Aaron Rodgers, Jets to visit 49ers on MNF in Week 1

ByRich Cimini ESPN logo
Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Aaron Rodgers' comeback season will open in prime time, as the New York Jets will travel to the San Francisco 49ers to face the defending NFC champions Sept. 9 on ESPN's "Monday Night Football," it was announced Tuesday morning.

This marks the second straight season that Rodgers and the Jets will play a prime-time game in Week 1. His Jets debut last Sept. 11 turned into a season-altering disaster for the Jets, as the four-time MVP tore his left Achilles on the fourth snap and missed the remainder of the season.

It was also announced Tuesday that the Buffalo Bills will play at the Miami Dolphins on Thursday night, Sept. 12, to open Week 2. The game will air on Amazon Prime.

The game between the Jets and 49ers will feature a fascinating quarterback matchup, as Rodgers squares off against Brock Purdy, the 2022 Mr. Irrelevant who has turned into one of the NFL's biggest success stories. The 49ers are coming off a crushing defeat in Super Bowl LVIII, a 25-22 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

In a twist of fate, the 49ers signed defensive end Leonard Floyd in the offseason. It was Floyd, playing for the Bills, who sacked Rodgers on the play that ruptured his Achilles.

The Jets are coming off a 7-10 season that was marred by quarterback instability.

Rodgers has a 6-3 career mark against the 49ers. This is a homecoming of sorts for Rodgers, who grew up in Chico, California, and attended UC Berkeley. In 2005, Rodgers had thought there was a chance he'd be drafted first overall by the 49ers, but they opted for Alex Smith.

The two coaching staffs have strong ties. Jets coach Robert Saleh served as the 49ers' defensive coordinator under Kyle Shanahan before taking the Jets job in 2021. Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich is a former 49ers linebacker whom the 49ers showed interest in hiring as their defensive coordinator after last season.

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