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The 2024 Jets Are Learning From the 2020 Packers

If the 2024 New York Jets want to succeed, they'll need to borrow a few concepts from the 2020 Green Bay Packers.
Jets Packers

Too many people want the New York Jets to land a No. 2 wide receiver, but they need someone for a specific role in this offense. Don’t get hung up in the pecking order for the Jets wide receiver group this offseason. Too many people are doing just that. For the Jets, success on offense will be dictated by the roles the wide receivers play, and they can look to the 2020 Green Bay Packers for answers.

That season the Packers did something they only had done two other times in franchise history: average 30+ points per game. The highest the Brett Favre-led Packers got was 28.5. As shown in this video, Aaron Rodgers prefers to throw the ball outside. Also, as Alex Rollins puts it, he’s a “control freak”.

So, who are the go-to players for Rodgers for the 2024 Jets? Let’s dive in.

How the 2024 New York Jets Can Copy the 2020 Green Bay Packers

“Do everything” Receiver Role

Everything is limited in this offense and isn’t defined the same as other offenses. Everything is defined as both deep shots and wide receiver “screens”/short YAC-designed passes. The player occupying this role will help both keep ahead of the chains and also play bombs away. Garrett Wilson is a perfect choice for this job.

“Intermediate Go-To player”

In football, here is how the zones of passing are typically defined:

Behind the LOS: self-explanatory

Short: 0-10 yards

Intermediate: 10-19 yards

Long: 20+

Here’s how they’d be defined specifically for this offense.

Short: at or behind the line of scrimmage

Intermediate: 0-19 yards

Long: 20+

In this case, the intermediate is the typical definition. Even though the Jets may not seem to have that guy, they do. Former Packers receiver Allen Lazard had a terrible debut season with the New York Jets. However, that has a lot to do with the quarterback position. With Aaron Rodgers and a limited route tree, he should improve in Year 2, assuming he isn’t traded.

Second “Intermediate Go-To Player”

This player would typically fill the shorter end of the second meaning of intermediate. As a result of short passes, Robert Tonyan only had 586 yards receiving in 2020. That said, he did catch 11 touchdowns. So, consequently, they trusted him where it matters. The Jets have a perfect fit for this role in tight end Tyler Conklin

“Short” Receiver

If Aaron Rodgers has a running back he can trust, look out. Additionally, add in breakaway speed, and that would leave Rodgers salivating. Aaron Jones was that guy for the 2020 Packers. He was second on the team in targets, and the Jets have that guy too in star running back Breece Hall.

Pure Vertical Threat

To complete the package, a pure vertical threat is needed. During the 2020 season, that role belonged to Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The Next Gen Stats route charts bear this out. His stats do too, as he averaged 13.8 yards before the catch per reception with an 18.3-yard average depth of target.

As a consequence of the vertical threat that Valdes-Scantling was, the underneath routes opened up. That’s why it’s a crucial part of this offense, especially with Rodgers at quarterback. That player is not on the roster right now, and the Jets should try to find him either in free agency or the NFL Draft.

The 2024 Jets have the best defense that Rodgers has played with since winning the Super Bowl with the Packers. The Chiefs proved last season that defense can still be the backbone of a championship team. If the Jets can fill all of these roles, they will be a Super Bowl contender.

Main Photo: Kevin R. Wexler – USA Today Sports


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