Aaron Rodgers made a two-drive cameo in his unofficial New York Jets debut
Aaron Rodgers donned his New York Jets uniform for the first time on Saturday. Rodgers’ self-insertion into the Jets’ 2023 preseason finale against the New York Giants was seen as controversial by some but his two drives should provide countless dreams for Gang Green’s downtrodden fanbase.
Unusual as it may be for the broad football fan to see Rodgers wear a new shade of green, he showed signs of the quarterback that had manned the Green Bay Packers’ aerial attack over the past 18 years.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) August 26, 2023
In what Jets fans certainly hope is the first of hundreds of connections between Rodgers and Garrett Wilson, the Jets earned 10 yards on the former’s first unofficial metropolitan snap, catching the inaugural throw behind the line of scrimmage. Fifteen yards were added to the tally when tackler Zyon Gilbert was caught holding Wilson’s facemask.
Further momentum was stifled on the very next play, as a 14-yard tally between Rodgers and Tyler Conklin was erased by a blindside block penalty against his old and new teammate Randall Cobb. He then found Wilson again to erase six yards on the 15-yard, spot-of-the-foul penalty but was forced to scramble when the new New Yorker, Isaiah Simmons, pressured him into a sidearm throwaway.
New Giants LB, Isaiah Simmons (#46) with the near sack on Aaron Rodgers. His speed and burst can be dangerous in Wink Martindale’s defense.
— Full-Time Dame 💰 (@DP_NFL) August 26, 2023
Rodgers was granted a second series after his defense forced a quick three-and-out, a trio highlighted by a Jermaine Johnson sack of Tyrod Taylor.
Set up handsomely by Xavier Gipson’s 20-yard punt return to the cusp of midfield, Rodgers needed only four more plays to put Jets’ fan fantasies in overdrive. Further assisted by a 22-yard pass interference penalty, Rodgers then perfectly placed a 14-yard toss into the arms of Wilson, giving the Jets an early lead.
🚨AARON RODGERS 1st JETS TD🚨
— NFL (@NFL) August 26, 2023
Rodgers ended his day with a line of 5-of-8 for 47 yards and the aforementioned score to Wilson. The unrelated Zach Wilson took over for the Jets’ third drive of the evening, ending Rodgers’ first preseason appearance since 2018.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags