MNF Schedule: Week 1 To Feature Jets at 49ers With Aaron Rodgers Eyeing Redemption

The first game of the 2024 Monday Night Football schedule will be Jets at 49ers with star quarterback Aaron Rodgers looking for redemption.

The 2024 “Monday Night Football” schedule will start with a bang.

The NFL on Tuesday announced the New York Jets will visit the San Francisco 49ers on Monday, Sept. 9, at 5:20 p.m. ET.

The game will pit the Jets, who’ll enter the season with huge expectations, against the defending NFC champions. The matchup also will mark the return of Aaron Rodgers, who suffered a season-ending Achilles tear in Week 1 last year.

Interesting Jets-49ers Connections

There are more connections than you’d think for two teams that’ll be playing for just the fourth time in 12 years. And it all starts with Rodgers.

Rodgers’ Achilles injury occurred while he was being sacked by defensive end Leonard Floyd, who was playing for the Buffalo Bills. Floyd now plays for the 49ers; so, compare this to when Tom Brady got another crack at facing Bernard Pollard, who infamously tore his ACL during Week 1 of the 2008 season.

But that’s not all. Rodgers grew up a huge 49ers fan and was hopeful that his favorite team would call his name during the 2005 NFL Draft. Before the draft, Rodgers was asked whether he’d be disappointed if the 49ers passed on him.

“Not as disappointed as the 49ers will be that they didn’t draft me,” he said.

Well, San Fran drafted Alex Smith with the first overall pick, and Rodgers waited until the Green Bay Packers selected him at No. 24. In the years since, Rodgers has gone 6-3 against the 49ers in the regular season. However, San Francisco is 4-0 against Rodgers in the playoffs.

Finally, this game will see Jets head coach Robert Saleh return to San Francisco, where he worked as defensive coordinator from 2017 through 2020.

Revisiting the Aaron Rodgers Injury

Rodgers will be on a redemption tour in 2024.

Acquired last offseason in a trade with the Packers, Rodgers was brought to New York with hopes of delivering the Jets their first Super Bowl title since 1969. The hype couldn’t have been any bigger for New York’s 2023 season.

But just four snaps into Rodgers’ Jets career, he suffered a completely torn Achilles while being sacked by Floyd.

The Jets eventually rallied to beat the Bills in Week 1. And, despite miserable quarterback play throughout the season, New York finished with a respectable seven wins, good for third place in the AFC East.

With Zach Wilson unplayable, Rodgers teased a potential late-season return if the Jets were in playoff contention. But New York fell out of the playoff picture during the final month, postponing Rodgers’ Jets return until next season.

But the past is the past. If Rodgers stays healthy — and that’s a big “if” — the Jets’ future could be bright.

Will Jets Make Early Season Statement?

What version of Rodgers will we get in 2024? Will he still be an elite quarterback at 40 years old? We’ll just have to wait and see.

But even if Rodgers is merely above average, the Jets could be contenders in the AFC.

Their defense is legit and could be even better in 2024 without the pressure of carrying a wretched offense. New York also made a solid offseason signing in defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw.

On offense, the Jets signed receiver Mike Williams and filled both their offensive tackle holes by signing Tyron Smith and trading for Morgan Moses. Running back Breece Hall and receiver Garrett Wilson will lead the skill positions. New York also drafted tackle Olu Fashanu, who could beat Smith for the starting left tackle job, and receiver Malachi Corley.

The Jets have a lot to prove, and history suggests they’ll find a way to break their fans’ hearts. But they have all the pieces required to win the AFC East and make a deep playoff run.

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