New York Jets schedule 2024: Takeaways, predictions – ESPN

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The New York Jets‘ 2024 schedule was released along with the rest of the NFL slate Wednesday:

The Aaron Rodgers effect is real. Yes, still. The Jets have six prime-time games, the maximum allowed by the league, plus another standalone game in London against the Vikings. We’re talking seven standalone games in the first 11 weeks of the season. Clearly, the networks are betting that the 40-year-old quarterback will stay on the field after missing all but four snaps last season because of a torn Achilles.

No doubt, ownership and the marketing department love the national exposure, but it puts added stress on the football operation, especially with the prime-time games creating four short weeks. The Jets also don’t have a bye week after their trip to London. (Presumably, that was by team request. In the past, the league has given teams the option of having the bye right after the London game.) Looking at the bright side, this will give them plenty of chances to bust a recent trend. They were 1-4 in prime time last season and have dropped 12 of their past 13 prime-time games, dating to 2018.

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Here’s what’s in store for the Jets:

  • Week 1: Sept. 9 at San Francisco (MNF)

  • Week 2: Sept. 15 at Tennessee

  • Week 3: Sept. 19 vs. New England (TNF)

  • Week 4: Sept. 29 vs. Denver

  • Week 5: Oct. 6 at Minnesota (London)

  • Week 6: Oct. 14 vs. Buffalo (MNF)

  • Week 7: Oct. 20 at Pittsburgh (SNF)

  • Week 8: Oct. 27 at New England

  • Week 9: Oct. 31 vs. Houston (TNF)

  • Week 10: Nov. 10 at Arizona

  • Week 11: Nov. 17 vs. Indianapolis (SNF)

  • Week 12: BYE

  • Week 13: Dec. 1 vs. Seattle

  • Week 14: Dec. 8 at Miami

  • Week 15: Dec. 15 at Jacksonville

  • Week 16: Dec. 22 vs. Los Angeles Rams

  • Week 17: Dec. 29 at Buffalo

  • Week 18: TBD vs. Miami

Strength of schedule: The Jets’ schedule is tied for the 12th-hardest in the league (opponents had a .505 winning percentage in 2023).

Over/under: 9.5 wins

Biggest takeaway

The Jets get their toughest opponent out of the way early. The 49ers pose many problems, especially with their Nick Bosa-led defensive front. Their front four now includes Leonard Floyd, who will live infamously in Jets lore — the player who sacked Rodgers on the play he was injured. Veteran tackles Tyron Smith and Morgan Moses were acquired for matchups like this. Rodgers will face some of the league’s toughest defenses in his comeback season. The Jets have seven games against teams that were ranked in the top 11 in defensive expected points added — the Patriots (twice), Bills (twice), 49ers, Steelers and Jaguars.

Revenge game

Both games against the Dolphins. Why? Because the Jets were swept last season in embarrassing fashion, losing by a combined 64-13. It was so ugly that, in the NFL’s first Black Friday game, the Jets watched in disbelief as the Dolphins scored a pick-six — on a Hail Mary! Maybe Rodgers can change the mojo. In the past three meetings against Miami (all losses), the Jets started Joe Flacco, Tim Boyle and Zach Wilson — all backups. For Flacco and Wilson, it was their last game in a Jets uniform. For Boyle, it was the next to last. The season finale could be massively important for coach Robert Saleh, who is entering a make-or-break year.

Bold prediction

After a tough opener, the Jets will ride their highly touted defense to a 4-1 start. Check out the teams/quarterbacks they face in Weeks 2-5 — the Titans (Will Levis), Patriots (Jacoby Brissett or rookie Drake Maye), Broncos (rookie Bo Nix or Jarrett Stidham or Zach Wilson) and Vikings (Sam Darnold or rookie J.J. McCarthy). Conceivably, the Jets could face three rookies who will be playing away from their home stadiums. The Jets have been known to frustrate some of the league’s elite quarterbacks; they should be able to chew up this group of neophytes and placeholders. This should take some pressure off the Rodgers-led offense as it jells early in the season.

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