At first glance, The NFL schedule makers dealt the Jets a rough hand in 2020. They have to play both the strong AFC and NFC West divisions predominantly on the West Coast. They play both teams from the 2019 Super Bowl. The only saving grace the Jets might have is that the AFC East is now wide open with the departure of He-who-must-not-be-named to the Bucs, and that 7 teams may now make the playoffs per conference. Can the Jets be that 7th team, or maybe even win the AFC East? Let’s look into it with this 2020 Jets schedule breakdown
Week 1: @ Buffalo 1 pm
Jets start off against one of the top defenses in the NFL, and certainly the new favorite to win the AFC East. The addition of Stefon Diggs has significantly upgraded the talent at wideout, where the Bills have been lacking the past few years. Josh Allen enters his third season, and maybe he’s learned how to put the ball near his receivers downfield instead of 15 yards ahead of them. The Defense only got stronger with multiple additions along the D-Line as well as growing young talent at nearly every spot on the roster. Jets come in rusty and struggle to keep Buffalo out the backfield, and the Buffalo offense does enough against a (hopefully) healthy Jets defense to secure a week 1 victory over Gang Green
Prediction: 16-10 Bills, Jets 0-1
Week 2: vs. San Francisco 1 pm
Back-to-back games to start the year over what’s expected to be top 5 defenses once the 2020 season concludes. Defensive Coordinator Robert Saleh is one of the hottest names in the head coaching search circuit, and for good reason. The 49ers boast a ferocious pass rush and future Hall of Famer Richard Sherman locking down WR1. Jimmy G has shown to be inconsistent at best, but Kyle Shanahan is what Adam Gase aspires to be as an offensive guru and game-plans ways to get the ball out of his hands quick to negate the strength of the Jets D-Line. Darnold & Co. play much better this week, but late turnovers seal their fate and send them into the MetLife locker room defeated.
Prediction: 24-14 49ers Jets 0-2
Week 3: @ Indianapolis 4:05 pm
Jets travel to Indy ready to stop the bleeding against a talented-on-paper Colts team. New QB Philip Rivers is looking for a last shot at glory before sailing into the sunset, and the Colts give him a good chance of achieving his ultimate dream. But here come the Jets to play spoiler as Sam looks like a new man behind his rebuilt line, and his skill players start to show up as the weapons Gase and fans alike knew they could be. Jamal Adams lights a fire under the boys, and Quinnen Williams becomes a one-man wrecking crew against the Colts very good line. Rivers’ gunslinger mindset gets him into trouble too many times, and Ashtyn Davis records his first INT as a pro with a pick-six to seal the deal for NY.
Prediction: 31-21 Jets, Jets 1-2
Week 4: vs. Denver TNF 8:20 pm
Jets get their 1st of 2 primetime games underway against a hungry Denver team that can feel big things coming their way once the lightbulb clicks for Drew Lock. But this is not that week. Gregg Williams dials up amoeba blitzes all night long, confusing the young QB into many mistakes that the Jets new-look offense capitalizes on. Sam has his first game of the season for over 300 yards, Chris Herndon looks like his best friend again, and Le’Veon Bell looks like the bell of the ball (sorry), gaining 150 all-purpose yards and 2 scores. Jets surprise everyone with a strong victory on the big lights of Thursday Night Football and go into week 5 ready to do some more damage
Prediction: 27-13 Jets, Jets 2-2
Week 5: vs. Arizona 1 pm
Jets look like a different team coming in to week 5, and they get too overconfident and boisterous against, in my opinion, the most improved team in the NFL in 2020. Kliff is bringing the sexy back with Kyler in year 2 showing off the skills that made him a #1 overall pick, and new toy Nuk Hopkins proves to be too much for the Jets secondary to handle this week. Sam and Co. do everything they can to go toe-to-toe with the Cards, but too much speed and playmakers on offense give the Cardinals a nice victory and deflate the mood in the room for the Jets. On the plus side for the Jets, Quinnen again looks like a man-among-boys and continues to show exponential growth in his second year.
