NFL finally explains handing Jets loaded primetime schedule early in 2024

The Jets will be on national TV quite often.
New York Jets v Miami Dolphins
New York Jets v Miami Dolphins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

The NY Jets were one of the most frustrating experiments in all of football last year. Not only was their offense pitiful after Aaron Rodgers suffered his Achilles injury, but the Jets were in primetime seemingly every week due to the expectation of the future Hall of Famer playing quarterback.

With Rodgers recovered and Zach Wilson in Denver, the NFL is leaning into the star power Rodgers brings to the table, the power of the New York market, and highlighting one of the best rosters in the NFL carrying interest in their primetime windows.

The Jets play six night games within their first 11 weeks (in addition to a standalone 9:30 AM game in London), setting a record since the NFL's merger. NFL VP of broadcast planning Mike North is once again rolling the dice, trusting that a healthy Rodgers will be ratings gold. North implied the Jets need to make up for their lackluster 2023 season.

"Yes, it's an awful lot of prime-time games early in the season, but, obviously, I feel like Jets kind of owe us one," North said. "When we had this conversation a year ago, we were all-in on the Jets, and for that guy to last four plays was disheartening for many of us...when [broadcast partners] came to us early in the process talking about what storylines they want to focus on early in the season, obviously Aaron Rodgers' return was a key one for everybody."

NFL says Jets "owe us one" with heavy primetime schedule after Aaron Rodgers injury

The Jets will begin the season on the road against the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football in what will likely be their most difficult matchup of the season. After a Thursday duel with the New England Patriots in Week 3, the schedule will become a gauntlet of primetime matchups.

Counting the London excursion against the Minnesota Vikings, the Jets will play four standalone games out of five in October during primetime windows. These include back-to-back games against the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night and Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night prior to a rematch against the Houston Texans on Halloween Thursday.

If everything goes according to plan, the Jets should a primetime darling due to their combination of electric aesthetics and competitiveness. This is placing a ton of responsibility on Rodgers' shoulders, but that's not too far off from what the Jets are asking him to do for their offense.