2023 AFC East Division Preview: New York Jets Will Make Playoffs, But What Really Matters Is How They Perform There

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The 2023-24 NFL season kick-off is almost here! OutKick is unveiling its team-by-team preview series. Over the past three weeks, we covered the AFC West and NFC West, the AFC North and NFC North and the AFC South and the NFC South. This week, we turn our attention to the final two divisions. And that beings with last year’s last-place finisher in the AFC East, the New York Jets.

New York Jets 2022-23 Record: 7-10

New York Jets 2023-24 Win Total Over/Under: 9.5

Offseason Moves

Talk about a team that was BUSY this offseason. Obviously, the biggest move came in the form of a trade for future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Most of what the New York Jets did revolved around this acquisition. They brought in Rodgers’ former offensive coordinator in Green Bay, Nathaniel Hackett.

The team also signed former Packers teammates receivers Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb. Additionally, they signed former Packers safety Adrian Amos. Outside of former Packers, the Jets signed receiver Mecole Hardman and immediately traded Elijah Moore. That makes Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson the only remaining receiver from last year.

Wide receiver Garrett Wilson is one of the few holdovers from last year's late-season New York Jets offense.
Wide receiver Garrett Wilson is one of the few holdovers from last year’s late-season New York Jets offense. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Late in the offseason, the Jets added running back Dalvin Cook to pair with explosive second-year back Breece Hall. Hall had an incredible start to his rookie season before suffering a torn ACL. The defense is going to look relatively similar to last season, which makes sense given they were a Top 5 unit last season. But the offense is going to look drastically different.

The Jets selected Iowa State edge rusher Will McDonald in the first round of the NFL Draft. McDonald is a bit raw, but has impressed in the preseason. In the second round, they picked Wisconsin center Joe Tippman. The team did not have a third-round selection.

Season Outlook

The Jets won seven games last season despite getting some of the worst quarterback play in the entire NFL. They decided not to let that happen again and traded for Aaron Rodgers. The team had a Top 5 defense last year and figures to be strong again this season. Thus, the time was now to go for it.

They brought in veterans all over the offensive unit and on paper appear to be set up for a high-powered season on that side of the ball. However, the biggest question marks exist along the offensive line. Aaron Rodgers is nearly 40 years old. He needs the o-line to protect him for this team to accomplish what they want to accomplish.

The New York Jets traded for quarterback Aaron Rodgers hoping that he can lead the team to an AFC East title for the first time since the 2002 NFL season.
The New York Jets traded for quarterback Aaron Rodgers hoping that he can lead the team to an AFC East title for the first time since the 2002 NFL season. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Left tackle Duane Brown was among the worst in the league last season according to Pro Football Focus. As was left guard Laken Tomlinson. Mekhi Becton was the #11 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft but played just one game in 2021 and missed the entire 2022-23 season. When he takes the field on September 11 for the Jets opener, it will be his first NFL regular season action since September 12, 2021. One day shy of two calendar years.

Expectations are sky-high for this New York Jets team. Rodgers talked about winning Super Bowls during his introductory press conference. The pieces are in place, but the AFC also includes the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals. Plus, they have questions across the offensive line and a 40-year-old quarterback. I think this team beats its regular season over/under and wins at least 10 games. But all that matters is how they play in the postseason.

New York Jets Predicted Win Total: OVER 9.5

LISTEN: Dan Zaksheske and Geoff Clark Break Down The AFC and NFC East On The Latest Episode of “OutKick Bets”

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Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.

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