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Jets' 2020 Schedule Presents a Difficult Road but a Fair Test

Games vs. Both Super Bowl Teams, 2 Home Primetime Affairs, Stern Final Quarter Make It a Challenge for Green & White


The Jets' 2020 schedule is a tough but fair arrangement of their 16 opponents for the coming season as announced by the NFL tonight.

For instance, we knew the Jets would be playing both Super Bowl LIV participants, but they seem to come up as favorably as possible in the first half of the schedule — QB Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers in their home opener in Week 2, Sept. 20, and QB Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 8 at Arrowhead Stadium, in between home battles against Buffalo and New England.

The primetime load is also reasonable, with two home night games — a Week 4 Thursday night game against the Denver Broncos and a Week 9 Monday night affair against the New England Patriots.

(However, the second half could add to that lift due to flex scheduling in general and since Game 14 at the Rams and Game 15 vs. the Browns both could be scheduled to kick off on either Saturday or Sunday.)

We also knew that, a year after playing the shortest road itinerary in franchise history, the Jets were facing the second-longest road itinerary in their history, roughly 21,100 round-trip miles, longer than all but the seemingly endless 2008 away sked.

But the league's schedule makers were again balanced in not giving the Jets any three-game road trips and only one two-game trip, to Seattle on Dec. 13 and to the L.A. Rams on Dec. 19 or 20 in Weeks 14-15 at the start of a very stern final quarter of the schedule.

As for the AFC East part of the schedule, there are several familiar mileposts to see the Green & White through from start to finish.

The Jets open on the road at Buffalo for the second time in four years and the 11th time in their history, by far the most road openers against any opponent. And they close the regular season at New England for the third time in four seasons.

And needless to say for Jets fans but we'll say it anyway: The Jets expect New England to be tough as always but this year, for the first time since 2008 and before that since 2000, they won't have to contend with Tom Brady at QB after he headed south for Tampa Bay.

The oddest twist in this year's schedule is certainly the two games against Miami. The first comes Nov. 15 at Hard Rock Stadium, then comes the Week 11 bye, then the rematch is Nov. 29 at MetLife Stadium.

The last time the Jets played the same team twice in a three-game span sandwiching a bye week was way back in 1966, when Joe Namath & Co. were home for Jack Kemp and the Bills, had a bye, then played at Buffalo in Weeks 9-11.

In a similar situation, except with another game in between, the Jets played the same team twice in a three-week December span in 1999, when they hosted the Dolphins, then played at Dallas and at Miami in Weeks 14-16. Ray Lucas was the starting and winning QB in all three, two of them over Dan Marino. The Jets will gladly tap into some of that Lucas magic if it helps them take down head coach Adam Gase's former team twice in three November weeks in 2020.

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