It only took one series, but Aaron Rodgers has gone down, and it’s feared to be for the season.
And if Aaron Rodgers is indeed done for the year with the dreaded torn Achilles injury, then the Super Bowl hopes for the Jets may as well vanish alongside him.
The Dolphins beat the Chargers in an away game in Las Angeles this past Sunday. It’s hard to say this was a shootout when the Chargers attacked on the ground, but that’s what it was. The Dolphins came through thanks to McDaniel’s playcalling, Tua Tagovailoa’s elite processing, and Tyreek Hill’s hall-of-fame speed. Safe to say, the Fins are off to a hot start.
They better keep it up if they want to distance themselves from the rest of their division rivals.
As I mentioned, the Jets lost their star quarterback for Week 1, probably Week 2, and for the foreseeable future. The Jets defense looked superb on Sunday Night while intercepting Bills star quarterback Josh Allen three times and forcing him to fumble once. However, Jets backup quarterback and future starter — Zach Wilson — wasn’t anything to be scared of, nor has he been since being drafted as a No. 2 overall pick in 2021.
So the Jets have a defense, one win, but not a QB. (Unless Wilson has some miraculous metamorphosis)
The Bills still have a good team, but Josh Allen has picked up where he left off last season — forcing throws that he shouldn’t. Allen admitted he was responsible for the Bills starting 0-1.
Last year, in Week 1, Allen threw two interceptions but was lucky enough to win a Thursday Night game versus the Rams.
That mindset seemed to follow him throughout 2022, and he kept believing his physical talent would bail him out of games and situations. Allen made the same mistakes on Monday Night when he put too much faith in his arm, not the coverage he saw.
So, the Bills need to get their quarterback back on track.
Which leads us to the Patriots.
The Patriots have a defense (which they usually do, thanks to Bill Belichick). They slowed down the Eagles and their high-powered offense led by Jaylen Hurts, and if it wasn’t for losing the turnover battle early on in the game, they could’ve come out with a win at home.
Mac Jones wasn’t terrible, either. He had a 91.3 rating, and that’s with throwing to his running backs more than his receivers. But using those backs should scare the Dolphins after what they had to deal with on Sunday.
But with the talent of a defensive front that consists of former 1st-round selections — Christian Wilkins, Jaelan Phillips, Bradley Chubb — to pair with Zach Seiler, who just got an extension… the Dolphins should be able to find a way to solidify their rushing defense. They also have Vic Fangio, the league’s highest-paid defensive coordinator.
But currently, this is a major issue for the team.
Regarding the defensive secondary, they held their own versus Justin Herbert and the Chargers receivers — allowing only 199 yards through the air. Granted, that’s probably because the Chargers were too busy running the ball, but Hebert had to take off sometimes because he couldn’t find anyone open.
And if this Miami secondary can play up to par, then it should be able to handle itself against a Rodgers-less Jets offense, a Patriots team without legit aerial power, and a Bill’s quarterback that can’t shake the interceptions.
But Miami needs to plug the holes, and if they can do that… they can run away with this division.
As it sits, Miami has the best QB/WR situation in the division, which can take them far. But if they want to go all the way, they need to play to their full potential on defense and find a way not to get gashed in the run game.
The Patriots backfield will allow the Fins to fix what ailed them in Week 1.