Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets to visit San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football in Week 1

ByRich Cimini ESPN logo
Tuesday, May 14, 2024
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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's 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 defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs.

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 Cal-Berkeley. In 2005, Rodgers 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' post 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.