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Jets' Preseason Schedule Places an Early Focus on Intriguing Offensive Rookies

Green & White Will Have Home Games vs. Commanders & Giants Sandwiched Around Road Trip to Play Panthers

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The Jets will experience a little old and a little new in their 2024 preseason schedule, which will kick off the weekend of Saturday, Aug. 10.

The schedule itself has a bit of both qualities. The Jets will open their summer slate against the Washington Commanders for the first time in franchise history, at MetLife Stadium, then head south to play the Panthers in Charlotte, NC, for the second straight August but for only the fourth time in the preseason. They wind up their three-game warmup as the home team against their longtime frenemies, the Giants.

"Old" also applies to the head-coaching matchups and specifically to the old hand that head coach Robert Saleh has become as he begins his fourth season at the Jets' helm. He'll be the senior coach going against Dan Quinn, the former Atlanta head coach in his first game as Washington's new skipper, and Dave Canales, in his first season as an NFL head coach guiding Carolina's fortunes. Even Brian Daboll, entering his third season as a head coach, all with the Giants, hasn't held Big Blue's reins as long as Saleh has coached the Green & White.

Then the "new" comes into play when the Jets defense takes the field for the summer games. The seasoned unit, which has improved from fourth in the NFL in 2022 to third in 2023 in yards allowed and from third to second in net passing yards allowed, will get an early test from the top draft picks of these three opponents, all offensive college stars preparing to bust loose as pros.

The Commanders' second overall pick of the April draft is their QB of the future, Jayden Daniels from LSU. The Panthers, whose '23 first-round trade with the Bears brought them their franchise signal-caller in Bryce Young first overall last year, wound up with the last pick of Round 1 this year and selected WR Xavier Legette, the speedy (4.39 seconds in the 40) wideout from South Carolina.

And the Giants opted to grab one of the top WRs available in the draft in Malik Nabers, who also was the pitch-and-catch teammate of Daniels for the Bayou Bengals.

The Jets hope to unveil perhaps their own QB-WR combo of the future in these "games that don't count." Third-round WR Malachi Corley is expected to show off some of those after-catch skills that made him the "YAC King" at Western Kentucky. And fifth-round QB Jordan Travis, still rehabbing the leg fracture he suffered late last season with Florida State, has intriguing playmaking ability and should be cleared to participate in training camp, Saleh said earlier this offseason.

The specific dates, kickoff times and TV networks for these games will be released in the coming weeks. All NFL teams will again receive a preseason bye week before the NFL's regular season begins with the Thursday night league season opener on Sept. 5 and the first slate of Sunday-Monday games set for Sept. 8-9.

Notes on the Jets' three preseason games:

Week 1—Jets vs. Commanders, MetLife Stadium, TBD
The Jets and Commanders have had an on-and-off-again preseason rivalry, with the teams meeting 11 times since 1975. ... The Green & White are 4-7 and have lost their last 4 games in the rivalry. ... Their most recent win came in 2006 at FedEx Field, when Brad Smith (61-yard run) and Leon Washington (87-yard KO return) reeled off long 2nd-quarter scoring plays in the 27-14 win. ... In 2008, Brett Favre made his Jets debut in the 13-10 home loss. ... In 2016, UDFA WR Robby Anderson exploded on the scene with six catches for 131 yards, including a 50-yarder and a 42-yard TD. ... Washington's 15-13 win in the most recent matchup in 2018 was aired by ESPN. ... Quinn, making his Commanders HC debut, hails from Morristown, NJ, next town over from Florham Park, home of the Jets' training center.

Week 2—Jets at Panthers, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC, TBD
The Jets are 2-1 vs. the Panthers in their short summer series. ... The teams split their first 2 games, at Bank of America in 2010 and at MetLife in '12 (nationally televised on NBC), with the Jets scoring no TDs and 7 field goals in those games. ... They resumed their series last year, also at B of A, and this time the Jets ended their TD drought against the Panthers with a trio of short TE receiving scores. ... Kenny Yeboah, E.J. Jenkins and Zack Kuntz all caught TD passes, with 7th-round rookie Kuntz and UDFA Jenkins each recording his first pro score. ... The Jets defense also introduced first-round rookie QB Bryce Young to the NFL. ... Young was 4-for-6 passing but for 21 yards in his NFL debut and the Jets posted their third shutout since 2018.

Week 3—Jets vs. Giants, MetLife Stadium, TBD
The stadium mates had played every preseason since 1969 for an NFL-long 51-year streak of summer meetings that was snapped in 2020 due to COVID. ... So this year's finale will make it 55 meetings in the last 56 years. ... The Green & White, after a 4-game losing streak in the summer rivalry, improved their preseason record over Big Blue to 28-25-1 with 3 straight wins. ... In their most recent game as the MetLife home team, the Jets prevailed 31-27 in '22. ... Last August, Aaron Rodgers made his Jets debut in the 32-24 road victory. ... ARod played the first 2 series and hit Garrett Wilson with a TD strike. ... The win also included a Brandin Echols INT-return TD and 2 fourth-quarter TD connections from QB Tim Boyle to veteran WR Alex Erickson.

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