Aaron Rodgers exits, but Jets stun Bills on OT punt return

Field Level Media
We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen avoids the tackle by Jets Nathan Shepherd.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen avoids the tackle by Jets Nathan Shepherd.

Xavier Gipson returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown 58 seconds into overtime and the New York Jets overcame the loss of Aaron Rodgers to record a 22-16 victory over the Buffalo Bills in the season opener for both teams on Monday night at East Rutherford, N.J.

Gipson, an undrafted rookie from Stephen F. Austin, became the hero on a night in which things started horribly for the Jets.


On just his fourth snap with New York after being obtained from the Green Bay Packers in the offseason, Rodgers sustained a left ankle injury when sacked by Bills defensive end Leonard Floyd for a 10-yard loss with 10:56 left in the first quarter.

Rodgers was ruled out a short time later and X-rays were negative. Zach Wilson, the Jets' primary quarterback the past two years, returned to the role and completed 14 of 21 passes for 140 yards, one touchdown and one interception.


Garrett Wilson had a spectacular scoring reception for the Jets, Greg Zuerlein kicked three field goals and Jordan Whitehead collected a career-best three interceptions. Breece Hall rushed for 127 yards on 10 carries.

Buffalo's Tyler Bass kicked a 50-yard field goal with two seconds left in regulation to force overtime. The ball caromed off the left upright and went through.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw for 236 yards and one touchdown on 29-of-41 passing. However, Allen (three interceptions, one lost fumble) matched his career worst of four turnovers and his offense went three-and-out to start overtime before Gipson's return down the left sideline.

Stefon Diggs had 10 receptions for 102 yards and a score for the Bills.

Whitehead's third interception gave New York possession at its own 43 with 9:43 left in regulation. Later, on second-and-goal from the 3, Garrett Wilson made an acrobatic touchdown grab to tie the score at 13 with 4:55 remaining.


On the Bills' next play from scrimmage, Allen lost a fumble and Quinnen Williams recovered to set the Jets up at the Buffalo 27 with 4:47 left.

Eight plays later, Zuerlein booted a 30-yard field goal to give New York its first lead at 16-13 with 1:48 left.


Buffalo scored first on Bass' 40-yard field goal with 3:05 remaining in the first quarter.

Hall broke loose on an 83-yard run for the Jets to set up Zuerlein for a 26-yard tying field goal with 10:35 left in the first half.


The Bills answered Allen's 5-yard scoring pass to Diggs with 4:43 left in the half. Bass tacked on a 34-yard field with 17 seconds left to give Buffalo a 13-3 halftime edge.

Zuerlein kicked a 43-yard field goal with 8:59 left in the third quarter to cut New York's deficit to 13-6.


—Field Level Media