With the 2017 season in the books, it's time to look forward to the Jets' 2018 slate. The schedule will include matchups against both the AFC South and NFC North. It will also include repeat contests with the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns.
The Jets' opponents have a schedule strength of .476 based on a combined record of 122-134. This number is down from last year's schedule strength of .535 (136-120). However, with many opponents suffering crucial injuries during the 2017 season, some of the records might not be indicative of the potential of their teams.
The Green & White will enjoy a fairly easy travel schedule in 2018, with their longest flight being to division foe Miami.
Here is a capsule look at the Jets' 2018 opponents, with 2017 overall and applicable home/road records in parentheses and asterisks denoting playoff teams:
HOME:Buffalo* (9-7, 3-5): With some help from the Bengals, the Bills made the playoffs for the first time in 17 seasons. Although the Jets dropped the season opener in Buffalo, a highlight of the season was the dominant performance New York put together against the Bills on Thursday Night Football.
Miami (6-10, 2-6): After making the playoffs in 2016, the Dolphins fell short of expectations in 2017. During their matchup with the Jets in Week 2, Miami looked disjointed on the offensive side of the ball leading to a 20-6 defeat. However, in their second meeting of the season in Miami, Matt Moore helped the 'Fins battle back from a 14-point deficit in the 4th quarter to knock off the Jets, 31-28.
New England* (13-3, 7-1): The Patriots are headed to the playoffs for the ninth straight season. In their first meeting, the Jets jumped out to a 14-point lead before eventually falling, 24-17. In the season finale at Foxboro, the Jets were outmatched by their AFC East rival, losing 26-6.
Houston (4-12, 1-7): With big name talent on both sides of the ball, Texans fans were hoping for a possible playoff run in 2017, but a season-ending knee injury to rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson derailed those hopes. Houston was 3-4 with Watson under center (1-8 without), with the first year signal caller accumulating 19 passing touchdowns to only 8 interceptions. The return of Pro Bowl defensive end J.J. Watt should also help the Texan defense, which ranked last in the league.
Indianapolis (4-12, 1-7): The Colts were forced to play without franchise quarterback Andrew Luck for the entirety of the 2017 season following shoulder surgery. As a result, the team's offense suffered, ranking 30th in both total yards and passing. The addition of second year quarterback Jacoby Brissett provided a spark mid-season; however, issues on the defensive side of the ball contributed to an underwhelming season for the Colts.
Green Bay (7-9, 3-5): After reaching the playoffs for eight consecutive seasons, the Packers will spend this January at home. Two-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone in Week 6, leading to a 3-7 slide under backup Brett Hundley. With a healthy Rodgers back under center, the Packers will look to be in a playoff hunt once again.
Minnesota* (13-3, 6-2): With an injury-riddled QB room, the Vikings 2017 season seemed to be in jeopardy. However, the team was bolstered by the top-ranked defense led by defensive end Everson Griffen, who racked up 13 sacks and 12 tackles for loss, and safety Harrison Smith. The emergence of Case Keenum also proved key to the Vikings earning the second spot in the NFC and a first round bye.
Denver (5-11, 1-7): After a promising season in 2016, Trevor Siemian struggled for most of 2017, leading to a mid-season benching after a Week 8 loss to the Chiefs. The Broncos would try both Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch with similar results leading to an overall disappointing season at Mile High. However, one of the Broncos most well rounded games came in a 23-0 shutout of the Jets in Week 14.
A Look at the Jets 2018 Opponents
AWAY:Buffalo* (9-7, 6-2): Although he threw for 14 touchdowns and 4 interceptions in 14 starts, there are still questions of whether Tyrod Taylor is the future for the Bills at quarterback. LeSean McCoy continues to be a force out of the backfield, finishing the season fourth in rushing yards with 1,138.
Miami (6-10, 4-4): The Dolphins struggled on offense as a whole, finishing the season ranked 28th. Before being traded to the Eagles after Week 7, Pro Bowl running back Jay Ajayi had not found paydirt and was averaging only 3.4 yards per carry. Miami's offense managed to muster only four rushing touchdowns for the season.
New England* (13-3, 6-2): Tom Brady continued to fool Father Time in his 18th season. The 40-year-old tossed 32 touchdowns with eight interceptions, earning himself a spot in the MVP discussion. New England won its ninth consecutive AFC East division title and earned home field advantage throughout the 2017 playoffs.
Jacksonville* (10-6, 6-2): The Jaguars are headed to the playoffs for the first time since 2007 after winning their first AFC South title. Despite losing to the Jets in Week 4 at MetLife Stadium, the Jaguars were one of the league's most surprising stories of 2017. The Jags had the second ranked defense in the league. Pro Bowl defensive backs Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouyé were major contributors to Jacksonville's top ranked passing defense. The addition of running back Leonard Fournette as well as improved play by Blake Bortles were also vital to the team's success.
Tennessee* (9-7, 6-2): After narrowly missing the playoffs in 2016, the Titans were able to grab the first Wild Card position. Quarterback Marcus Mariota took a step backward in 2017, throwing for 13 TDs and 15 INTs after a 26/9 campaign in 2016. Tennesee had a more balanced rushing attack between DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry, with Henry ending the season as the team's leading rusher with 744 yards.
Chicago (5-11, 3-5): The Bears hope that they have found their quarterback of the future in second overall pick Mitch Trubisky. In 12 starts his rookie season, Trubisky went 4-8 with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. Chicago's defense was much improved in 2017, ranking 9th in total defense, up 15 spots from 2016. The difference came against the run, where the Bears improved from 27th to 11th.
Detroit (9-7, 4-4): The Lions finished their 2017 season with the same record as 2016, but this time found themselves outside the playoff picture. Matthew Stafford continues to play at a high level and has become one of the league's most durable quarterbacks, having started every game over the past seven seasons. The Lions struggles came on defense, where they ranked 21st, and more specifically against the pass, where they ranked 27th.
Cleveland (0-16, 0-8): The Browns finished their 2017 campaign winless; the first team to do so since the 2008 Detroit Lions. The team is now 1-31 under head coach Hue Jackson in the two years he has been at the helm. Cleveland proved to be a tough test for the Jets in 2017, who squeaked out a 17-14 road win in early October. Rookie QB Deshon Kizer showed flashes of promise, but the Browns might look to find their franchise QB with either the first or fourth pick in this year's draft.