The Jets are going all-in on the belief that a 40-year-old Aaron Rodgers can turn their fortunes around with the help of Nathaniel Hackett. It's a bet with a ton of obvious upside for them, but it's not hard to imagine how things could go downhill quickly if Rodgers (and Hackett) don't fare better than they both did a year ago. And even if the offense does take a step forward, the addition of Dalvin Cook . There are a lot of moving parts here.
Record: 7-10 (20)
PPG: 17.4 (29)
YPG: 318.2 (25)
Pass YPG: 219.0 (15)
Rush YPG: 99.2 (25)
PAPG: 36.9 (7)
RAPG: 23.8 (27)
2022 Fantasy finishes
Number to know: 67.5%
That was the Jets total on-target pass rate last season, the lowest in the NFL for any team. That might be underselling how bad they were, honestly -- they were further away from the No. 31 team in that metric than No. 31 was from No. 24. The Jets threw the ball the sixth-most times in the league and were off-target more than any other team, despite ranking a mediocre, but not terrible 10th in pressure rate and eighth in average depth of target.
Control for different factors all you want, but there's no getting around that the Jets probably had the worst QB play in the league last season. Rodgers wasn't great overall last season, but the Packers still had the highest on-target throw rate, so accuracy shouldn't be nearly as big an issue this time around. I'd bet the Jets will take a step back in overall pass volume, mostly because they won't be chasing as much -- but also because Rodgers' offenses have historically operated at very slow paces, as he likes to control the line of scrimmage pre-snap. But if Rodgers even gets them closer to average QB play, this whole team should benefit for it.
And if he rediscovers his MVP form ... well, it's not hard to dream on this offense, that's for sure.
30 RB carries, 24 RB targets, 119 WR targets, 1 TE targets
Rankings and Projections
Chris Towers' projections
|QB||Aaron Rodgers||PA: 577, YD: 4273, TD: 29, INT: 9; RUSH -- ATT: 22, YD: 66, TD: 1|
|RB||Breece Hall||CAR: 189, YD: 851, TD: 6; TAR: 58, REC: 43, YD: 368, TD: 2|
|RB||Dalvin Cook||CAR: 198, YD: 871, TD: 7; TAR: 46, REC: 35, YD: 260, TD: 1|
|RB||Michael Carter||CAR: 22, YD: 88, TD: 2; TAR: 23, REC: 17, YD: 125, TD: 1|
|WR||Garrett Wilson||TAR: 139, REC: 90, YD: 1216, TD: 8|
|WR||Allen Lazard||TAR: 104, REC: 62, YD: 780, TD: 6|
|WR||Mecole Hardman||TAR: 81, REC: 59, YD: 654, TD: 4|
|TE||Tyler Conklin||TAR: 69, REC: 44, YD: 404, TD: 3|
Can Aaron Rodgers rediscover his MVP form?
Rodgers took a big step backward last season, though it's worth noting he was playing for much of the season with a fractured thumb that surely limited him. It was a worrying season from a player on the verge of 40, though I'll also note that Rodgers looked to be in decline before winning back-to-back MVP trophies in 2020 and 2021. The Jets are betting he can bounce back, and at the very least, it's hard to imagine he'll be worse than Zach Wilson and the gang were a year ago. Things could go wrong here -- the presence of the architect of Denver's disastrous 2022 season as the offensive coordinator is, perhaps, an ominous portent -- but it's easy to see how they could go very, very right, too.
One sleeper, one breakout and one bust
I'm surprised there isn't at least a little bit of hype around Hardman this offseason. He never quite lived up to the hype with the Chiefs, but was always a very good playmaker, and they were finding creative ways to use him near the goal line last season. Now, he's joining a Jets team that is at least somewhat wide open after Garrett Wilson -- Allen Lazard has a track record and trust level with Rodgers, sure, but last season's 100 targets were by far a career high. Does he really have room to grow much beyond that? Hardman could be a do-it-all weapon in this offense, serving as the primary underneath playmaker while Lazard and Wilson terrorize defenses over the top. Hardman is one of my favorite late-round picks, especially in bigger tournaments or Best Ball drafts.
Wilson is the other free space on the Breakouts bingo card. Wilson was quite good as a rookie, and he looks even better accounting for the dreadful QB play he struggled with. He showed off downfield skills and after-the-catch production and could be one of the next great wide receivers. The case for Wilson is kind of self-evident, especially if you like Rodgers' chances of bouncing back. I'm a bit skeptical of that, and Rodgers is a weird dude who seems to really need to trust his wide receivers if he's going to target them, which is just a bit of an unknown entering training camp. But betting on Wilson breaking out makes a ton of sense; there's a reason pretty much everyone is doing it.
Hall suffered the torn ACL in Week 7 of last season and was activated from the PUP list in mid-August, so it looks like he's got a chance to be ready for Week 1. In fact, it sounds like the team expects him to be, by all accounts, though that doesn't necessarily mean he'll be ready for a full workload. Setbacks happen with these recoveries pretty regularly, and many backs need at least part of their first season back to get their legs under them. If Hall wasn't coming off an injury, he might be a contender for the No. 1 pick this season after showing home run potential as a rusher plus strong pass-catching chops. And he might be able to make that kind of difference at some point this season. But, he could also be a drag on your roster for a while, especially if Cook can show some pre-2022 upside. I expect Hall to overtake Cook as the lead back, but it might end up being a situation where we have to wait until 2024 for the full Breece Hall breakout.