Jets 2024 NFL schedule takeaways: Easiest and toughest games

The full 2024 NFL schedule was released on Wednesday. Here is how the Jets’ schedule shapes up:

Three toughest games

Week 1 at 49ers

The return of Aaron Rodgers is going to come in his home state in prime time. The Jets open the season on “Monday Night Football” for the second straight year and it comes against one of the best teams in football. This is also Robert Saleh’s first game against his former team. He was the 49ers defensive coordinator from 2017-20.

Aaron Rodgers and the Jets will open the season on ‘Monday Night Football’ for a second straight year. Bill Kostroun/New York Post

Week 14 at Dolphins

We should know a lot about these two teams by the time they get together in South Florida in December. This should be a battle for playoff position if these teams live up to their potential on paper. The Jets have not won in Miami since the final game of the 2014 season under Rex Ryan. It’s been a while.

Week 17 at Bills

Who doesn’t want a trip to Western New York in late December? This could be a playoff elimination game between these two AFC East rivals. As always late in the season, this may come down to how healthy the teams are. The Jets have not won in Buffalo since the season finale in 2019.

Three easiest games

Week 3 vs. Patriots

MetLife Stadium should be jumping for this one. It is a little weird for the home opener to come on a Thursday night but that should not quiet this crowd. The return of Rodgers to where he was injured last year in a similar prime-time game will be eerie. It is still odd to consider the Patriots an easy game, but they are in Year 1 of a major rebuild.

Patriots quarterback Drake Maye (10) throws a pass at the New England Patriots rookie camp. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Week 4 vs. Broncos

Could this be the return of Zach Wilson? We’ll see if the former Jets quarterback can win the job in Denver or if it is Jarrett Stidham or Bo Nix at quarterback. Whoever it is, the Jets’ defense should feast on the Denver offense. The Jets have beaten the Broncos in each of the last two seasons but suffered costly injuries in both. They need to get through this one with a win and their players intact.

Week 10 at Cardinals

This is a long trip but the Jets should be hitting their stride by this point of the season. Arizona has a lot of young players and the Jets should be able to pick up an easy win in the desert.

Three notable games

Week 5 at Vikings (in London)

The Jets return to London for the first time in three years and they may see a familiar face there. Sam Darnold signed with the Vikings this offseason and will be battling rookie J.J. McCarthy for the starting job. Could the Jets see Zach Wilson and Darnold in back-to-back weeks?

Week 7 at Steelers

The Jets are 2-8 all time in Pittsburgh, but they did win in their last trip there in 2022. This game is on “Sunday Night Football” and could feature Russell Wilson at quarterback against his former coach Nathaniel Hackett.

Russell Wilson’s arrival adds a twist to the Jets-Steelers matchup. AP

Week 16 vs. Rams

This game could be critical as the Jets make their playoff push. Sean McVay and Saleh are good friends facing off against each other. Former Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur returns to face his former team as the Rams OC.

Where’s the bye?

The bye falls in Week 12, which is a little late but could give the Jets a nice rest to heal up before the stretch run of the season. The Jets have three playoff teams from 2023 on their schedule in the final six games of the season. They’ll need their rest.

Overall takeaways

The NFL thinks the Jets are going to be a good team … at least early in the year. The league gave the Jets six prime-time games, all in the first 11 weeks. That reads to me like the league likes the Jets roster but does not have faith that the team can stay healthy or relevant into December. The Jets’ early-season schedule sets up for a strong start. The 49ers are the only strong team in the first five games. The end of the season should be interesting with games against the Rams, Bills and Dolphins when the Jets should be making a playoff push.

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