Today’s announcement was all about the when. It’s not like we didn’t know who the New York Jets were going to play this season; we even knew which games were home, and which were away. As always, six of the ten games are against divisional foes (three at home, three on the road), but WHEN each game is played could help or hurt a team. Let’s take a look at the Jets sixteen regular season games:
The New England Patriots have won yet another AFC East division title (sweeping the Jets 29-26 & 49-19), but this year will be different for one of the league’s top teams and perennial Super Bowl contender. The Pats and Tom Brady will be without Wes Welker, as he gets used to catching passes from Peyton Manning as a member of the Denver Broncos. Brady will need to develop a new security blanket to convert all those third and shorts. He’s got athletes like TE Rob Gronkowski and TE Aaron Hernandez on the field, so I don’t anticipate too many problems for the NFL’s GQ…QB! The Jets will play the Patriots at Foxboro in WEEK 2 on Thursday Night Football (9/12), and at MetLife Stadium in WEEK 7 (10/20).
The Miami Dolphins have gone from cellar-dwellers to competitive in a flash, thanks for most part to the play of Ryan Tannehill (Almost 3,300 yards & 12 TDs, but 13 INTs). Now entering his second year, he’ll be expected to put up better numbers with the addition of WR Mike Wallace. The former Pittsburgh Steelers WR will stretch the field and give Tannehill a legitimate number one receiver for the first time! The Jets took the first encounter last season 23-20, but lost the rematch 30-9. The Jets will play the Dolphins at MetLife in WEEK 13 (12/1), and on the road to close the season WEEK 17 (12/29).
Just when you thought it was safe to pencil in two victories against the Buffalo Bills after the release of Ryan Fitzpatrick, in comes Kevin Kolb to challenge for the starting job at QB! The Bills have the kind of ground game a “ground and pound” team would be jealous of, and if Kolb can catch fire in Buffalo, the Jets will find it hard to take any games from them this season. The Jets split with the Bills last season, winning impressively in the first game if the season (48-28), but showing very little fight in the season finale (28-9). The Jets will play the Bills at home in WEEK 3 (9/22), and on the road in WEEK 11 (11/17).
The Tampa Bay Bucs (9/08; WEEK 1), New Orleans Saints (11/3; WEEK 9), Cleveland Browns (12/22; WEEK 16), Pittsburgh Steelers (10/13; WEEK 6) & Oakland Raiders (12/8; WEEK 14) will make trips to MetLife Stadium this season. All will be hoping to make a return trip to the Big Apple, as the Super Bowl will call New York/New Jersey its home in February 2014.
The Jets hit the road to take on the Tennessee Titans (9/29; WEEK 4), Carolina Panthers (12/15; WEEK 15), Baltimore Ravens (11/24; WEEK 12), Cincinnati Bengals (10/27; WEEK 8) and the Atlanta Falcons (10/07; WEEK 5 on Monday Night Football). The Jets won’t have a bye until WEEK 10, and by that time, the 2014 season may be all but over for the Green and White.
-Joseph Haas Editor, HCoftheNYJ.com
Join the conversation on Twitter @JerseyHaas or send me an e-mail JosephHaasNFL@Gmail.com. You can also find me at HaasStyleInterpretations.com commenting on some of today’s interesting topics in sports.