With Aaron Rodgers’ reported trade from the Packers to the Jets, are the Patriots suddenly the worst team in their division? And just like that, the New England Patriots’ 14-game winning streak over the New York Jets is in serious peril. The Pats haven’t lost to the Jets since December 2015. Of course, they never played the Jets with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback.
With Monday’s blockbuster news that the Green Bay Packers are reportedly trading four-time MVP Rodgers to New York, what will it mean to the New England Patriots? For starters, the Pats will face Rodgers throwing to 2022 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson twice a year.
In the bigger picture, will New England slip to the worst team in the AFC East? Multiple NFL insiders – including Trey Wingo and Dov Kleiman – reported that Rodgers to the Jets is a done deal as of early Monday afternoon. Wingo is the chief analyst at Pro Football Network, while Kleiman is the editor of the popular sports site, BroBible. NFL Network, however, indicated that the deal has not yet been finalized.
Already in an AFC East in which they have to defend the likes of Josh Allen and Tua Tagovailoa, the Patriots are now faced with stopping one of the greatest passers in the history of football. The Jets seemed to be the front-runners for free agent Derek Carr, but the former Pro Bowl quarterback last week announced he was instead signing with the New Orleans Saints.
Several analysts believed Carr was “leaning” toward the Jets. But with Carr off the board and the Jets determined to upgrade from former first-round draft pick Zach Wilson, Rodgers was the next target. The four-time MVP recently completed a “darkness retreat” but apparently decided to accept the trade to New York.
The Patriots’ defense almost assuredly won’t be facing Zach Wilson on the Jets this season. But a division schedule against the Miami Dolphins’ Tagovailoa, the Buffalo Bills’ Allen and Rodgers with the Jets appears pretty daunting to a team trying to improve from last year’s 8-9, non-playoff finish.
Last year in Green Bay, Rodgers threw a late touchdown and led a field-goal drive in overtime as the Packers overcame a seven-point deficit to beat Bailey Zappe and the Pats at Lambeau Field.