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...
Aaron Rodgers Makes Jets Super Bowl Contenders
I definitely think Aaron Rodgers joining the New York Jets makes them Super Bowl contenders.
I think they already have the opportunity to be successful, so once you put Aaron Rodgers in there, it gives them belief, it gives them hope, and that has to come into consideration when it comes to how your team feels.
This team knows they can get the ball back on defence, then they know they can win games and they know they can win games on defence.
Now on offense they can hand the ball over to Aaron Rodgers and all you need is him to make four or five big-time throws per game and you’ve got a chance to win. That’s what he brings to this team.
Jets And Packers Both Happy With Trade
I think the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers fans will be equally happy with this trade.
The Jets have been wanting to get a quarterback because that was their issue last year, and when you hear about how the Packers feel about Jordan Love, you understand that this isn't something they are going to fight over.
The Packers head coach, Matt LaFleur, now gets the opportunity to show why they brought him in.
We know Aaron Rodgers didn't necessarily like what he was doing, or didn't agree with exactly what his philosophy was, now he gets to try it with Jordan Love. He gets to show that he can make a quarterback play well within his system.
Now all of the players around Jordan Love are around the same age so I feel like they’ll have a closer relationship with him than they did with Rodgers, purely based on age.
Young and Richardson The Pick Of The Rookie QBs
It’s tough to pick a standout from all of the rookie quarterbacks this season. I believe that Bryce Young will turn it on and play well this year, especially with Frank Reich as his coach because he can teach him so much about the quarterback position.
Anthony Richardson is going to be the one to give us highlight plays. From him we’re going to see big runs and things that we will be talking about all week in the NFL.
Regardless of how he plays overall, he still has a big-time throw and is a running threat so he should be exciting to watch.
Bengals set for a tough challenge
I think it is going to be a tough year for the Cincinnati Bengals. The AFC North is probably one of the toughest divisions in football, so that's going to be difficult.
That's going to be a rough ride for them to try to figure out and navigate through the division. With Joe Burrow they always have a chance and he's got the best receiving corps in NFL, so they’ll go out there and try to make it happen.
Losing their two safeties is significant, especially with a team like theirs that is dependent on that veteran leadership.
Their window is never closed, but from the AFC it is so difficult to advance to the Super Bowl and to even be in the Final Four because of the talent of not only the quarterbacks but the teams as a whole.
They’ve got to beat players like Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. It’s going to be tough.
Jaguars will win the AFC South
I think the Jacksonville Jaguars will definitely be contenders for the Super Bowl this year because they are going to win the AFC South and that’s the first thing you need to do to get you into the playoffs.
Trevor Lawrence is now going to take that next step and he is going to play like a top-five quarterback this year, especially with Calvin Ridley as the wide receiver helping him out.
You’re going to see this team become a serious threat in the AFC. I’m not sure if this is their year to make a deep playoff run but it is definitely their year to make everybody notice them. Calvin Ridley is about to ball out.
Super Bowl return for Chiefs and Mahomes
For storyline’s sake I want Kansas City to make it back to the Super Bowl. Patrick Mahomes is the best player in the NFL, he’s such a likable guy and you want to see him on the field.
If you want to have a story that we can talk about in the media and as fans about who can chase Tom Brady and who can be the next dynasty, then they have to win it.
They have to be the first team since the New England Patriots to go back-to-back to even be in that conversation.
I would love to see them up against a fully fit San Francisco 49ers team at Super Bowl LVIII.
Like with the NFL awards the Offensive MVP is almost always a quarterback so in that sense I’d have to go with Patrick Mahomes because I think he is going to have a great year.
If I were to choose an alternative pick I would go with Lamar Jackson just to spice it up.
For the Defensive MVP I would have to go with Micah Parsons because I think he is going to absolutely tear it up this year and he’ll be great now that he’s going to be rushing the passer rather than playing linebacker.