At this point the Jets need a small miracle to find a way into the playoffs, but one might be on the horizon. Aaron Rodgers made his weekly appearance on The Pat McAfee Show and said that despite tearing his achilles in Week 1, he might still be able to return before the regular season ends.
Rodgers has Christmas circled for a potential return, though a lot is up in the air right now. The Jets quarterback made waves after he was caught on camera telling Derwin James “a few weeks” for his return, but clarified that wasn’t entirely accurate.
“Obviously, that was said with a little tongue-in-cheek there,” Rodgers said. “It’d be nice to be able to be back in a couple of weeks. That’s probably not anywhere near a realistic timeline.”
McAfee pressed Rodgers for more information on a possible return, with the veteran saying it would be a few “fortnights,” which would be a six week return timeline if that holds true. The question is: What does the Jets’ season look like if Rodgers can play on December 24?
As it stands the team is 4-4, locked in third place in the AFC East behind the Dolphins and Bills. The schedule breaks semi-favorably for them until Rodgers’ possible return.
- Week 10: Raiders (probable win)
- Week 11: Bills (probable loss)
- Week 12: Dolphins (probable loss)
- Week 13: Falcons (tossup)
- Week 14: Texans (tossup)
- Week 15: Dolphins (probable loss)
If we take these games at face value and see them play out as noted above, the Jets will be at 7-7 on December 24 if they win their tossup games against Atlanta and Houston. That means Rodgers gets back under center with three games left on the schedule against the Commanders, Browns and Patriots — all three are easily winnable with a better quarterback under center.
In 2022 the AFC wildcard spots were won by the Ravens, who finished with a 10-7 record and the Dolphins who were 9-8. The Jets are only one game out of the 2023 Wild Card, which is currently cutting off at 5-3. There is a very real chance they could find a backdoor into the postseason as one of the most dangerous teams in the NFL, provided they can just hold the line and Rodgers can indeed return by Dec. 24.
If that plays out there really could be a Christmas miracle for the New York Jets.