With the NFL preseason under a month from kicking off, fans around the world are on the edge of their seats ready for the season to begin. The Hall of Fame game this season will take place between the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets on August 3rd at 8:00 PM.
These are two very interesting teams heading into the 2023 season. The Jets were the talk of the offseason after putting together a trade that would land them Aaron Rodgers. This could end up being the last dance-esque season from Rodgers. It is clear that he has nothing on his mind entering the season rather than bringing home a Super Bowl and he has the talent around him to make it happen. Rodgers could not find himself in a better situation in potentially his last season in the NFL.
On the offensive end, the Jets have a very promising running back in Breece Hall. Hall was well on his way to winning the Rookie of the Year award before he suffered a season-ending knee injury. Despite this, the Jets would still have the Offensive Rookie of the Year in Garrett Wilson. Wilson had an incredible rookie campaign with a revolving door at the quarterback position. With Rodgers on the roster, he has the potential to break out and establish himself as one of the most talented wide receivers that the league has to offer. Along with this, the Jets have done an incredible job of bringing in additional talent at the wide receiver position including some of Rodgers’ favorite targets during his time with the Packers.
Even with all of the weapons that the Jets feature on the offensive side of the ball, it could be argued that their defensive unit is still the stronger of the two. Last season, Sauce Gardner had one of the best rookie seasons that the league has ever seen from a cornerback. While many corners take some time to adjust to playing at the professional level, the same can not be said for Gardner. He would be named as the Defensive Rookie of the Year, and Rookie of the Year, and would also be named to the All-Pro First Team. Reports are saying that Gardner is continuing to grind to improve his game over the offseason, and if he comes into the 2023 season even better than he was in 2022, there is a chance that he could go on to be a generational corner.
On the flip side, this is a make-or-break season for the Cleveland Browns. This will be the first full season that they will have with their franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson since acquiring him. At his peak, Watson was one of the top talents at the quarterback position in the NFL. If he is able to turn back the clock and once again perform at this level, the sky could be the limit for the Browns this season.
They made some very savvy moves over the offseason to further bulk up their team on both sides of the ball. If they are able to remain healthy and their star players show up in the 2023 season, there is a chance that both teams in the inaugural game of the year could end up in the postseason.
With this being a preseason game, there is no telling how much each team’s best players will be on the field. Coaches will have to find the perfect balance of allowing their starting units to get enough reps to be ready for the regular season while making sure that no crucial injuries occur.
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