For anyone who tuned in to be scolded by Aaron Rodgers on The Pat McAfee Show Wednesday already knows the news. Rodgers has decided to pull a Brett Favre and plans to play for the Jets in 2023.
The worst-kept secret in the NFL is now official. A-Rod’s announcement not only sent shockwaves across the league but to an already weak conference as well. The NFC is more wide open than it’s ever been which could work in the Los Angeles Rams’ favor. They might have one, if not the top quarterback in the conference and believe me, that’s really saying something.
With Aaron Rodgers seemingly on his way out of the NFC, here's a look at the conference's quarterbacks— The 33rd Team (@The33rdTeamFB) March 16, 2023
Who are the top three QBs here? pic.twitter.com/b8JCI0RYkm
Top 5 QBs in the NFC...— Good Morning Football (@gmfb) March 16, 2023
Go off, Twitter pic.twitter.com/rXLubwQyjz
Not a pretty sight which begs the question: how many wins will it realistically take to get into the NFC playoff picture this coming season? Nearly every team across the conference is littered with question marks. Even the top-tier Super Bowl contenders who duked it out in the NFC Championship in February have legitimate concerns.
For one, the Eagles are seeing a number of their defensive starters leave in free agency. They nearly saw another in Darius Slay leave only to see him retained after seemingly strange and intense negotiations.
Never count the #Eagles and Howie Roseman out..ever— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) March 16, 2023
10:47 AM: Darius Slay tweets his farewell to the Eagles
11:05 PM: Darius Slay announced he is staying with the Eagles
Slay’s agent (@DrewJRosenhaus) and Howie Roseman probably had some INTENSE negotiations pic.twitter.com/cMEIg9pMP4
Philly will presumably overcome the losses as they’re still a top team in the conference. If they can’t, the Eagles are in for a tough year on that side of the ball. Watching one of their key players jump ship to the 49ers can’t feel very good either as the rich continue getting richer across the bay.
The #49ers defensive line is no joke…— Catch The Blitz (@catchtheblitz) March 14, 2023
Nick Bosa (!!!)
Javon Hargrave (!!!)
Javon Kinlaw pic.twitter.com/Ke9B8Npsvy
Yeah, yeah, yeah. LA fans were already aware how good that stupid team is. Problem is that no matter how untouchable San Francisco appears to be, their fate hinges on the health of second-year signal caller Brock Purdy. SF signed Sam Darnold for insurance. All that matters is how his treatment goes and whether he’s the same player on the other end of it.
New Orleans has the potential for a dangerous offense with Derek Carr. Minnesota will be held captive by Kirk Cousins until the end of time. New York is limited with Daniel Jones. Green Bay is breaking in Jordan Love. Seattle is praying Geno Smith doesn’t turn into a pumpkin. Dare I say the Dallas Cowboys are the only team without major question marks? Ew, that just feels wrong to say but it’s true. I wouldn’t be surprised if they represent the NFC in the Super Bowl next season, assuming they don’t McCarthy or Dak it up beforehand.
As for the other squads, there are very few powerhouses and a lot of rebuilding going on. Bucs, Panthers, Falcons, Bears, Commanders(?), Cardinals and even the Rams are in the middle of rebuilds or “remodels” as the kids say in LA. Getting into the playoff picture won’t be hard, as it’ll likely take 8-9 wins to get there.
Perhaps there will be a couple of surprises along the way. I could see the Lions giving teams fits and even the Bears hovering around .500 this year. I’m feeling that confident about the direction of their offseasons thus far. What timeline are we living in where the Lions and Bears have competent management? I don’t think I like it very much.
Anyways, 8-9 wins is a very realistic threshold for LA to cross even with all the talent they’ve lost. Barring a blockbuster trade, there are only three dominant teams to really worry about. If the Rams can take care of business, they might fool around and reach the postseason.
Again, that’s not saying much.