The New York Jets are fresh off their best season since 2015 and an above-average draft.
For that reason alone, many Jets fans are excited for the upcoming year––and they have some good reasons to be.
Even with the team looking strong, the Jets have found themselves looking at one of the toughest schedules in the NFL. Even though a playoff spot looks unlikely, there’s still a lot to look forward to from the Jets this fall, and many winnable games.
Week 1: @ Buffalo Bills
The Jets-Bills rivalry has been evenly matched for quite some time now, seeing each team win five of the last 10 matchups. That said, the Bills took a major step forward this offseason with the acquisition of Stefon Diggs and a solid draft. This game will be a tough one to win for New York, as they’re up against an improved Buffalo squad and their raucous fan base.
Week 2: San Francisco 49ers
You hate to have a loss on your home opener, but this is a hard one to avoid. The reigning NFC Champion Niners boast one of the league’s best defenses, which will surely be too much for the Jets offense to overcome.
Week 3: @ Indianapolis Colts
This is the most winnable game so far for the Jets, as both teams ended the 2019 season with 7-9 records. The Colts boast a much-improved offense, after signing quarterback Philip Rivers, then drafting Michael Pittman Jr. and Jonathan Taylor. The Jets also carry an improved squad into the 2020 season, including offensive line help in the form of Mehki Becton and George Fant, as well as receivers Denzel Mims and Brashad Perriman.
While this game could go either way, I think the Jets will grab their first win in this Week 3 showdown.
Week 4: Denver Broncos (Thursday Night Football)
Another close game for New York, this time at home. Denver has was given second-year quarterback Drew Lock some weapons to work with this offseason––namely Melvin Gordon and Jerry Jeudy––while keeping their formidable defense as strong as ever. The Jets certainly have a shot at this game but, more than likely, the Broncos will leave New York with a victory.
Week 5: Arizona Cardinals
The first game on this young season, where I’m confident in a New York triumph. Arizona is a team full of talent after an excellent draft, and the infamous DeAndre Hopkins trade, but they still have a sub-standard Offensive Line and an unproven Defense. On top of that its yet to be shown if Kliff Kingsbury’s “Air Raid” offense will work in the NFL.
Week 6: @ Los Angeles Chargers
The deciding factor of this cross country matchup will be under center for the Bolts. With Tyrod Taylor starting for Los Angeles, this game leans towards the Chargers. However, if rookie Justin Herbert gets the nod, look for a lopsided Jets victory.
Week 7: Buffalo Bills
In this Week 1 rematch against the AFC East’s new top dog, Jets home field advantage will create a closer game than in the season opener. However, it won’t be enough to overcome the gap in talent.
Week 8: @ Kansas City Chiefs
Going up against the Chiefs in Kansas City is just about as hard as it gets. The point of this game will be to see how the new additions to the Jets secondary (Ashtyn Davis and Bryce Hall) stack up against the best passing offense in the league.
If the Jets can keep this game within three scores, consider it a victory.
Week 9: New England Patriots (Monday Night Football)
This year, with the Jets taking a step forward and the Patriots taking a step back, New York should be able to swipe a win in one of their two games against New England. While it’s uncertain which game will go which way, what better time to steal a game than at home on prime time?
Put this one down as a hopeful Jets win.
Week 10: @ Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins are a team on the rise and should worry the whole AFC East once their rebuild is complete. But, for the time, being there’s still not too much reason to worry about Miami. Unless Tua Tagovailoa has an Offensive Rookie of The Year-caliber season, expect a Jets win.
Week 11: Bye Week
This one is a win for Jets fans. No stress, just sit back and enjoy the week off.
Week 12: Miami Dolphins
Coming off a bye, at home, against a team you likely beat the game prior. That sounds like a recipe for a win.
Week 13: Las Vegas Raiders
This late-season matchup will be contingent on the success of Vegas’ newly drafted receiver trio of Henry Ruggs III, Lynn Bowden Jr., and Bryan Edwards. If the three wideouts end up as legitimates weapons for Derek Carr, then look out for the Raiders as one of the league’s premier passing offenses.
On the other hand, if some or all of them don’t pan out, look for a New York victory.
Week 14: @ Seattle Seahawks
Another tough one, as you never want to find yourself playing the Seahawks on the road. Similar to the Chiefs game earlier in the season, all you want out of the Jets in this game is to play respectably and keep it somewhat close.
Week 15: @ Los Angeles Rams
When the Rams succeeded in 2018 they did so by being a high scoring offense. Their offensive production took a hit in 2019 and looks to take another hit in 2020 after an unimpressive offensive draft class.
If the Jets’ new and improved offensive line can contain Aaron Donald (big “if”), New York is in a strong position to win this game.
Week 16: Cleveland Browns
With the addition of tackles Jedrick Wills Jr. and Jack Conklin, the Browns offense looks like its finally ready to succeed.
If Baker Mayfield can put it back together after his poor 2019 season, this will be a hard game to win for the Jets. If Mayfield continues to struggle, this game becomes winnable. But after losing winnable games to Cleveland in both 2018 and 2019, it’s hard to see them pulling this one out.
Week 17: @ New England Patriots
If New England already has a playoff spot locked up, the Jets have a chance to steal a win. If not, the Jets will most likely end their season on a down note.
Final Record: Roughly 8-8
This New York team has the potential to reach .500 this year. Many positional holes on both sides of the ball have been filled and Sam Darnold is primed to take a step forward this season, thanks to the new pieces in the offense around him. This would lead you to believe the Jets as a whole will improve this year.
With that being said, the Jets have built a reputation on disappointing, so expect this team to end up anywhere from 8-8 to 6-10.