The New York Jets were not a popular choice for nationally televised or primetime games during the 2022 NFL season. In fact, the team only had just one primetime game during the season – a Week 16 tilt with the Jaguars on Thursday Night Football days before Christmas. Just two other games, Week 7 in Denver and Week 17 in Seattle, were played outside of the 1 PM ET window (and neither of those was a national game of the week).
But in 2023, things are likely to change – assuming the Jets acquire Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers.
Peter King of NBC Sports opines that the Jets will be featured in primetime the maximum of five times, and several more of their games will be in other nationally televised windows.
The Jets do have quite an appealing slate of opponents this season. They play AFC East rivals Buffalo, Miami, and New England twice apiece and host both Super Bowl teams, Kansas City and Philadelphia. The team also travels to Dallas, and takes on the Giants in a “road” game at their shared stadium.
Even if Rodgers didn’t come to the team, the Jets would likely get more than one primetime game by virtue of finishing 7-10 last year, compared to a disastrous 4-13 in 2021.
This isn’t a new tactic from the NFL. In 2022, the Broncos were heavily featured following their offseason acquisition of Russell Wilson, though one of those games was flexed out late in the season. The league also did this in 2020 when Tom Brady joined the Bucs, and again in 2022 when Brady retired and then unretired. In 2019, the NFL leaned heavily into the Cleveland Browns (despite no big QB coming to town), only to watch the Browns flail on the national stage.
So, will an Aaron Rodgers-led Jets team be more like the Bucs, the Broncos, or the Browns in 2023? We’ll find out if the league treats them the same as those teams in a few weeks, or if it pumps the brakes with an eye on possibly flexing the Jets into Sunday night or Monday night games this season.