Aaron Rodgers may have ruptured his Achilles Tendon to start off the 2023 season, but he’s proving – unlike his injured leg – his mouth is working just fine. He’s not only had a public spat recently with Chiefs superstar Travis Kelce over the KC player’s endorsement of Pzifer’s COVID vaccine, but the four-time NFL MVP was also quick to fire shots at Broncos head coach Sean Payton after Rodgers’ Jets teammates rallied together for 31-21 victory over Denver on Sunday.
While Aaron Rodgers can be accused sometimes of providing his opinion even when it’s not necessarily needed, this case was a little different. The chip on the QB’s shoulder stems from comments that Sean Payton made during the preseason that Nathaniel Hackett’s coaching job with the Broncos last year was one of the worst in NFL history. Hackett is a close confidante of Rodger. He’s also the Jets’ offensive coordinator now.
Hackett was the man under the headset as young QB Zach Wilson continued to get more comfortable as the de facto leader of the Jets aerial squadron. Still finding his groove in place of Aaron Rodgers, the kid ended up going a respectable 19-for-26 through the sky for 199 yards. He did have one interception, but it didn’t come back to haunt New York.
Nathaniel Hackett certainly showed a lot of creativity on the offensive side of the ball for New York. The play-caller guided his team to an average of 6.6 yards per play with 24 offensive points scored despite converting on zero of the offense’s five red zone opportunities and just three of 12 third downs. The Jets now sit at 2-3 and can still hold on to some hope of a playoff berth.
When Sunday arrived and the game was drawing near, NYJ tight end C.J. Uzomah made a fiery pregame speech, and he reminded his teammates that Payton made the game “personal.” They responded accordingly and answered the challenge.
The same can’t be said for Payton and the Broncos (now 1-4, last in the AFC West), who are having a tumultuous first season with their new head coach. Quarterback Russell Wilson continues his unpredictable play and the defense surrendered a whopping 70 points to the Miami Dolphins two weeks ago. There has been infighting and disorganization – and it shows on the field in 2023. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers couldn’t help but cackle at all the chaos, based solely on Payton’s disrespectful jab at Hackett.
“I loved every minute of it,” Aaron Rodgers said on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Tuesday. “One of the coolest things was watching the end of that game to see how people love Nathaniel so much. Yeah, he’s not going to be making a big deal about it, but he’s a man. And those comments were horses*** in the beginning of the season, and we all wanted that for him for sure. So, I’m really, really happy for him… Awesome for Hack. You see all the love, and we just nonstop hugs. Saleh gave him the game ball afterward, and [I’m] just really proud of our guys.”
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