The New York Jets will make a franchise-high five prime-time appearances in 2010, including three nationally televised games at New Jets Stadium.
The Jets kick off their inaugural season at their new home by hosting head coach Rex Ryan's former team, the Baltimore Ravens, on Monday night, Sept. 13. The next home Monday night game comes four weeks later against the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 11, then the Ciincinnati Bengals come to visit on Thanksgiving night.
"This is not a surprise to us," said Ryan. "We expected a lot of prime-time games because we're a team that people want to watch and the expectations now throughout the league and through the football fans are becoming closer to our own expectations, which is to have an outstanding football team and a team that can battle for a Super Bowl."
In a scheduling rarity, the Jets will be at home for the first two games of the season — they host the Patriots on Sunday, Sept. 19 — for the first time since the New York Titans' first year of existence in 1960.
Including their visit to Miami on Sunday night, Sept. 26, the Jets will play three nationally televised games before their Week 6 bye. They also travel to Ralph Wilson Stadium to play the Bills the week before the Vikings prime-time game, then to Denver to play the Broncos the week after the Vikes.
After the bye, the Jets will face a pair of NFC North opponents. The Packers visit on Halloween before the Jets travel to Detroit to play the Lions on Nov. 7. A four-game stretch of 1 p.m. kickoffs will conclude with a visit to Cleveland on Nov. 14 and then a home date with Houston on Nov. 21.
The Jets will have 11 days to prepare for their second matchup with the Patriots in Foxboro, Mass. After the Thanksgiving meeting with the Bengals on Nov. 25, the Jets will meet the defending AFC East champs on Monday night, Dec. 6.
The season's final four games feature a pair of divisional home contests — Dec. 12 vs. Miami and Jan. 2 vs. Buffalo — sandwiched around road games in Pittsburgh on Dec. 19 and Chicago on Dec. 26.
This season marks the third time in franchise history that the Jets will host two Monday night home games. They hold a 17-23 all-time mark on Monday Night Football and are 10-7 at home. The Jets haven't hosted a Monday night game since Dec. 26, 2005, dropping a 31-21 contest to the Patriots in the final MNF game played on ABC-TV.
While the New York Titans were a perfect 3-0 on Thanksgiving from 1960-62, the Jets will be looking for their first Thanksgiving triumph in four attempts and their first-ever victory at home on the holiday.
More Schedule Notes
With the Monday night opener against the Ravens, the Jets will not play their home opener against the Patriots for a fifth consecutive season. But for the fifth straight year the Jets will host the Pats in the first two weeks of the season.
Last year the Jets and Bengals met twice in six January days. The Jets clinched their AFC Wild Card berth with a 37-0 smashing in the regular-season finale and in the final game ever played at the old Meadowlands stadium. Then they tripped up the Bengals, 24-14, on Wild Card Weekend at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Jets are a perfect 4-0 at home against the Packers. The last time the Pack came calling was a memorable 42-17 Green & White shellacking on Dec. 29, 2002, as the Jets claimed the AFC East title and a playoff berth.
Last season the Jets got the Ryan era under way with a 24-7 win over the Texans at Houston's Reliant Stadium. The Jets are 4-0 all-time against the Texans.
New York's AFC representative is 7-1 all-time against the Vikings.
In Ryan's first season as head coach, the Jets were 5-3 on the road and 4-4 at home.
Here is the Jets' 2010 regular-season schedule announced tonight: