Jets QB Aaron Rodgers was on his weekly spot on "The Pat McAfee Show" on Tuesday discussing the state of the 4-6 New York Jets. Rodgers knows the season is not over, even after the Jets lost, 32-6, to AFC East rival Buffalo last Sunday..
"Listen, there's been some 4-6 teams that have made runs over the years," Rodgers said. "Back in 2016, there was a team and in the NFC North that people were counting out, they went on a run, won eight in a row and went to the NFC championship. There was a team of 2009 in the Big Apple, that was 4-6 and finished 9-7, went to the AFC championship game. The season is definitely not over, it's not dead, there's a lot left to play for."
That 2016 team from the NFC North happened to be the Green Bay Packers who were led by a 33-year-old Aaron Rodgers. That season Rodgers threw for 4,428 yards, 40 touchdowns, had 4 rushing touchdowns, and made the Pro Bowl. Now, 10 weeks out from an Achilles tendon surgery, Rodgers is trying to re-create the magic of that season by sending workout videos of his rehab process to his teammates.
"I'm excited about where I'm at my rehab," Rodgers said. "Things are progressing as quickly as I thought they would, and I've been able to jog on a treadmill. I'm excited about getting back to the team and seeing where I'm at. …The jogging I think is exponentially improved the strength and then it's kind of sped up. ," Rodgers said. "Like I thought it would with the rest of the healing. So, after some weeks were kind of slow where I couldn't notice a lot of big gains, once I got on the treadmill and was able to increase the speed above a walking pace, things have progressed pretty nicely last few weeks."
Rodgers did not attend the game at Buffalo so he could continue rehabbing on the West Coast for 10 straight days. His goal is to be back in New York with the Jets full-time after Thanksgiving with a goal of playing again in December. In the meantime, Tim Boyle, a backup in Green Bay for two years, will start instead of Zach Wilson against the visiting Miami Dolphins on Black Friday.
"If you watched the way the Tim played in the preseason, I think you'd be pretty damn impressed with the way he commanded the offense, throws that he made, I thought he was accurate, I thought he was anticipatory, and did some really good things. So, some people would like to not give a lot of credence to the preseason and that's fine, but in the live bullets I thought he did really well."
Rodgers said he feels guilty about how this season has played out. If healthy, he asserted, the story might have been different.
"I feel for Zach, I love Zach, he's such a great kid," Rodgers said. "I do think he still has a bright future in the league. This has been a tough go for all of us. … I have some personal guilt around the whole thing. I mean, I'm pissed I wasn't able to play, frustrated that if I was out there and I feel like I'd be playing well, there would be obviously different narratives around our team. Zach would have the opportunity to learn and grow and see what it looks like without the pressure."
Rodgers added: "At this point I'm sad about that, but it is what it is, and it's the situation and we're all going to support Tim and move forward, but we're also going to put our arms around Zach and love on him because he's a great kid, and it's not all his fault."
Until doctors clear him to return to training and possibly the field, Rodgers believes the Jets can rise to the challenge.
"I'd love to see our guys step up and somebody put it on themselves and say 'I'm going to be the reason we win this week. I'm going to be the reason we win,' " he said. "And hopefully everybody can play a little bit looser and go out there and be free. Nobody's expecting us to win, and that's a dangerous position to be in."