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Aaron Rodgers-led Jets Are One of a Dozen

Sports Illustrated includes Gang Green in Super Bowl contenders' club

Expectations for the New York Jets have taken off and haven't stopped ascending.

After adding four-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers, Robert Saleh's team has gone from last-place division finisher to Super Bowl contender in a matter of months. 

"You want to be a part of a place that has high expectations and there is a lot of positivity around here, which I think is a good thing, but we have to temper our expectations early on in camp and focus on the little things to get there. It’s a long season, it’s a journey," said the 39-year-old Rodgers after Gang Green's first preseason practice.

With the "Hard Knocks" cameras in town and the Super Bowl talk swirling, the hype train shows no sign of slowing. In the meantime, Sports Illustrated senior scribe Conor Orr has jumped aboard.

As training camps heat up around the country, Orr named "The 12 Teams That Could Actually Win Super Bowl LVIII" and three of the dozen compete in the AFC East division.

The Jets landed at No. 7 overall amongst the collection of legitimate championship contenders, sandwiched in between the No. 6 Dallas Cowboys and No. 8 Baltimore Ravens. AFC East rivals Buffalo and New England appeared in the No. 5 and No. 12 slots, respectively. 

Somewhat surprisingly, the San Francisco 49ers topped the 12-team list while the Super Bowl LVII champion Kansas City Chiefs were third. 

Orr noted, "I feel like the list drops off after No. 5, then again after No. 9."

Excerpt from "The 12 Teams That Could Actually Win Super Bowl LVIII":

7. Jets

I guess, right? If a team has the NFL’s best player in the secondary, a really good set of players up front, a future Hall of Fame quarterback and last year’s Offensive Rookie of the Year at wide receiver, it’s kind of impossible to leave it off the list, even if we have a hard time painting the mental picture. As I’ve written before, I think the Jets went through the deep-cleaning stage the franchise so desperately needed, so it’s not like an insatiable franchise just plugged in Aaron Rodgers. I think a soon-to-be-normal, routinely competitive franchise added Aaron Rodgers and if we make that small mental switch, it’s easier to see the Jets potentially surviving a daunting conference.

Conor Orr

SI Sportsbook still list the Jets as a 14-to-1 bet to win it all this season. Only five teams on the board are more heavily favored than Gang Green.

"You love it, it’s better than the other side, where everyone’s expecting you to be junk, right? You never shy away from expectations. As far as and I’ve kind of addressed, as far as pressure, the expectation is to win," said Saleh after Practice No. 7. "The pressure to win lies in how you operate day to day. That’s the pressure."

Orr's Super Bowl LVIII Contenders

"Of the NFL's 32 teams, here are the ones with a real shot to hoist the Lombardi Trophy next February."

1. San Francisco 49ers

2. Cincinnati Bengals

3. Kansas City Chiefs

4. Philadelphia Eagles

5. Buffalo Bills

6. Dallas Cowboys


8. Baltimore Ravens

9. Los Angeles Chargers

10. Cleveland Browns

11. Detroit Lions

12. New England Patriots


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