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Human Nature

How the Jets team overcomes a loss


The New York Jets were handed a boatload of angst when their future Hall of Fame QB Aaron Rodgers lasted only 4 snaps into the season before a torn Achilles tendon injury left him needing surgery and out for the year. As a Jets fan you realize the paradox here. Aaron Rodgers (once he became the starter in Green Bay in 2008) had missed only 17 starts in an 18 year career before missing 17 possible games in his first year with the Jets, sans 4 plays.

The Jets now must put all their eggs in one basket with starter Zach Wilson. Wilson was slated to be the starter in 2023 before the Jets made the deal to bring in Aaron Rodgers. The Jets gave up a lot and assumed a huge salary for Rodgers, but now those plans are a problem, not a solution. Don’t get me wrong, the Jets wanted to go for it this year and rightfully so, but fate dealt them a horrible hand. Now the Jets have a starter who knows his team has little faith in him and who received only cursory reps in the preseason as the presumed back up.

Zach Wilson did have the input of his lifelong idol, Aaron Rodgers, to help him mature as a QB his first two seasons. That maturation doesn’t happen overnight, but to go through Jets camp together with Rodgers was a huge asset for Wilson. He wouldn’t have received that type of insight into the game with 3 more years experience. The experience with Rodgers on the field was a possible jump start to Wilson’s lagging career.

To give you an idea about this tutorial that Zack received from Rodgers I will tell you how Rodgers helped the great Tom Brady once.

It happened many years ago when both Rodgers and Brady were at the Pro Bowl warming up for a practice. Now you must realize that Brady was a little eccentric about his routine. He would eat only certain foods, his workouts were tailored to his liking and he was a voracious worker. The Patriots once brought in Taylor Heinicke as a Practice Squad QB. Now the Patriots were on the road that Sunday, so Heinicke wanted to prove his team interest by showing up the next day early at the facility. Heinicke arrived at about 5:30 am on Monday to the New England facility that was nearly vacant sans a few security guards.

Heinicke figured he would review some tape until he could announce his presence to the coaching staff. When he went to the film room he was surprised to see Tom Brady already there watching game film. Brady asked “who the hell are you?” Heinicke then introduced himself as the new practice squad QB. Brady smiled, welcomed him in and then watched tape for a few hours.

So now we know Brady is fickle about the way he does things. Yet when Brady was warming up with Rodgers at the Pro Bowl, Rodgers noticed something. He asked Brady why he threw the ball the way he did, and suggested he might get more velocity on the ball if he twisted his body a certain way as he threw the ball. This was after Brady had 3 Super Bowl rings. Brady listened to Rodgers, then tried out his suggestion only to find out it was true. He then worked on the body rotation that he said added about 5-7 miles an hour to his passes.

So even the slightest suggestion from Aaron Rodgers can be advantageous to a future first ballot Hall of Famer. How does an entire training camp help a struggling young QB? It was a huge mistake by the Jets originally to bring in an offensive coordinator who had never called plays before or devised an offense or groomed a young QB or had any experience instilling an offensive system to a team, all with a super young rookie QB. That is the past.

Now Zach Wilson has to be the savior for the Jets, but he still has to do so with an offensive line that failed Aaron Rodgers and the Jets in Game 1.

Rodgers injury resonated around the NFL. The players on the Dallas Cowboys know what the situation is. They just dismantled a team in the Giants who made the playoffs in 2022 and won a playoff game. Now Dallas is at home, with all the accolades that come with destroying a division opponent on the road.

The Cowboys didn’t have a great offensive output against the Giants. They had only 265 yards in total offense. They played a Giants defense that was good but not near the level of the New York Jets defense. The Cowboys defense forced 5 fumbles plus had 2 INTs. Dallas punted (3) as many times as the Giants and the Giants had only 171 total yards on the day.

This is where human nature kicks in.

The Cowboys are coming home to play the Jets led by Zach Wilson. You know many of the Dallas players circled this date on the calendar to face a future Hall of Fame QB. Well now that is not going to happen. They can’t tell their grandchildren about the game. Now it’s a game against Zach Wilson, who could go down in NFL annals as a huge bust. This is not a divisional game. The Cowboys have no history with the Jets.

There is no way for the Cowboys to get up for this game even though it’s the home opener for the team. The Cowboys go on the road after the Jets game to play the Arizona Cardinals, who could be looking for the first pick in the 2024 NFL draft.

These Cowboys (for the most part) are very young men who have been the best players on any team they have played on. They have always dominated and figure they will continue to do so; that is human nature, especially for young people. The hype, the adrenaline, the anticipation, the desire is not going to be at a high level for this game. Add to that the Jets have a suspect offensive line, so the defense is going to figure the Jets have no shot at winning this game.

Those ideas, as an aspect of human nature, have a direct effect on how teams play. Throw your jock on the field and we shall win is the mind set. Yet the Jets have the exact opposite thought about the game.

The Jets watched their QB go down, so they want to really, really protect his replacement, a player they have known for a few years. They watched the Giants O-line get destroyed, so they know they will have to have their A game if the offense has any chance to succeed.

The Cowboys rank 21st in total offensive yards (5 spots behind the Jets), so the Jets defense is not going to be afraid of the Dallas offense. Their best receiver, CeeDee Lamb, will be covered by a couple of Pro Bowl type cornerbacks, and Brandin Cooks is doubtful to play. Lamb had over 53% of the Dallas receiving yardage in game 1. It’s not like Dak is going to surprise anybody. He is who he is, and he is not some superior QB.

The Jets have an explosive back in Breece Hall who had 127 yards on only 10 carries for a 12.7 average. They have a receiver in Garrett Wilson who can separate from coverage with the speed to make a huge play. The Jet offense is not reliant on one particular part of the offense.

I predict the Jets shock the world with a road victory because of human nature, plus the Jets are just as good as the Cowboys. The Jets have talent but must adjust to a new young QB after the Rodgers injury. This will need to be a team effort from a united front.

What do you think?