The NY Jets have been given a significantly harder schedule this year than last season. We take a look at the three biggest takeaways from their 2020 schedule.
The NY Jets have been given the unfortunate honor of hosting one of the most difficult schedules in 2020. Well, at least that seems to be the case based on early projections.
Based on 2019 winning percentages, only the New England Patriots have been given a tougher slate of games in 2020. In fact, the entire AFC East falls in the top-five certainty helped by matchups against the stacked NFC West — we’ll get to that.
Despite making some improvements in the offseason, it will undoubtedly be a tall task to ask the Jets to climb back to their seven-win mark from last season. Of course, anything is possible and as we see every year, preseason projections don’t mean much.
But after knowing the difficult opponents awaiting the Jets in 2020, fans were eager to learn the order of those matchups and just how challenging the schedule could be.
The NFL’s official schedule release last Thursday gave everyone a glimpse of what was to come. Game times, home/away splits, and matchup order were just a few things that were revealed this past week.
We take a look at the three biggest takeaways from the Jets 2020 schedule reveal.
Next: 3. Primetime home games might not matter
3. Primetime home games might not matter
The Jets were given a total of three primetime games last season — two of which were home. All of which resulted in pretty lopsided losses.
This year, the Jets’ primetime total dropped to only two games, but they will, in fact, be hosting both of them.
The Jets will play host to the Denver Broncos early in the season in a Week 4 Thursday Night Football matchup. And then, they’ll once again host the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football in their Week 9 meeting.
The later will be the team’s attempt at revenge after last year’s Monday night debacle. The less said about that game, the better.
While it seems great on paper to have both primetime games be in their own backyard, it might not mean much in the end. After all, we’re still not sure how exactly this upcoming NFL season is going to work.
Even if these games happen, there’s still a decent chance that they’re played in front of an empty stadium. And if there are no fans, home-field advantage is almost meaningless.
Sure, it might still matter a bit for the Broncos who will be traveling out east on a short week. But it would be essentially futile for the Patriots game.
On the surface, it seems great that the Jets have both of their primetime games this season at home. But it remains to be seen whether that will actually end up mattering or not.
Next: 2. Jets play Miami twice in a row
2. Jets play Miami twice in a row
The Jets and Miami Dolphins will have one of the oddest quirks in their respective schedules this season when they do something that hasn’t been in nearly 30 years.
The two AFC East rivals will square off at Hard Rock Stadium in Week 10 before both teams take a week off enjoying their respective byes. But when they return, the Jets and Dolphins will once again meet in a Week 12 matchup.
That effectively means that the Jets and Dolphins will each play each other in back-to-back games only separated by a bye week. As NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported, this hasn’t happened since the San Diego Chargers and Seattle Seahawks did so back in 1991.
It’s a scheduling peculiarity that seems to me straight out of Madden, but it’s reality. And it remains to be seen how it will affect the teams.
After playing each other in Miami in Week 10, the two squads will have an extra week to prepare for each other when they return to MetLife Stadium in Week 12. Naturally, one would assume the Jets, being at home, would have the advantage in the second matchup.
But could the extra week level the playing field? What about the possibility of no fans?
No one really knows, but it is clear that neither of these games should be considered “gimmes” for the Jets. After all, they narrowly avoided being swept by the Dolphins in the season series in 2019.
And Miami looks like an infinitely better team on paper this year.
We’ll see how this plays out, but it certainly will be an odd few weeks for these two teams.
Next: 1. Late-season West Coast road trip
1. Late-season West Coast road trip
Arguably the hardest part of the schedule that Jets fans were aware of going into Thursday was the guaranteed two road games against NFC West opponents. An already stacked division was going to play host to the Jets two times no matter the order of the schedule.
Fortunately for the Jets, those two games will be played in consecutive weeks.
The Jets will travel to CenturyLink Field to take on the Seattle Seahawks in Week 14 before heading down south to battle the Los Angeles Rams in the brand new SoFi Stadium in Week 15.
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While neither will be an easy matchup, it does work in the Jets favor that the two games will be consecutive. Rather than make an additional trip out west, the Jets will be able to get it over with in one two-week road trip.
This will be the second time the Jets travel to the West Coast after taking on the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 6 earlier in the year. But it would have been much worse if the Jets were forced to make three West Coast trips over the course of a 16-game season.
Now, playing the Seahawks in Seattle is always a difficult game and it stands as one of the toughest on the Jets’ schedule. But perhaps the team could steal a win in Los Angeles when they take on a Rams team that looks much worse on paper than in recent years.
It’s likely that the Jets will opt to stay out west between the two games as opposed to returning home in between. That will give the players enough time to adjust to the time difference and avoid being jet-lagged — no pun intended.
The trips out west were always going to be difficult, but the Jets caught a break with this fortuitous scheduling.