The New York Jets have the second-toughest NFL 2020 schedule based on winning percentages from last season. Eagle-eyed punters ready for more PA sports betting this year will have already noticed that the Jets will face all four teams who have competed in the two most recent Super Bowls.
The good news is that they will finally go against a Patriots team without star quarterback Tom Brady, while New England, the Miami Dolphins, and the Buffalo Bills are also in the top five for toughest schedules on paper.
That means a 9-7 record for the Jets, which would be just a minor improvement on last year’s 7-9 record, could be enough for them to top AFC East. Here are all of the pivotal weeks and clashes that could make or break their season.
Week 1 - at Bills
The Jets hit the ground running with a tough match against the Bills, who have leapfrogged the Patriots as AFC East favorites, according to Hall of Famer, Jim Kelly, who believes “something’s wrong” if they don’t win the division. This is the third time in four years that the Jets have opened against the Bills, and it will be a useful yardstick for their season.
Week 2 - 49ers
It doesn’t get any easier a week later as the San Francisco 49ers, defending NFC champions, rock up to MetLife Stadium with Nick Bosa and Jimmy Garopppolo in tow. It will be the first time since 2012 that the Jets have hosted The Niners.
Week 3 - at Colts
The Jets could be 0-2 after the first two-game weeks, so a victory at a Colts team led by veteran quarterback Phillip Rivers will be crucial if they are to have any chance of making a mark in AFC East.
Week 4 - Broncos
The Broncos will venture to MetLife just five days after the trip to the Colts. Denver made some smart moves in the NFL Draft with wide receivers Jerry Jeudy, and KJ Hamler expected to run the channels for second season QB Drew Lock.
Week 5 - Cardinals
The Cardinals are tipped to improve this term with outside linebacker Chandler Jones, quarterback Kyler Murray and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins expected to spearhead a strong campaign in NFC West.
Week 6 - at Chargers
The Jets start a run of three west coast games at the Chargers who could line up with either Tyrod Taylor or newbie Justin Herbert in the QB role.
Week 7 - Bills
The AFC East series with the Bills will wrap up early in 2020. Both teams won the road game last term. This will give a good indication of which team could be the division leader moving forward.
Week 8 - at Chiefs
The Jets face the daunting prospect of going on the road to take on Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs. It will also be the first time they have faced Patrick Mahomes. Chiefs have an excellent home record, so this is undoubtedly the toughest game on paper.
Week 9 - Patriots
It has been more than a decade since the Jets have played a Patriots team without Tom Brady, not that they need any additional incentive for revenge after the 0-33 drumming on “Monday Night Football” in November 2019.
Week 10 - at Dolphins
The Jets’ loss to the Dolphins last year was another low point. Miami only recorded five wins in 2019, but an extremely busy Draft that saw them secure five picks in the first two rounds has raised hopes of a better campaign this time around.
Week 12 - Dolphins
After a bye in Week 11, the Jets host the Dolphins in the first consecutive match up between two NFL teams for almost three decades.
Week 13 - Raiders
After being reminded of a few severe defeats, The Jets will be energized by their notable win over the Oakland Raiders last term. This will be the debut matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders following the offseason move from Oakland Coliseum.
Week 14 – at Seahawks
CenturyLink Field is notoriously one of the most difficult places for visiting teams to go with the vociferous home support the Seahawks receive and couple that with the long travel time, this is certainly one of the trickiest games of the season for this young Jets side.
Week 15 - at Rams
There will be two West coast games in succession in Week 14 (Seahawks) and Week 15. The second leg of that trip will see the Jets take on a Rams team who narrowly missed out a playoff berth last year.
Week 16 - Browns
Jets quarterback Sam Darnold will go up against 2018 Draft counterpart Baker Mayfield in a post-Christmas clash on home soil. Familiar bedfellows now, the Jets have played the Browns in each of the last five seasons.
Week 17 - at Patriots
A classic season closer for the Jets as they go up against a Brady-less Patriots. The Jets have not advanced to the play-offs for nine seasons. Can they finally end that hoodoo with a memorable win in Foxborough?