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NFL Official draws parallel between Jets and Peyton Manning’s Former Team

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The New York Jets could not be ignored during the NFL’s schedule making process.

In a conversation with Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, NFL vice president of broadcasting Onnie Bose “compared the dynamic to trying to schedule the Denver Broncos in ’12, with Peyton Manning returning from four neck surgeries that led to his release from the Indianapolis.”

The NFL gambled on Manning and the Broncos in 2012, and the results were exactly what the league wanted. Although their playoff run ended prematurely, Denver won 13 of 16 regular season games.

One dozen years later, the Jets are attempting to recreate what went down for the Broncos.

New York boasts an elite defense and a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback, making them a juicy asset for broadcast network executives. The NFL’s commitment to Gang Green does not, however, come without risk.

After all, the Jets carried astronomical expectations into the 2023 season, only to lose Aaron Rodgers to a torn Achilles in Week 1 on the way to a 7-10 overall finish.

“This time [late April] last year, we were all in on the Jets. Everybody was. He made it four plays, and that schedule suffered as a result. Now, he seems like he’s healthy. He seems like he’s relevant. The Jets seem to have gotten better, so are we all in again on the Jets?” said NFL VP for broadcasting Mike North during a comprehensive interview on the It’s Always Gameday in Buffalo podcast

As Breer pointed out in his column, the NFL is indeed all in on the Jets again to the maximum in 2024.

“Only three teams maxed out with six prime-time games— the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys and the Jets, who had a similarly unforgiving prime-time schedule last year. And only two teams have seven stand-alone games—the Kansas City Chiefs and the Jets.

In that group of four, you have last year’s two Super Bowl teams, one of the world’s strongest professional sports brands … and the Jets, a franchise that has the longest playoff drought (13 seasons) in the NFL by a margin of five years over the other 31 teams. It’s also a team leaning heavily on a 40-year-old quarterback coming off a torn Achilles, with the NFL similarly leaning on Aaron Rodgers’s ability to stay healthy in keeping the Jets atop the marquee.”

While the NFL heavily invested in New York, the Jets heavily invested in their offensive line – building a unit capable of keeping Rodgers upright and healthy.

The gamble is still significant, but the potential payoff could be historic.

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