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    David Bakhtiari Believes in Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets: ‘I Think For Sure They Make the Playoffs’

    David Bakhtiari isn't worried about Aaron Rodgers returning from his Achilles injury, or the Jets' chances of ending their decade-long playoff drought.

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    David Bakhtiari’s friendship with former Green Bay Packers legend Aaron Rodgers has grown over the last decade since the All-Pro took his first snaps in an NFL game in 2013.

    The two former teammates may not be playing together currently, but that doesn’t mean Bakhtiari thinks less of Rodgers, even as he prepares to try and lead the New York Jets to their first playoff appearance in 13 seasons.

    David Bakhtiari Believes in Jets, Aaron Rodgers

    Speaking on the “Adam Schefter Podcast” with the NFL’s leading insider, Bakhtiari took the time to speak about his former teammate, Rodgers, and his new team, the Jets,

    The former All-Pro left tackle thinks the sky is the limit for Gang Green.

    “I think for sure they make the playoffs,” Bakhtiari said. “After that, all you need is to get in the dance.”

    New York has the longest active playoff drought in North American sports, with 13 years since its last playoff appearance in the 2010-11 season. Since then, the Jets have struggled to find their star quarterback of the future while building a team that can compete with the top organizations in the AFC.

    That thought process has seemingly changed in Florham Park following the trade for Rodgers during the 2023 offseason. Even though the four-time NFL MVP and former Super Bowl winner is coming off a lost year with a torn Achilles, Bakhtiari believes you can’t count him out.

    “I’m expecting big things from him,” Bakhtiari explained. “They are putting a lot on his shoulder, and I’m expecting him to right the ship … I don’t think it’s wise for any betting man to say that Aaron Rodgers isn’t going to make the playoffs.”

    MORE: 5 Breakout Candidates on the 2024 New York Jets

    Rodgers is entering his 21st season as an NFL player and is trying to prove doubters wrong that he can still play at a high level despite being over 40 years old.

    With the Jets’ offense and defense being among the most talented groups in the league, there are many fans and analysts who believe 2024 could be the year New York’s playoff drought ends.

    Examining Expectations for Rodgers, Jets

    As much as Bakhtiari feels the Jets are primed and ready for a playoff berth, reaching the playoffs may not be all that New York must do.

    As the Jets prepare for the 2024 season, it’s the team’s fourth year under head coach Robert Saleh and sixth season under general manager Joe Douglas. With no playoff appearances, division titles, or many substantial wins under either’s belt, securing a postseason berth is not enough for many in the organization to keep their job following this season.

    With Rodgers at quarterback and All-Pro players at almost every position, securing a playoff win or even reaching the AFC Championship Game may be the only way Saleh, Douglas, and, to an extent, Rodgers, are brought back for another season.

    Remember, while the former Cal product could simply retire following the 2024 season, a down year that leads to the Jets missing the playoffs could bring in a new regime that simply looks to get out from the Rodgers spotlight.

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    At the very least, Bakhtiari’s point about doubting Rodgers is right. The former Super Bowl MVP has shown he can still be an elite quarterback despite his age and injury history.

    But he may have to be at his best if the Jets are going to end a playoff drought that began when the Barack Obama administration was running the country.

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