Former cornerback and 888sport ambassador Jason Bell provides his thoughts on the biggest stories and news from the National Football League throughout the 2023 NFL season...
Jets Season Far From Over Despite Rodgers Injury
Aaron Rodgers is a huge loss to the Jets, but I don’t think for one minute it means their season is over. However, I’m not in that locker room and it will be so interesting to see how they react to the news.
This is a team with a great defence and it’s their job to step up and take over. They are coached by a defensive-minded person and so that has been their mantra, but when someone like Rodgers comes in, he takes up all the attention.
He’s out now, so they’ve got to go back to what they were before – a defence-first team – and their season will be dictated by how quickly they can adjust to that.
If they can show they haven’t lost their identity, I think they’ll be fine. This is a good team and they just need to show it.
Wilson Needs To Prove Why He Was Second Overall Pick
Of course Zach Wilson is a downgrade on Aaron Rodgers but that’s only because Rodgers is a hall of famer and there aren’t many of those around.
Let’s not forget Wilson was the number two draft pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, so plenty of people thought this guy was super talented.
Yes, he probably hasn’t fully demonstrated that potential yet, but Rodgers’ injury could easily be a blessing in disguise.
He’s had time to be around him and see how he prepares, so there’s every chance Wilson can use that to realise his full potential. If it does the trick, the Jets have got a serious talent on their hands.
Rodgers Will Be Back
As long as his rehab goes well, I’m sure Aaron Rodgers will be back. He’s not the sort of guy who will let something like this dictate his career and I don’t think he’ll want to let his career finish on an injury.
I’m sure his rehab will go to plan and I fully expect him to be back and raring to go this time next year.
Kelce A Big Loss And One The Chiefs Need To Work Around
The Chiefs are going to miss Travis Kelce, that was never going to be in doubt.
What was open to debate was how that receiving corps was going to do without him and, based on what we saw against the Lions, they are going to struggle.
They have the talent to step up and – let’s not forget – this is an offence led by Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid, so it wasn’t surprising that they got as close as they did, despite the fact they kept dropping the ball.
A loss this early is no reason to push the panic button, but these players need to take ownership and show they can do it without Kelce.
I quite often found that sort of performance was a really good motivator and we often played much better the next week as a result.
Can they win the Super Bowl without Kelce? I’m not sure, to be honest, because there are certain players, like Kelce, which are just irreplicable and you might have a seriously potent offence but, whatever you do, it just doesn’t have the same effect as one with a guy like Kelce on it.
Whatever way you look at it, they need him back and quickly.
Dallas Have A Chance
I know we say it almost every year, but the Cowboys do have a chance this season if they can put it all together. And, based on that dominant win over the Giants, they might just be able to finally do it.
They have enough talent on their roster and their defence is seriously good with the likes of Micah Parsons, so there is a real opportunity there.
We’ll see what Mike McCarthy does, but if the defence is dominating then he’s going to call the plays on offence predicated on making it easier on the defence playing balanced football.