The Jets weren’t a playoff team in 2015 despite a franchise-record 31 touchdown passes thrown by Ryan Fitzpatrick. And now, they’re about to face a much tougher NFL schedule.
For only the third time in franchise history, the Jets have five prime-time games in a season. Six of their first nine games are on the road.
For the second straight year, they will end the regular season against their former coach Rex Ryan and the Bills. But before Todd Bowles’ team can worry about the end of their schedule, it first must contend with a daunting first-half stretch.
The Jets, who open at home against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 11, face four straight playoff teams between Weeks 4-7: the Chiefs, Seahawks, Steelers and Cardinals.
Two of their five prime-time games are Monday Night Football contests (at Arizona on Oct. 17 and at home against Indianapolis on Dec. 5). The Jets also have a Thursday night game vs. Ryan’s Bills on Sept. 15, a Sunday night matchup vs. New England on Nov. 27 and a Saturday prime-time game vs. Miami on Dec. 17. But unlike last season, when they had a Week 5 bye following their London game against the Dolphins, this year’s bye comes in Week 11.
They’ll need the rest. Their last five AFC East contests fall during their last eight games.