With the conclusion of the 2015 regular season comes the arrival of each team's 2016 list of opponents. And although most of the Jets' foes — AFC East home-and-homes and rotations with the AFC North and NFC West — were known, the final AFC foes officially fell into place Sunday with Kansas City and Indianapolis finishing in second place in their divisions.
With the new list of opponents comes this realization: 2016 will provide a stern test for the second year of the plan being executed by head coach Todd Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan.
The Jets' foes have a schedule strength of .531 based on their combined 136-120 record this season. Seven of the games will be played against teams coming off playoff appearances, and four will be against teams with records of 12-4 or better. The complete schedule will be released by the NFL in April.
Here is a capsule look at the Jets' 2016 opponents, with 2015 overall and applicable home/road records in parentheses and asterisks denoting playoff teams:
Buffalo (Overall: 8-8, Road 3-5) — The Bills have won the last two at MetLife Stadium. More Rex Ryan storylines and perhaps another primetime matchup lie ahead.
Miami (Overall 6-10, Road 3-5) — The Jets snapped the Dolphins' three-game MetLife win streak with
*New England (Overall 12-4, Road 5-3) — Tom Brady and the Patriots are always a tough out, although the Jets have taken two of the last three at MLS, both wins in OT.
Baltimore (Overall 5-11, Road 2-6) — Is it time to stop the ravin'? The Jets won the first game against Baltimore in '97 but have lost eight in a row since, three at home.
*Cincinnati (Overall 12-4, Road 6-2) — The Jets were thumped in '13 at Cincy but have taken nine straight at home, most recently on Thanksgiving night 2010.
Indianapolis (Overall 8-8, Road 4-4) — The Green & White have won three in a row in the series, including the most recent MetLife meeting in 2012.
St. Louis (Overall 7-9, Road 2-6) — It's been eight years since the Rams last visited the Meadowlands and the Jets crushed them, 47-3.
*Seattle (Overall 10-6, Road 5-3) — Pete Carroll has never sent his 'Hawks up against his former team on the road. The Jets have won five straight at home but the last was in 2004.
Buffalo (Overall 8-8, Home 5-3) — Ralph Wilson Stadium is where the Jets' playoff dreams died Sunday. The Bills have won four straight in the rivalry at home.
Miami (Overall 6-10, Home 3-5) — The Dolphins are taking Sunday's home win over New England into the offseason. The Jets have won four in a row at Sun Life Stadium.
*New England (Overall 12-4, Home 7-1) — The Green & White have lost their last five at Gillette since their 2010 AFC Divisional Round triumph.
Cleveland (Overall 3-13, Home 2-6) — The Jets have won their last three over the Browns, including their last Cleveland Stadium visit, in OT in 2010.
*Pittsburgh (Overall 10-6, Home 6-2) — The Steelers, who squeezed past the Jets into the playoffs this year, have beaten the Green & White in seven of eight at home all-time.
*Kansas City (Overall 11-5, Home 6-2) — The Jets won at Arrowhead in 1998 but the Chiefs have taken the last two in their impressive, oppressive home stadium, in the 2005 opener and in '14.
*Arizona (Overall 13-3, 6-2) — The Jets will make their first visit to University of Phoenix Stadium. They've won the last six over Arizona, with road wins in '96 and '04.
San Francisco (Overall 5-11, Home 4-4) — The Jets will also play for the first time at Levi's Stadium. Their only road win over the 49ers came in 1983, their last road game in '12 at Candlestick.