Saturday, Aug. 2, MetLife Stadium. The date that NFL news sites had been waiting to write about and football fans were waiting to live. It was there, in the last preseason game for the New York Jets and their city rivals, the New York Giants, that Aaron Rodgers made his eagerly awaited debut rocking the green and white.
It took the Jets’ quarterback a couple of series to get settled into his new gig, but then, at the 8:23 mark of the first quarter, Rodgers did what all Jets fans had been waiting for. With a swift 14-yard pass to Garrett Wilson, Rodgers’ first TD pass as a Jet was officially in the books.
Afterward, Rodgers and the rest of New York’s starters left the field, leaving the subs to take over and rout the Giants 32-24. But what mattered most was already done and over with.
So, what now?
Comparing Rodgers’ new venture with the Jets to Joe Montana’s in Kansas City after leaving San Francisco or Tom Brady’s in Tampa Bay after departing New England has become a rather enticing talking point.
Will Rodgers win another Super Bowl, as Brady did with the Bucs? Our NFL lines show the Jets as the seventh favorite to win this season’s Lombardi Trophy.
Or will he ride into the Hall of Fame-ridden horizon in rather calmness, like Montana did with the Chiefs? Rodgers already won an SB title, has four NFL MVP award wins, and is considered by many in the Olympus of NFL passers.
It’s a fact that Rodgers will not be pulling a one-and-done deal with New York. He said he wants to play a few more years with the Jets before bouncing.
For now, let’s break down what Rodgers’ future might have in store, especially when stacking him up against football’s two GOATs.
Rodgers wants Super Bowl for the Jets
It didn’t take long for NFL oddsmakers to start showing the Jets some love once Rodgers signed with the team. And boy did his first comments help light up a spark unseen by Jets fans in a long time.
With only a few words carrying a strong message behind them, Rodgers managed to get everyone’s hopes skyrocketing.
“I grew up watching old VHS tapes of the Super Bowls, so obviously I know about The Guarantee and Broadway Joe,” Rodgers said. “Been a while since then. I noticed walking in this morning that the Super Bowl III trophy is looking a little lonely.”
That guarantee he mentions? the one made by a certain New York player when he promised to lead the team to a win in Super Bowl III. And the player? Jets royalty and the team’s most important QB in history, Joe Namath – “Broadway Joe” for us proud and true NYJ fans.
When Brady left New England for Tampa Bay, some people thought that was it for him. He was moving down south to bask in the sun and retire to a condo in Boca Raton. Okay, maybe not with the condo, but another Super Bowl win was not necessarily in everyone’s books.
So what did Brady do then? He guided the Buccaneers to a win in Super Bowl LV and showed everyone why he is considered by most as the NFL’s GOAT.
Montana, on the other hand, didn’t have that much luck in his stint with the Chiefs. After being traded in April 1993 to Kansas City, Montana managed to lead the Chiefs to that season’s AFC Championship Game, losing to the Buffalo Bills. The following season, Montana once again took the Chiefs to the playoffs, only to be routed in the wild card round against Dan Marino’s Dolphins.
For Rodgers, the chances of adding another Super Bowl title to his résumé have never looked better. He has in the Jets one of the most interesting cores of young, explosive players all looking to finally win something for their fanbase. After many last season called the Jets a playoff team without a QB, now that they have the passer, a trip to the Super Bowl should be in the plans.
Could One Last Shot at MVP be in the Books?
While Rodgers is still far away from reaching Brady and Montana in Super Bowl wins, when it comes to regular-season MVP titles, Rodgers is king. Now, with an offense stacked to the brim with talent, Rodgers could very well be in for another MVP-caliber season if he gets rolling from the get-go.
Brady won three while Montana won a couple regular-season MVPs. Rodgers has already won four awards, with the last two coming in back-to-back fashion in 2020 and 2021.
Could an argument be made to compare his career to Brady’s or Montana’s if he manages to make it five or six MVP awards before retiring? Considering it could happen with him not winning another Super Bowl title?
It’s a stretch, but there will always be that one person who might just see a point in arguing.
Slated as the seventh-favorite player to win the 2023 regular-season MVP honors according to our season awards page, if the Jets can get that prime-time version of Rodgers that made him a pivotal piece in Green Bay’s storied history, he could become the preferred NFL picks for the MVP title.
So, Brady Road or Montana Avenue?
Honestly, none. Montana had his moment and Brady as well. So how about we just let Rodgers do his thing? In the worst of cases, the Jets still don’t win the Super Bowl, Rodgers retires and it’s back to square one for New York.
But, what if he wins? Man, I got excited just thinking about it.