The NFL schedule-makers didn't seem to be in a gifting mood when crafting the NY Jets' 2022 schedule, as their first nine games aren't exactly a walk in the park.
The Jets are set to face five teams in the first half of the year that appeared in the playoffs last season. With two of those teams being division rivals, it's crucial that the team capitalizes on a few of these early opportunities.
The Jets run through the AFC North gauntlet to begin the season. New York faces the Baltimore Ravens (x), Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals (x), and Pittsburgh Steelers, respectively, throughout the first four weeks of their 2022-23 campaign.
The "x" denotes a 2021 playoff appearance. Gang Green can't afford to come out of the first quarter-or-so of the season with an 0-4 record.
The NY Jets were done no favors by the NFL schedule-makers
Ideally, a Week 1 victory over the Ravens would certainly kick the season off on the right foot. Traveling to Cleveland in hopes of a win is never an easy task in early September, but with the inevitable fate of quarterback Deshaun Watson, the Browns could have a noticeable weak spot on their roster come Week 2.
In Week 3, the Jets head back to MetLife Stadium to take on the Super Bowl-runner-up Bengals, who were one scoring drive away from securing their first-ever championship victory. New York was able to fend off red-hot Cincinnati in Week 8 of last season by a score of 34-31.
It was Mike White vs. Joe Burrow during last year's contest. It will be quarterback Zach Wilson's turn to shock any Bengals fans that end up making the trip out to MetLife in 2022.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are up next in Week 4. No one exactly knows who Pittsburgh plans to start at quarterback to start the season. Whether that be Mitchell Trubisky or rookie Kenny Pickett, the Jets shouldn't have much of a problem combatting either come that time.
New York's next five games are against the Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers (x), Denver Broncos, New England Patriots (x), and Buffalo Bills (x). So, the toughest part of the schedule is still to come after competing against the AFC North.
Expecting the Jets, as young as they are, to come out of their first nine contests with a positive record may be a bit too much to ask, but, the second half of the season, on paper, lightens up.
If the NY Jets can come out of the first half of the season alive, playoff-wise, it could make for an interesting winter for the organization.