Much like Miles Morales' character arc in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, what happens when a person's life takes a turn? Is it for the better or does it make everything worse?
Every offseason, NFL general managers essentially weigh the same questions as they adjust their team's rosters based on what they believe is the best path forward. Some experience amazing improvement. Others fail spectacularly.
Too often, organizations get caught in a web of sunk cost and can't see their way toward a fresh direction that will make a significant difference. But there are those willing to be bold and find superior results.
Ultimately, the landscape of professional football shifts, with new squads emerging to overtake previous contenders. In order for that to happen this fall, specific new team-ups must fall into place and provide sensational results.
Among each division, a different turn can create a new friendly neighborhood leader.
AFC East: Is Aaron Rodgers Enough to Push Jets Past Rest of Division?
The seemingly endless search to find a franchise quarterback for the New York Jets since Joe Namath left in 1977 has led to Aaron Rodgers. Expectations are enormous with the four-time NFL MVP leading the way.
"Oh, I know he could," Namath told ESPN's Rich Cimini when asked if Rodgers can help Gang Green win a Super Bowl. "Yes, he's capable, absolutely. He can pick that team up. He's one of the best players—one of the greatest players—I've ever seen in my life.
"I've watched him play. I'm a football fan. I've watched him play for the Packers, boy, and I marvel at him. I mean, year in and year out, he continues to make plays."
While the Jets immediately improved after trading for Rodgers, two things must be taken into account.
First, the veteran quarterback turns 40 in December. The Jets simply don't know how long Rodgers will lead their offense. They do know he's set for this season. But an obvious decline in performance can be seen in each of the last two campaigns. His completion percentage, passing yardage, touchdown passes, quarterback rating and QBR progressively decreased.
Second, the AFC East isn't readily available for the taking.
The Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins are coming off playoff years. The Bills are considered a top Super Bowl contender with Josh Allen an MVP candidate and one of the league's deepest rosters. The Dolphins' success hinges on Tua Tagovailoa's health, though the 25-year-old chose a different training regimen this offseason to better protect himself after dealing with concussions last year.
The New England Patriots should be improved as well after replacing the failed experiment of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge designing the offense with Bill O'Brien as play-caller.
Jets fans should be excited, but expectations should also be tempered.
NFC East: Will Eagles Dominance Continue with Two New Coordinators?
As a sign of the Philadelphia Eagles' recent success, last season's offensive and defensive coordinators are now head coaches with other organizations.
A stabilizing presence at head coach with Nick Sirianni coupled with the culture the Eagles built over time will help offset the losses of Shane Steichen and Jonathan Gannon to the Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals, respectively. But a transition will occur with Brian Johnson and Sean Desai taking over those spots.
"Something that we definitely have now is what we had our first year going into it in that we have a little bit of unknown," Sirianni told reporters in February. "Whomever we play in the first game can go and watch some of Sean's stuff from Chicago or even some of the things from Seattle. One thing that we have is some uncertainty again, going into that first game where you hide some things in preseason football.
"Not to give everything away, but what I liked was some of the similarities to things we do, that we've already been doing here on a very successful defense with different coverages, different run blitzes, and things like that."
In Johnson's case, he previously served as the Eagles' quarterbacks coach. He knows the system. He helped in Jalen Hurts' development. However, all play-callers have a different cadence and approach to the position.
Gannon's philosophy centered on dictating where offenses could go with the ball. Desai seems to be more worried about setting the right tone.
"The one thing that we've agreed on and we've talked about as a staff and a group is there's a certain mentality that we want to reflect," Desai said. "I really believe the city's teams got to reflect the city, and we've got some grit, we've got some toughness, we want to be able to impose our will.
"We're not going to take really anything from anybody."
All four NFC East teams finished with a .500 record or better last season. Any regression from the Eagles could very well take them out of the division's pole position.