Now that it's been announced, here are some quick-hit thoughts on the Jets' schedule which, in case you missed it, looks like this:
- News broke shortly after the announcement that the Bills will be a 5.5-point favorite for the opener against the Jets. What about the rest of the games, though? Could the Jets be the underdog in all of them? Recent power rankings from both CBS and ESPN have all of the Jets' 2020 opponents above them, so if that holds, they might be about to go winless. At least in NFL.com's latest power rankings, they were ahead of the Chargers, Cardinals and Dolphins, so that would be four wins if they can't score any upsets.
- As many have noted, the home-and-home series against Miami is an unusual quirk. The last time this happened was when the '91 Chargers and Seahawks split two games with the home team winning each time. Neither team made the playoffs although Seattle was 6-6 until they lost three in a row to drop out of contention. This hasn't happened to the Jets since 1966, although according to Randy Lange, Ray Lucas led the Jets to two wins in three weeks over Miami in 1999 - this time sandwiching a game against Dallas. The Jets did get regular season and postseason wins over the Bengals in back-to-back weeks at the end of the 2009 season.
- The league reportedly agreed to Joe Douglas' request to group together two of their west coast games so they can stay out west to cut down on travel time. Apparently 2020 represents the most travel miles in team history apart from 2008, although maybe that doesn't take into account not having to fly home in between these two. When Douglas was still with the Eagles they did the same thing and did indeed win the second of the two games (having lost the first). That was also the game where Carson Wentz tore his ACL and Nick Foles took over. They didn't lose again other than in the last regular season game as they rested starters, going on to capture the franchise's first Super Bowl.
- The Jets' weird Sunday Night Football drought continues. In 2011, the Jets were on Sunday Night Football three times. Since then, they've haven't been on there once. They did get flexed out of there on two occasions and also the infamous Thanksgiving blowout against New England was the SNF crew, albeit on a Thursday. And that was still 2012 anyway. People wonder why some of PFF's Jets takes are weird? Maybe it's because their head honcho never gets to see them play!
- The long and the short of it? The Jets have just two games where they're on a short week. The first is the Denver game where both teams are on a short week but Denver will have to travel back from Colorado on Sunday whereas the Jets only have to travel back from Indiana. The other is the first Miami game, which comes after the Jets play on Monday night, but that's almost cancelled out by the fact Miami will be travelling back from the west coast having played on the Sunday. After the Denver Thursday game the Jets will have the advantage over the Cardinals with extra time to prepare. The long week heading into the Monday night game against New England is the same for both teams. The Jets also don't face anyone coming off their bye (apart from when they and Miami face each other coming off the bye), although that second Buffalo game will see the Bills coming off a long week.
- One thing counteracting all of the traveling is that the Jets will face three west coast teams in early games. The 49ers in week two, Cardinals in week five and Raiders in week 13 will all kick off against the Jets at a time equivalent to 10 am local for them. With the Cardinals game already seeing the Jets at an advantage due to the long week of preparation, they'll have a few things working in their favor for a game that might be a must-win since the first few games are tough. That Raiders game is crucial too, because the last four games look tricky.
- Some of the newer Jets will get a chance to suit up against their old teammates. You can bet Connor McGovern, George Fant and the slew of former Indianapolis defensive backs have circled the Broncos, Seahawks and Colts games on their calendars.
- Finally, let's go team-by-team and briefly summarize the key change to their team since last season
Bills: Stefon Diggs
49ers: Trent Williams
Colts: Phil Rivers
Denver: Jerry Jeudy
Cardinals: Nuk Hopkins
Chargers: Justin Herbert
Chiefs: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
Patriots: The loss of Tom Brady
Dolphins: Adding Kyle Van Noy, Shaq Lawson and Byron Jones on defense
Raiders: Moving to Vegas
Seahawks: Greg Olsen
Rams: The loss of Brandin Cooks, Todd Gurley and Dante Fowler
Browns: Jack Conklin