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Which Teams Should the Jets Open and Close the 2024 NFL Season With? 

Reports Say Schedule Will Be Released Wednesday May 15


Throughout the offseason, reporters Eric Allen, Ethan Greenberg, Randy Lange, Caroline Hendershot and John Pullano will give their responses to a series of questions regarding this year's Jets.

Today's question: Which Teams Should the Jets Open and Close the 2024 NFL Season With?

EA: I'd like the Jets open up in primetime for a second consecutive season – this time a Sunday night tilt on the road against the 49ers in San Francisco. Let's see the Jets elite defense, bolstered by the addition of closer Haason Reddick, match up with a Niners offense that includes Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle. You won't find two better running backs in the NFL than Christian McCaffrey and Breece Hall. How 'bout Aaron Rodgers, a Chico, CA native who attended Cal Berkeley, returning to action in Northern California? Plus, the possibility of Robert Saleh, the Niners defensive coordinator from 2017-20, and Jets current DC Jeff Ulbrich, a Niners 'backer from 2000-09, getting a crack at Kyle Shanahan would make for an interesting game of chess. The 49ers are elite and the Jets plan on getting there in 2024. Let's not wait for a relevant game featuring "Mr. Irrelevant" from 2018 in SF QB Brock Purdy and April's final selection in the Jets' Jaylen Key. And I want the Jets to close the season at home against the Bills. With Josh Allen leading the way, Buffalo has captured the past four division championships. But they are in a bit of reset with their roster and I believe the time is at hand for the Green & White to make their move.

EG: The Jets have a handful of opponents with a big national draw like the 49ers, but I like the idea of running back Jets-Bills from Week 1 last season. I'm not sure the hype of last year's season opener could be recreated between the game falling on 9/11 and Aaron Rodgers' debut with his new team, but there's something poetic if a rematch were to happen to kick off the 2024 season. The Bills have won the AFC East each of the last four years, the Jets are more equipped to fight for the division crown and what better way to kick off the season than to let the teams go at each other from the jump? I could see the NFL wanting the Green & White in primetime in Week 1 and other opponents that could fit that bill include the Dolphins, the Texans, the Rams and the Niners. The SF matchup has a lot of storylines between Robert Saleh coaching against his former team and Rodgers playing against his hometown team, the same one that passed on him in the 2005 NFL Draft. Not to mention Week 1 will be Rodgers' return from his Achilles injury and his de facto debut with the Jets. Similar to the opener, the Dolphins and Bills make sense for the season finale. You'd imagine all three teams could be jockeying for the division crown and/or a playoff spot. The Green & White hasn't closed the season against Buffalo since 2021, so that matchup could be due.

See photos of the teams that the Jets will play in the 2024 season.

RL: This may not be doable, considering how much the NFL and the networks would like to promote Aaron Rodgers and the Jets, but I'd like to see a calmer approach to the Jets' season than last year's primetime feeding frenzy. For starters and finishers, I'd like the accent to be on the Green & White showing they are ready to deal with their AFC East opponents, which would mean attacking two of the longest in-division losing skids still going. So let's open with the Jets at Miami on opening day (not opening night), where they've lost their last eight meetings. A win at Hard Rock Stadium would propel them into the rest of their challenging yet promising schedule, which I would like to see conclude with them attacking another eight-game skid, this one at MetLife vs. the Patriots. All respect to New England, which has been a ruthless rival recently, but last year's snow-covered season-ending win at Gillette Stadium felt good on several levels. If the Jets could score another Game 17 victory over the Pats, this one in front of their roaring Meadowlands fans, and this time springboard off of it into the playoffs, that would provide a satisfying set of bookend games for the regular-season schedule ahead.

CH: The best way to kick off the Jets 2024 season would be to open up on the road against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football. After appearing in the 2023 Super Bowl, the 49ers would be the best litmus test for the Jets. San Fran had a top-three rushing defense last season alongside an offense that had the second most yards per game. If the Jets want to establish themselves early in the 2024 season, the 49ers are the team to beat. The team I'd like the Jets to close their season with, on the other hand, is the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have won the AFC East each of the last four seasons (11-6 last season, which tied with Miami). The Bills finished with a top-10 offense (No. 4 overall) and defense (No. 9) last season. I think the Jets and the Bills could be in contention to win the AFC East at the end of the season and what better way to close out Week 18 with a game where the takes home the division crown.

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