After months of buildup, quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw his first passes as a member of the New York Jets during their preseason game against the New York Giants. While 8 passes is a small sample size to say the least and teams typically opt to avoid exposing too much of their scheme in preseason games, these passes still constitute his full body of televised work from the 2023 offseason. Thus, I thought they were cool to see and I thought others might too.
All in all, Rodgers wound up with a final stat line of 5 completions on 8 passes for 47 yards and 1 touchdown; all of this earned him a passer rating of 118.2.
In analyzing these passes, a few things jumped out at me.
First, Rodgers seems to have a lot of faith in wide receiver Garrett Wilson. Within these 8 attempts, he threw 2 contested passes (including a touchdown) to Garrett Wilson, which is a pretty high amount given the sample size.
Second, the quick pass was a big aspect of the offense in this game. Specifically, all 5 of his completions were seemingly delivered to his first read. Of note, Zach Wilson’s time to throw was also very fast this preseason, giving reason to think this may simply be a staple of their planned offensive scheme. This would also make some sense given recent concerns about the quality of the Jets offensive line, whose impact can be mitigated through a faster paced passing attack that limits the time that rushers have to get to Rodgers.
Third, Rodgers might not have the great athleticism that he used to have, but he’s still plenty mobile. At around the 55 second mark Rodgers breaks free of the pocket and extends a play long enough to throw it away. While he does not even remotely resemble a super athletic quarterback like Justin Fields of the Chicago Bears, Rodgers isn’t a statue back there despite being a bit long in the tooth at 39 years old.
All in all, the biggest thing from this game is that Rodgers exited the contest healthy. Aside from that, we saw a few glimpses of what could be a rather effective offense that is more than able to pull its own weight with a very strong defense to complement it.