The New York Jets' 2018 schedule, revealed by the NFL tonight, has a little bit of this and a little bit of that for fans of the Green & White.
Head coach Todd Bowles' Jets have been slated for three national TV games and at least two primetime games — last year they had one — with the first coming on opening day, or rather, opening night at Detroit against the Lions and new head coach Matt Patricia on Monday, Sept. 10.
The schedule unfolds from there with the home opener on Sept. 16 against the division-rival Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium, a Thursday night Week 3 appearance at Cleveland, a three-game October home stand, the Jets' "usual" Week 11 bye, five division games in the second half of the schedule, a December Saturday afternoon or evening home game against Houston, and another regular-season finale at the New England Patriots.
Here are eight takeaways from the Jets' just unveiled 2018 schedule, plus one more on the finalized 2018 preseason schedule:
In the Lions' Den at NightThe season opener at Detroit will mark the sixth time since joining the NFL in 1970 that the Jets have opened in primetime. The last time was their 27-24 comeback win at home over Dallas on Sunday night, Sept. 11, 2011. Their last MNF opener was the year before, the 10-9 loss to Baltimore in the first regular-season game at MetLife Stadium (New Meadowlands Stadium at the time). Their last primetime opener on the road was the 2003 Thursday night kickoff game at Washington. Before that, the only other primetime season openers came on Monday nights in the Seventies — at Cleveland in 1970 (the very first MNF game) and vs. Green Bay in Milwaukee in '73.
Day of the DolphinsFor the second straight year, the Jets will play their home opener against their familiar foes, the Dolphins, at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 16. Last year's home opener vs. the 'Fins went swimmingly as they posted their first win of the season, 20-6.
Thursday Night ChangeupFor the first time in four years, the Jets' Thursday night foe will not be the Buffalo Bills. Instead, the Green & White will venture to Cleveland for the third straight year, this time in Week 3 to take on the Browns on Thursday night, Sept. 20 on NFL Network. New kickoff time for Thursday night NFL games this year is 8:20 p.m. ET.
September Road WarriorsWeek 4 has the Jets traveling to the Jaguars. That will make it three road games in September, something that hadn't happened for the Jets since 2002. That year's September sked also wound up with a game at Jacksonville.
Three-Game Home StandThe time away from home will immediately be forgotten in October when the Jets play Denver, Indianapolis and Minnesota in Weeks 5-7 at MetLife. The last time they had three straight home games, which included their bye week, was 2016. The last time they had home games in three consecutive weeks: 2012.
First Half/Second HalfThe Jets wrap up their first half at Chicago in Week 8, then begin their second half at Miami in Week 9. The way the schedule falls, the first half looks to be the easier half, based on schedule strengths. The first eight opponents include only two 2017 playoff teams, Jacksonville and Minnesota, and the foes' combined 2017 SOS is .406 (52-76). The second half has five games vs. playoff teams (two vs. Buffalo, two vs. New England, Dec. 2 at Tennessee) and a schedule strength of .546 (70-58), thanks mostly to the Patriots' 13-3 record multiplied by two.
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Texans Time TBDAn NFL scheduling wrinkle this year was to add additional flexibility to the schedule-making process, which has led to the Jets' Week 15 game against Houston on Saturday, Dec. 15, having a "TBD" time. The game will kick off at either 4:30 or 8:20 p.m., the time to be determined after Week 8. Either way, it will be aired on NFL Network and thus is the Jets' third national game on the schedule.
The Division DealFor the second time in three years, five of the Jets' six AFC East games will be played in the second half. The Nov. 4 Miami game will be followed by Buffalo at home Nov. 11 and away Dec. 9. The first New England game will be at MetLife on Nov. 25 after the bye — the third straight year the Green & White bye has fallen on Week 11. And for the second straight season, the Jets will play their regular-season finale at Gillette Stadium against the Patriots, this year on Dec. 30, 1 p.m. kickoff.
All Preseason Dates, TimesAll days and kickoff times for the Jets' preseason schedule, released last week, are now set. They open at home with Atlanta on Friday, Aug. 10, at 7:30 p.m. Game 2 is at Washington on Thursday, Aug. 16, at 8 p.m. (nationally televised on ESPN). Game 3 is vs. the Giants at MetLife Stadium on Friday, Aug. 24, 7:30 p.m. kickoff. And the preseason finale is at Philadelphia on Thursday, Aug. 30, at 7 p.m.