Throughout his career with the Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers regularly got to enjoy excellent offensive line play in front of him.
Over the years, Rodgers had some of the best pass-protectors in the game blocking for him, from David Bakhtiari, Bryan Bulaga, T.J. Lang, Josh Sitton, Corey Linsley, and Elgton Jenkins.
Now more than ever, with Rodgers entering his age-40 season, he needs strong offensive line play.
Not only does Rodgers lack the mobility he once enjoyed, but his New York Jets play in a tough division with some excellent pass rushers. According to ESPN, the Miami Dolphins ranked third in pass rush win rate last season, while the Buffalo Bills were 11th.
In fact, the Jets will play against last year's top three in pass rush win rate this season, and five of the top 10.
The Jets have invested in their offensive line this offseason, but Rodgers may not get the same luxury he enjoyed during his time with the Packers.
Pro Football Focus highlights difference in Packers, Jets offensive lines
Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus ranked every offensive line in the NFL ahead of the 2023 season.
The Packers' offensive line that Rodgers is leaving behind ranks eighth. His new Jets offensive line is 23rd. That's a significant difference.
Monson writes: "The tackles are the biggest concern for the Jets. Duane Brown is now almost 38 and visibly declining, while Mekhi Becton has played fewer than 800 snaps in three years."
In Green Bay, Rodgers' would've had five-time All-Pro David Bakhtiari and either Yosh Nijman or Zach Tom protecting him at tackle. PFF projects Tom to win the job at right tackle.
Protecting Rodgers is priority number one for the Jets, especially if they make a playoff run. Winning the AFC likely requires beating the Kansas City Chiefs at some point in January. Their defense made 55 sacks last season, second-most in the league behind only the Philadelphia Eagles.
If the Jets' offensive line can't hold up, it could become a major issue for Rodgers.
The Jets have a better roster than the Packers overall, but Green Bay wins big at a crucial area. Maybe the Jets should consider trading for David Bakhtiari after all.