Super Bowl or flop for Aaron Rodgers? Will Patrick Mahomes cement the dynasty?

Aaron Rodgers greets the crowd before a New York Jets preseason game

Aaron Rodgers’ move from Green Bay to New York has taken him from the smallest market in the NFL to the largest

At the end of last season, it was now or never for veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

after helping Green Bay Packers becoming NFL champions in 2011, reaching a second Super Bowl continued to elude him.

Was it time to try it with another team? Now 39, Rodgers felt that was who he was, hence the four-time NFL MVP. He joined the New York Jets in April.

After 18 seasons with Green Bay, the first week of the 2023 season will be the first time Rodgers has played in an NFL game for someone other than the Packers.

The only quarterback who spent more seasons with the same team is Tom Brady, who retired “forever” in February, making this season the first this century to go without the record seven-time Super Bowl winner.

That leaves Rodgers as the last member of the old guard, but if he wants to lead the long-suffering Jets to the Super Bowl, they’ll have to get past him. patrick mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

They exceeded the Philadelphia Eagles in a Exciting Super Bowl in February and the two teams are favorites to meet again in the deciding game of the NFL championship.

This season, the big game will be even bigger as Las Vegas hosts it for the first time, and the road to Super Bowl 58 begins on Thursday (01:20 BST on Friday) when the defending champions host the Detroit Lions.

Brad excited to see what Rodgers does

Ever since he was lured to the Big Apple, the media and fans have been asking if Rodgers can do for the Jets what Brady did for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In his first season after leaving the New England PatriotsBrady led the Bucs to a Surprise Super Bowl win in 2021. They saw Brady as the “missing piece”, the way the Jets view Rodgers now.

Their lone Super Bowl victory came in 1969 and they haven’t made the playoffs since 2010 (the NFL’s longest drought), but coach Robert Saleh has turned the Jets into one of the best defensive units in the league. nfl.

They had last season’s offensive and defensive rookie of the year and have spent big to set things up for their new QB in the offseason, as well as Rodgers himself.

They’ve signed the offensive coordinator and two of the receivers Rodgers recently had in Green Bay, plus the running back. davin cook.

The Jets also welcomed cameras from Hard Knocks behind the scenes to show how Rodgers is adjusting and help build anticipation for this season.

“I’m excited to see what he does,” Brady said this week. “When he has good receivers, he’s pretty dangerous. I think he’s going to have a great year.”

A challenging start could indicate whether the Jets will be Super Bowl contenders when they face off at home against buffalo bills on Monday (01:15 BST on Tuesday) before facing the Dallas Cowboysthe Patriots and the Chiefs.

Will the Chiefs cement the dynasty?

After the successful trade of Rodgers to the Jets, they were given a team-record six games in prime time this season. That week four game against Kansas City will be the first in the Sunday night time slot since 2011.

It will be only the third time Rodgers and Mahomes have met, and Mahomes now succeeded Brady as the NFL’s biggest superstar on a glorious night in Phoenix in February.

He joined fellow quarterbacks Brady and Joe Montana as the only players to win the Super Bowl, the Super Bowl MVP, and the league MVP multiple times, and he’s still just 27 years old. The Chiefs have reached three of the last four Super Bowls, winning two.

Now they hope to become the first team to repeat as NFL champions since Brady’s Patriots in 2003 and 2004. And to think they were written off by many last season after the star receiver Tyreek Hill attached to the miami dolphins.

hard end travis kelce took part of the relief, but Mahomes otherwise relied more on unheralded members of his offense to get the job done, most notably Kadarius Toney and Skyy Moore when the Super Bowl was on the line.

Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy may have moved on, but most expect the Chiefs to find a way to Las Vegas and cement an NFL dynasty.

AFC stars seek to topple the Chiefs

Justin Herbert meets with fans at the Los Angeles Chargers training camp
Justin Herbert has signed a new five-year contract worth $262.5 million (£203.6 million) and faces Patrick Mahomes twice in the regular season as the Chargers and the bosses are in the same division

Even before Rodgers’ move to the AFC Conference, it was already filled with star quarterbacks looking to topple the Chiefs and take their spot in the Super Bowl.

He cincinnati bengals He did it in 2022, before losing to the Los Angeles Rams, and joe burrow he has recovered from a calf injury in training camp to start the season.

Josh Allen’s Buffalo was the preseason title favorite last year and the Bills have damar hamlin after the safety went into cardiac arrest on the field in January, while Tua TagovailoaThe Miami are also appetizing.

He Jacksonville Jaguars‘ the reconstruction continued as Trevor Lawrence led them to the play-offs last season, while MVP 2019 Lamar Jackson signed a record contract extension with the Baltimore Ravens in April.

jackson was soon replaced by Justin Herbert as the NFL’s highest-paid player at the Los Angeles Chargers, divisional rivals of Kansas City in an intriguing AFC West.

It also presents the Denver Broncoshoping for a big improvement under new coach Sean Payton after last year big change by russell wilson, and the Las Vegas Raidersthat now they have Jimmy Garoppolo as their starting quarterback and Brady as a minority owner.

Ojabo prepares for a memorable return to the UK

Many of those QB stars will be crossing the Atlantic this season, with the NFL International Series with five European games for the first time.

Kansas City-Miami is one of two games in Frankfurt, while annual London visitor Jacksonville will be the first team to play two regular-season games outside the US in the same season: against Atlanta (Wembley ) and Buffalo (Tottenham).

In the other game in London, Baltimore will take on Tennessee, featuring a Nigerian-born Scotsman. David Ojabo eager to impress. The linebacker has yet to play alongside Jackson after an injury-plagued rookie year with the Ravens, who signed the veteran wideout. Odell Beckham Jr.

“Being back home, being with my family and friends, it will be something that will be memorable,” Ojabo told BBC World Service.

“I’m excited to be on the field with Lamar Jackson and see how far he can take us, and you can’t ignore Odell Beckham. He’s a legend of the modern game, so I’m excited to see him too.”

Other delicious matchups they include the NFL’s first Black Friday game and rematches of last season’s Super Bowl and the two conference championship games.

What about the NFC Conference?

Philadelphia beat San Francisco in last year’s NFC championship game and their biggest challenge again will come from 49erswho have put their faith in brock purdy.

After injuries to Lance Trey and Garoppolo, ‘Mr. Irrelevant’ from last year He almost took the 49ers to the Super Bowl. Now they not only let Garoppolo out, but also traded Lance to the Dallas Cowboys.

mayfield baker will have the first opportunity to become Brady’s successor in Tampa Bay and the three quarterbacks selected in the first five selections of this year’s draft Everything will start this weekend. bryce young (carolina panthers), C.J. Stroud (Houston Texans) and Anthony Richardson (Indianapolis Colts).

Elsewhere, the Chicago Bears have high hopes for Justin Fields’ second year while Green Bay will have just its third starting QB since 1992 in jordanian lovewhose surprise pick in the 2020 draft Ultimately, it has led Rodgers to wear a different shade of green this season.

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