speaks for itself. He’s a Super Bowl winner and MVP, a four-time league MVP, four-time All-Pro, 10-time Pro Bowl selection, and the list goes on.

But placing most of the team’s hope of success on a player coming off one of the worst injuries in sports might be a tad bit much. Some would say Rodgers’ decline had already begun during his final year with the Green Bay Packers.

In 2022, the Packers finished 8-9 behind Rodgers. They missed the playoffs, and many of Rodgers’ stats declined across the board. His completion percentage, passing yards, touchdowns, yards per game, passer rating and QBR all dipped significantly from the previous two MVP campaigns.

To expect Rodgers to come back after a horrific season-ending injury and bounce back to what he once was is asking a lot. Rodgers has been great and is undoubtedly one of the best to ever take snaps in the NFL. But Tom Brady was an anomaly. Every QB can’t play well into their 40s at a high level.

Rodgers returning and playing the entire season will be a win. If the Jets happen to win enough games to make the postseason and go on a run, that’s a bonus. But to hope for Rodgers to lead that charge and take the Jets to the promised land is way too much to expect.

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