At long last, the NFL has released the schedule for the upcoming 2020 season. The New York Jets, fresh off of a 7-9 season, will have a much harder road ahead of them. The Jets were given one of the most difficult schedules in the league this season, and it will be up to Adam Gase to lead this team to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. To do that, the team will need to prove that it can compete, or even win some of these tough match ups. This is a look at what could prove to be the five hardest games for the Jets in 2020.
5. New York Jets vs. Indianapolis Colts – Week 3
Starting off the toughest games is a matchup against Indianapolis. The Jets and Colts have met five times since 2010, with New York winning four out of five meetings. However, each of those teams were vastly different from each other on both sides of the ball. The Colts have upgraded on the defense, as well as on the offensive line. They also lost Andrew Luck to retirement last year. The Colts now boast a solid roster, with a future Hall of Famer in Philip Rivers on the team. It is unknown if the Rivers of years’ past will be playing, or the shell of his former self that showed up quite a bit last season. Should it be the former, the Colts could be quite a lot to handle.
4. New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills – Week 1
Fresh off of a playoff appearance with a young team, the Bills enter the 2020 season as the assumed favorite to win the AFC East for the first time since 1995. A powerful defense headlines the young Bills team, but it all rests on the shoulders of Josh Allen. His inconsistent play was put on full display last season, sometimes both sides of the young signal-caller showing up in a single game. A bitter divisional rivalry game could be in the cards for both teams. Playing at New Era makes this one of the harder games of the season by itself.
3. New York Jets vs. Seattle Seahawks – Week 14
Traveling to play the Twelfth Man is never easy. Playing against Russell Wilson will just make the day in Seattle even more miserable. It seems that the Seahawks organization has been focused on rebuilding a new Legion of Boom. By week 14, the league will likely know what kind of team the Jets have. This game will be difficult regardless of New York’s record, but it will be up to the players and coaches to make sure it stays competitive.
2. San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Jets – Week 2
The league’s runner up in the Superbowl. The 49ers boast their incredible defense, along with a rushing attack that has the potential to completely take the ball out of their own quarterback’s hands, as well as Sam Darnold‘s. Joe Douglas invested heavily into the offensive line this off season. They will be put to the test early in the season. Sam Darnold cannot be knocked around by San Francisco if the Jets plan to win.
1. New York Jets vs. Kansas City Chiefs – Week 8
From Superbowl runner up to Superbowl champions. The Chiefs have come a long way from the days of Alex Smith. The Patrick Mahomes led offense is the most dangerous in the league. A team that had to comeback from double digits in every playoff game last season, along with a defense that found it’s footing when it mattered most. This is going to be the game of 2020 for New York. The ultimate test for Gregg Williams’ defense, as well as a new and improved Jets offense. This is easily the game that tops the Jets’ list of hardest games on the schedule. If New York could manage to pull this victory out, it would be a monument to how far the team has come.
The Jets were gifted an easy schedule in 2019, but injuries and a mono-ridden Sam Darnold forced the Jets to an awful 1-7 start. Even with a good number of players on IR, New York picked up their pride to finish 9-7. The road back to the playoffs will not be such an easy one to travel come this season. Ranked as the second toughest strength of schedule, New York will need to pull themselves together if they hope to finally break their playoff drought.