Aaron Rodgers throws TD pass in brief preseason debut as Jets beat Giants 32-24


He went 5 for 8 for 47 yards and the score in his two series before Zach Wilson replaced him.

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers calls out a play during the first half of Saturday’s preseason finale against the New York Giants in East Rutherford, N.J. Adam Hunger/AP Photo

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Aaron Rodgers threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson to cap the second and final series of his preseason debut with the New York Jets, helping his new squad to a 32-24 victory over the Giants on Saturday night.

Wearing his white No. 8 Jets jersey and playing in the preseason for the first time since 2018 when he was with Green Bay, the four-time NFL MVP came out throwing in the regular-season tuneup against the Giants’ backups.

After completing three of his five passes for 23 yards on his first drive, Rodgers opened the next series for the Jets (2-2) with a handoff to Michael Carter and then overthrew C.J. Uzomah. His toss on third down fell incomplete to Wilson, but Amani Oruwariye was called for pass interference — putting the ball at the Giants 24.

Rodgers then completed a 10-yard quick toss to Mecole Hardman. He followed with a perfectly placed pass to Wilson in the front left corner of the end zone with 8:23 left in the opening quarter that gave the Jets a 7-0 lead over the Giants (1-2), who were the home New York team at MetLife Stadium.

That was it for Rodgers, who went 5 for 8 for 47 yards and the TD in his two series before being replaced by Zach Wilson. Three of Rodgers’ five completions were to Garrett Wilson, the reigning AP Offensive Rookie of the Year who has built a quick rapport with the veteran quarterback.

And Jets fans, many of whom were anxious about Rodgers playing in a preseason game, could breathe a sigh of relief.

Rodgers’ next appearance will be the regular-season opener against the visiting AFC East rival Buffalo Bills on Sept. 11.

The last preseason game in which Rodgers played was Aug. 16, 2018, when he started and went 2 of 4 for 35 yards and a touchdown in his one series against Pittsburgh.

Brandin Echols ended the Giants’ third offensive series by intercepting Tommy DeVito and returning it 67 yards for a touchdown.

The play, which withstood a video review to see if the third-year cornerback was down after the pickoff, gave the Jets a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.

Echols is suspended for the first game of the regular season for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

DeVito, the third-stringer behind starter Daniel Jones and backup Tyrod Taylor, redeemed himself for the pick-6 by leading the Giants on an impressive drive two series later.

Jashaun Corbin had a 1-yard TD run with 8:27 left in the opening half to cut the Giants’ deficit to 14-7. DeVito and the Giants converted four third-down plays on the drive that went 81 yards on 14 plays over 6:25.

DeVito, an undrafted rookie from Illinois, finished 19 of 29 for 210 yards, including a late 30-yard TD pass to David Sills.

Graham Gano kicked field goals of 57, 40 and 56 yards for the Giants, making him 6 for 6 on goal attempts in the preseason — each from 40 or more yards.

Giants linebacker Isaiah Simmons started for his new team just two days after being acquired from Arizona.

The No. 8 overall pick in the 2020 draft, who had three lackluster seasons with the Cardinals, nearly had a sack of Rodgers on the Jets’ opening series. Rodgers was forced to throw the ball away on the third-down play and the Jets had to punt.