After a roller-coaster offseason, New York Jets fans should be looking forward to the 2019 regular season, and these five matchups are the best of the bunch.
The New York Jets season is just mere months away, and after a re-tooling of the roster this off-season, the team heads into the 2019 season with great confidence. With Sam Darnold, Jamal Adams, Le’veon Bell and other stars leading the way, this team could surprise a lot of people and make a push this year, and if they are to do it, they’ll have to win the big moments and the big games.
As the NFL season is so short compared to the other 3 major sports, each game is vital to a team’s success, but throughout the year, there are certain games that mean just a little bit more. Whether it be a revenge game, a divisional matchup or the combination of both, the Jets have plenty to prove in 2019, and winning these 5 games could be the key to proving that the team is here to stay.
Week 2: Cleveland Browns @ New York Jets (Monday Night Football)
A year ago, the Browns and Jets became intertwined when they drafted the 2 top QB’s in Baker Bayfield and Sam Darnold, and their clash in Week 3 further cemented that link. It was the career debut of Mayfield, and while both Darnold and Baker got better as the year went on, they both showed flashes of greatness in this contest.
Since this point, both teams have got exponentially better, with the acquisitions of Le’veon Bell, Odell Beckham, C.J Mosely and Olivier Vernon (among others), and they’re ready to do it again. This time in primetime, the two will face off, and while many are pegging the Browns as Super Bowl contenders, they better not overlook Gang Green.
Both teams have talent at every level, and despite being the underdogs, it will be one where the Jets put up a big battle. The Browns may take a few weeks to get the chemistry rolling with all of their big names, and if the Jets can score a win in Week 2, it will put the entire NFL on notice.
Next: Week 7 vs. NE
Week 7: New England Patriots @ New York Jets (Monday Night Football)
The New England Patriots have famously dominated the AFC East for over 2 decades now, and for the first time in years, there may be a team coming together that can dethrone the ageing Pats. Tom Brady won’t play forever, and with the brutal defense the Jets are creating, they could be the team to knock them off, and while it may not happen in 2019, this is a great game to put them on notice.
With a new coach behind Sam Darnold, and a plethora of new weapons, the team will fare much better than their last matchup with New England, and in the friendly confines of MetLife, this will be a fun game to watch. Coming off another Super Bowl victory, this will be a statement game for the Patriots, but if the Jets can keep it close, it will give them confidence heading into the back half of the 2019 season, and if they do pull off the major upset, it will give the team the belief in themselves that they need.
Next: Week 10 vs. NYG
Week 10: New York Giants @ New York Jets
Since 1999, the Jets and Giants have only played once every 4 years, and with the dominance of New York in the balance, the Jets are ready to take over. Sure, the Giants haven’t been good for a few years now, but they have brought 2 Super Bowls to New York in the past 15 years, and with a younger, hungrier roster, the Jets are ready to make a huge statement.
It probably won’t be as close as the other 4 games we’ve listed here, but the Jets are trying to change the culture and perception of the team, and a victory over the team whose stadium they share would go a long way to doing that. It’s not a guaranteed win, because this team is still young and learning to play together, but it’s one that will mean a lot to Gang Green and the fans.
Next: Week 16 vs. PIT
Week 16: Pittsburgh Steelers @ New York Jets
The Jets and the Steelers have played some great games over the past few years, dating back to the AFC Championship game of 2010/11, but this one may have some more animosity in it. This will be Le’veon Bell’s first time opposing the team he became a star with, and he’ll no doubt be out to prove a point when Pittsburgh visit MetLife Stadium.
Both teams are looking to make a push for the playoffs in 2019, but given the considerable competition within their respective divisions, this game will be a must-win for both teams down the stretch. There was no shortage of drama during Le’Veon Bell’s time in Pittsburgh either, and he won’t have forgotten how he was treated on the way out, so a win here is crucial for the team and to rally around Bell, so this is must-see.
Next: Week 17 vs. BUF
Week 17: New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills
The last time the Jets were in striking distance of the playoffs with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm, it came crashing down in Buffalo, and this year, the team could be faced with the very same scenario. If the Jets struggle in 2019 and are out of striking distance of the playoffs, this will be just another game, but given the confidence of the team and the fierce competition in the AFC, this scenario is entirely plausible.
Both teams have the same goal: knock off the Patriots, and with two young studs at the helm, it’s possible that both teams could be looking for a Wild Card berth in this game. This is always a fun, hard fought rivalry, and with both teams gearing up to be contenders for the long haul, it could be one of the AFC East’s top rivalries for years to come, and in 2019, they could have the game that re-ignites this rivalry, and sets the stage for the future of the AFC East.