The New York Jets Schedule Will Be Their Demise

Ryan Garcia
New York Jets
ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 29: A general view of a New York Jets helmet before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on December 29, 2019 in Orchard Park, New York. Jets beat the Bills 13 to 6. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

The New York Jets are coming off of an okay 7-9 campaign where their young QB Sam Darnold ended up going 7-6 and showing some growth as a starter in the NFL. They added to their offensive line and were able to give Sam Darnold some offensive help so he isn’t throwing to practice squad players. Mekhi Beckton could give Darnold more time in the pocket in order for him to be able to lob it up and throw some bombs to players like Denzel Mims. They’ll have CJ Mosely back for a full season hopefully, but the issue isn’t the talent, it’s how their schedule was worked.

Slow Start Is Imminent

The Jets start out against the 10-6 Bills with Stefon Diggs and Josh Allen leading that offense and Devin Singletary in the backfield, and it isn’t even a home game. They play in Buffalo for that one, which is a tough way to start out a season for a team with a lot of new faces and young talent. The defenses they play in their first 8 games are Buffalo, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Denver, Arizona, Chargers, Buffalo again, then Kansas City. They have 5 games against teams who were top 10 in preventing yards, with the Chargers being at 14, the Colts now having DeForest Buckner, and their only break being Arizona. If we’re being generous, they’ll be able to win 2-3 games out of those 8. a 2-6 or 3-5 start is not what this team needed.

NFC West and AFC West

They’re playing the best division in the NFC and then a tough division in the AFC West, with every team in each of those divisions having playoff hopes. Those are already 8 games that will be tough, and then add 2 against Buffalo, 2 against the Patriots who while a lot weaker will still try to be good, and then their other 2 games are against the Colts and Browns, who are also playoff-caliber teams in terms of talent. They won’t be abysmal in 2020 but having to play two of the NFL’s toughest divisions, in the West Coast which is a lot of traveling, then on top of that be a team with a lot of new faces? This spells disaster.

Is There Any Hope?

As someone who isn’t a New York Jets fan (Go Browns!), I don’t see much optimism for this team. It isn’t the talent or the QB or the Head Coach, it’s that tough schedule. They have to travel to LA twice, Kansas City, and Seattle. Those aren’t just away games, they’re away games against good teams. They can’t handle a 49ers squad who just won the NFC, or a Super Bowl winner in the Chiefs, or the division favorite Bills more than once, and especially not when you play such tough games every single week. I don’t think there are many teams in the NFL who could survive this schedule, and I don’t see much more than 6-8 wins for the Jets.

The NFL really couldn’t change their schedule because the divisions they play are predetermined by a cycle, but man, did they get the short end of the stick in 2020.