Sorry, Jets fans, the hits just keep on coming.

The latest was on Monday night, when quarterback Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles tendon just four plays into his debut with the team. The Jets won, but Rodgers, who signed with the team this summer, will likely be out for the season.

So this one's for you, Jets faithful.

Who are they? The fans.

  • Zack Rosenblatt covers the Jets for The Athletic and was at the game. He told All Things Considered: "In the immediate aftermath, there was definitely a silence, like a weird, like, everybody kind of holding their breath, trying to figure out what was happening. I think everybody's pretty depressed today."

  • "You know, we just spent five months hyping up this team as a Super Bowl contender [and] Aaron Rodgers as quarterback," Rosenblatt said.

  • The news is another blow to fans, some of whom have started to believe the team is cursed. There might be some evidence to support that...

What's the big deal?

  • The Jets have not won or played in a Super Bowl since 1969. And Rosenblatt says the "curse" is attributed to the end of Joe Namath's run with the team.
  • Namath led the Jets to their single Super Bowl victory, but since he left in 1977, the Jets have only made the playoffs 12 times.
  • "So Aaron Rodgers kind of represented what [fans] have been seeking for so long, really since they traded for Brett Favre back in 2008, and even that didn't work out," Rossenblatt said. "So he's kind of represented hope that this fan base hasn't really had in a long time."
  • It's not just the constant hoping. The kind of season-ending injury that is threatening Rodgers has happened to multiple Jets quarterbacks:

  1. In 1999, Vinny Testaverde tore his Achilles tendon and was out.
  2. In 2005, a shoulder injury brought starting quarterback Chad Pennington down.
  3. Then — in that same game in 2005 — backup quarterback Jay Fiedler also went down with a season-ending shoulder injury.
  4. In 2008, the Jets came close to joining the playoffs, but Favre's torn bicep hindered his performance. After leaving the Jets, his career improved.

Want more on football? Listen to Consider This on why the NFL still has a diversity problem.

What are fans saying? They are going through the various stages of grief.

There was the hype, followed by the dismay:

There were those who refused to believe it:

Then there was the quiet acceptance:

  • Rosenblatt says some of the problem is on the people at the top of the organization: "A lot of it is, you know, mismanagement, bad coaching or bad roster building. But this was the first time everybody felt pretty good about the roster that was built on the coaching staff in place. And then this happened."

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Love it or hate it, pro football is prone to hyperbole. So there was a messianic joy when quarterback Aaron Rodgers signed on with the New York Jets.


But it appears that he, like the Greek warriors before him, can be brought down in an instant, as he was last night in their home opener. And yes, it was due to his Achilles heel.


PEYTON MANNING: He's down. He's down.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Is he hurt? These guys all think he's got a high ankle sprain.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: No. There's no way.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: Why do bad things happen to good people?

KELLY: That was Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, real-time commentating on the game, along with fan reactions to the injury on TikTok. Well, the Jets did win in overtime, but Rogers - we learned today he is out for the season.

ZACK ROSENBLATT: I would say, in the immediate aftermath, there was definitely, like, a silence - like, a weird - like, everybody kind of, like, holding their breath, trying to figure out what was happening. I think everybody's pretty depressed today.

CHANG: That's Zack Rosenblatt, who covers the Jets for The Athletic, and he was at last night's home game. And for Jets fans, well, this disappointment is nothing new.


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #4: No, no, no - New York is cursed. New York is cursed - dude.

KELLY: The Jets have not played in a Super Bowl since 1969, which they won. As you heard, fans feel cursed, and there is some evidence to support that feeling.

ROSENBLATT: Well, the idea was they've been cursed since Joe Namath's career ended.

CHANG: Rosenblatt again - Namath led the Jets to that one Super Bowl victory. But his days in New York were over in 1977, and the Jets have only made the playoffs 12 times since then.

ROSENBLATT: It kind of, like, puts into perspective the kind of misery they've dealt with. The Jets have tied for the longest streak without making the playoffs in sports right now, at 12 years, and it's just been - yeah, just year after year, they start out with hope, and then it goes away pretty quick. And there's one thing after another. A lot of it's, you know, mismanagement, bad coaching or bad roster-building. But this was the first time everybody felt pretty good about the roster that was built and the coaching staff in place, and then this happened.

KELLY: What's worse, this kind of season-ending injury has happened to multiple Jets quarterbacks.


UNIDENTIFIED SPORTSCASTER: Holding his leg on the ground is Vinny Testaverde. Oh, the way he's beating that turf, it's not good news for the New York Jets.

KELLY: That was a season-ending injury for the 1999 Jets quarterback. And again - 2005 - starting quarterback Chad Pennington went down.


CHRIS BERMAN: Pennington brought down again. It's a fumble. He leaves the game with a shoulder injury.

CHANG: In the same game, backup quarterback Jay Fiedler followed.


BERMAN: Fiedler completes it upfield, but he injures himself on the play. He's got to leave.

CHANG: So you get the idea. Season after season, the Jets and their fans feel more like Charlie Brown on the field. And, well, last night's loss...

ROSENBLATT: Aaron Rodgers kind of represented, you know, what they've been seeking for so long. He just kind of represented hope that this fan base hasn't really had in a long time. And, you know, as they say on "Ted Lasso," I guess it's the hope that kills you.

KELLY: But hey, Jets fans, you're still 1-0. And as the god of coaching, Vince Lombardi, himself said, gentlemen, this is a football.


UNIDENTIFIED FOOTBALL FANS: (Chanting) J-E-T-S - Jets, Jets, Jets.

(SOUNDBITE OF SCOTT SCHREER'S "'NFL ON FOX' THEME") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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