While Mike Francesa a.k.a.”The Sports Pope” is no longer gracing WFAN’s airwaves, that doesn’t mean the 69-year-old radio host doesn’t have a couple of vintage rants left in him. In fact, with The Mike Francesa Podcast on the BetRivers Network, his rants have never been more accessible.
Never one to hold back, Francesa pulled no punches as he took the New York Jets to task for their latest clunker. The team’s offensive ineptitude was on full display on Black Friday during a 34-13 drubbing at the hands of Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins.
Francesa went in on the topic of Aaron Rodgers possibly returning this year. He largely raised some reasonable points about the Jets, who are amidst a four-game losing streak, potentially allowing Rodgers to return to the field, despite having nothing left to play for this season.
You may want to sit down for this one.
"If they do that, and he gets hurt again, they will be the laughingstocks of the history of sports." pic.twitter.com/cunPZc7e2M
— Funhouse (@BackAftaThis) November 25, 2023
“There is no way — if you’re the Jets — if you have an ounce of football sense in that organization,” Francesa began, “and maybe if you take everybody in the building, put them all together, and stack them up on top of each other, you may come up with an ounce or two. Those ounces have to make sure they explain to Aaron Rodgers that he’s not going anywhere NEAR the field behind this offensive line this season.”
On Black Friday, New York’s offensive line, which featured just one Opening Day starter — Laken Tomlinson — allowed 12 pressures and four sacks against the Dolphins in the 21-point loss.
“There is nothing to play for. And if they do that, and he gets hurt again, they will be the laughingstocks of the history of sports,” Francesa said. “There is not a reason in the world; you tell him now, I am not putting you out there behind that offensive line. I am not putting you out there in games that don’t count towards us getting to the playoffs. And we’re not going to the playoffs. We’re 4-7. We’ve lost four games in a row, and we can’t score, and we can’t protect the quarterback. And we can’t play an offensive football game.
“You are not running this offense this year, get ready for next year. We’re turning the page; and if that puts you into some major pout and you want to go on [Pat] McAfee’s show and say you’re finished with the Jets, then go do it! Because I am not allowing you, if I have one say, and if I have an idea about what to do about football, I am not allowing you anywhere near the field this year. So get that through your head!
“Because if anybody lets him near the field in a meaningless game behind that offensive line, they should be fired the same day.”
Earlier this month, During NBC’s broadcast of the matchup between the New York Jets and Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday night, sideline reporter Melissa Stark caused quite the stir when she revealed that Rodgers had told her that he’s targeting a mid-December return from the torn Achilles injury he suffered in September.
On Sunday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the “improbable is coming closer and closer to becoming reality,” when it comes to Rodgers. According to Rapoport, there is a chance that Rodgers (torn Achilles) could practice this week. That has reportedly been his hope, but Jets coaches were unclear if it was actually going to happen, even though his return to practice seems to be coming.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 26, 2023
“As one source said, ‘He just needs to bring us the doctor’s note,’ in other words, he needs to show he’s not doing damage to himself by being out there,” Rapoport said Sunday. “And if he can protect himself, then he will practice and potentially will play.”
It’s Rapoport’s understanding that Rodgers is targeting New York’s Christmas Eve matchup (Dec. 24) against the Washington Commanders.
If Rodgers does return under center and happens to re-in-jure himself, the Jets will only have themselves to blame, as they’ve allowed themselves to be taken hostage by the 39-year-old quarterback. And Francesca is right. The franchise with the longest playoff drought in North American professional sports will be the biggest laughing stock in the world; as if they weren’t already.