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    Can the Jets Make a Super Bowl Run? 5 Reasons for Optimism Ahead of NFL Training Camp

    Despite their 13-year playoff drought, the Jets have as good of a chance as any to make a deep Super Bowl run in 2024.

    Few franchises in sports have been as snake-bitten as the New York Jets have been over the last 50 years.

    Since Joe Namath’s guarantee in Super Bowl 3, New York has struggled with crushing playoff defeats and mind-numbingly bad performances.

    Now, as New York tries to end a current 13-year playoff drought, the current roster heading into training camp might just be its best opportunity to not only end the longest postseason drought in sports but to send the Jets to a Super Bowl.

    5 Reasons To Be Optimistic About the Jets This Season

    Many Jets fans may not believe it due to decades of being proven otherwise, but the current Jets roster is as strong as any other group in franchise history. Additions in free agency coupled with strong draft selections have left Gang Green with a talented unit capable of competing at the highest level.

    Don’t look now, but there are legitimate reasons to be optimistic about the Jets this season.

    Aaron Rodgers’ Return

    Spoiler alert: Your team is never out of a game when you have a talented franchise quarterback on your roster.

    The Jets have one of the most talented signal-callers in league history.

    Rodgers’ return from an Achilles injury suffered last season has many wondering how good the 40-year-old can be entering his 20th NFL season. At full strength, though, there may not be a current quarterback as complete of a passer as Rodgers is — and, yes, that includes Patrick Mahomes.

    The former four-time NFL MVP getting back to full strength instantly puts the Jets back in championship contention. Should Rodgers be even close to the player he was in Green Bay, there’s a chance he could hoist a Lombardi Trophy in New York over the next year of football.

    A Top-5 Defense Got Better

    There are very few instances where an elite defense can get even better with a single acquisition, but that’s what the Jets did this offseason. All-Pro players like Sauce Gardner and Quincy Williams were delighted to learn that Pro Bowl pass-rushing dynamo Haason Reddick joined the team in a trade with Philadelphia during the offseason.

    Reddick is objectively a better edge rusher than the two players who left at the position, John Franklin-Myers and Bryce Huff. That alone will enhance New York’s pass rush and even help with some of their clutch play.

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    In the last four seasons, Reddick has recorded over 10 sacks each year — a feat only accomplished by one other player in the NFL — and is fourth in sacks over that stretch.

    Reddick’s consistency and clutch performance late in games (five fumbles forced in 2022 and strong playoff moments) make this Jets’ unit an even better one than last year — and that’s a scary thought to have.

    Roster Is Loaded

    We know about the Hall-of-Fame quarterback under center and an elite defense that only got better this offseason.

    But the rest of the Jets roster is loaded as well. Whether it’s top players like Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson itching for their chance at a playoff berth, or a retooled offensive line led by All-Pro Tyron Smith, the Jets’ offense is significantly better than it has been in recent memory.

    What’s probably the best part? The fact that New York’s depth is in a much better place than before.

    Gang Green has suffered plenty of injuries in recent seasons that have shown the lack of depth they have across each position. That simply won’t happen in 2024 thanks to free-agent acquisitions like backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor or draft selections such as Olu Fashanu and Malachi Corley.

    This Jets roster is loaded, and it’s in a far better place than they have been.

    AFC East Is Weaker

    Contrary to popular belief, the AFC East is far weaker this year than it has been in recent memory. Sure, the likes of Josh Allen, Tyreek Hill, and Jaylen Waddle all pose significant threats to the Jets this season, but the rosters of both the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills have taken some heavy losses throughout the offseason.

    Starting with the Bills, Buffalo has been the AFC champ for the last four seasons. This offseason, though, has seen the team part ways with key players like Stefon Diggs, Tre’Davious White, and Micah Hyde. Hyde could certainly return to Buffalo, but the Bills have taken heavy losses on the defensive side and the offensive skill positions.

    This isn’t the same group that has dominated the AFC East recently.

    KEEP READING: 5 Potential Breakout Candidates on the 2024 New York Jets

    For Miami, their downfall is a little bit harder to see, although still very much a high probability. Outside of the fact that the team has shown a consistent struggle once winter rolls around, the organization also lost important key pieces to their defense such as Christian Wilkins and offensive line like Connor Williams.

    Tua Tagovailoa and his top receiving duo will only be able to do so much if the Dolphins’ offense isn’t capable of getting off the field.

    The Streak Has To End at Some Point

    Thirteen years is a long time to go without a playoff appearance. As bad as it may seem for the Jets, it isn’t the longest in NFL history. That number sits at 25 consecutive years by the Chicago/St. Louis Cardinals from 1949-1974 and Washington from 1946-1971.

    Eventually, though, each streak has to end. The NFL has not seen a postseason-less drought continue for longer than 13 years since the Cleveland Browns (2002-2019) and Buffalo Bills (2000-2016) each failed to reach the playoffs for 17 straight seasons.

    The streak has to end eventually.

    The Jets are too talented at all phases of the roster and are in a division now that is ripe for the taking. There’s no excuse anymore, and fans should feel solace in the eventuality that their drought will soon be over.

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