Prediction: 30-17 Cardinals, Jets 2-3
Week 6: @ LA Chargers 4:05 pm
Jets make their first trip to the Pacific Time Zone, and play a gritty game against the Chargers and their 3 dozen fans in attendance (slightly kidding). Tyrod Taylor gets hurt in the 2nd quarter, and we see the first appearance in Justin Herbert on an NFL field. Jets ramp up the already aggressive nature of their defense, and blitz the kid from every angle imaginable, including up (don’t ask me how). The Jets get 3 turnovers on Herbert, including a sack-fumble for a TD courtesy of Jamal Adams. Sam has a difficult time against the Chargers impressive secondary finding open men, but Chris Herndon comes to play and goes for over 100 yards and a score against the Bolts mismatched ‘backers. Le’Veon again looks much better behind an improved O-Line, and the Jets leave Cali victorious.
Prediction: 23-16 Jets, Jets 3-3
Week 7: vs. Buffalo 1 pm
Looking to avenge their season opener loss, the Jets welcome Buffalo to Metlife 3-1 in the last 4 games. Jets offense looks good in the first half against the Bills stingy D this time around, but Ed Oliver throws around Van Roten like a beach ball and makes his presence felt. Tremaine Edmunds plays light-out as well for Buffalo, shutting down Bell at every opportunity and forcing Sam to rely on his arm way too much. Devin Singletary goes for over 100 yards and 2 scores as the Buffalo O-Line manhandles the Jets D-Line, and rookie Gabriel Davis gets on the scoreboard with a red-zone jump ball TD. Sam tries for a 2-minute drill win, but Buffalo holds tight and sweeps the Jets.
Prediction: 21-13 Bills, Jets 3-4
Week 8: @ Kansas City 1 pm
Jets come into week 8 huge underdogs to the Super Bowl Champs, and early we see why. Mahomes picks apart the intermediate part of the field at will, and Tyreek Hill showcases that speed for multiple big plays at the dismay of Gregg Williams. Jets attempt to play ball-control offense using a short, quick passing game, leaning on Le’Veon and La’Mical to churn out yards and the clock. But too many sloppy penalties and 2 INT’s by Sam don’t let the Jets ever truly get into this game, and the Chiefs win a fairly easy one at home against NY.
Prediction: 38-16 Chiefs, Jets 3-5
Week 9: vs. New England MNF 8:15 pm
MNF in Metlife against the non-Brady Patriots has the Jets fired up. But the Pats Defense is still an elite unit, and Sam struggles early. But the Jets Defense holds tight as well, and it’s a defensive game as neither side gives up much in terms of big plays. Stidham keeps it short and quick to keep the chains moving at a slow pace, and Sony Michel goes for over 100 yards as the Pats defense does just enough to hold the onto the lead through the final whistle. Sam has no turnovers, but also no splash plays either. A low scoring game in favor of the Pats
Prediction: 13-10 Patriots, Jets 3-6
Week 10: @ Miami 4:05 pm
Jets are on a 3-game skid, and desperately need to stop the bleeding. Perfect time to play the Fins. Ryan Fitzpatrick struggles mightily as the Jets blitz ferociously and hit their mark multiple times. Sam, on the other hand, looks like an All-Pro out there, and has his best game of the year thus far. The high-priced secondary of the Fins looks unprepared for the Jets speed, and Sam capitalizes with multiple big-play throws. Herndon shreds the middle of the field, and Jamal Adams has a pick-six to ice the game for the Jets. Their best all-around played game so far.
Prediction: 30-13 Jets, Jets 4-6
Week 11: BYE
Week 12: vs. Miami 1 pm
Jets beat on the Fins in South Florida, and come back home to do it again 2 weeks later. This time though the Fins have made some adjustments, and show a different approach on offense. DeVante Parker blows up for over 100 yards as Fitzpatrick hits multiple back shoulder fades. But Sam and Co. are ready to battle, and the teams trade scores back and forth. It’s an explosive, exciting game and Herndon dominates in the red zone, going for 2 short scores. The final whistle blows, and the Jets emerge victorious again.
Prediction: 28-24 Jets, Jets 5-6
Week 13: vs. Las Vegas 1 pm
The Jets are riding a 2 game win streak, and the fans expect to make it 3 after today. But unfortunately, this is a trap game, and one the Jets fall into. They look hapless on offense, struggling to get into rhythm short of a couple of big splash plays. Derek Carr looks sharp, and the rookies at wideout for the Raiders start to beat down on the Jets defense. Henry Ruggs take a screen 85 yards to the house, and Lynn Bowden Jr. makes multiple wow plays as a gadget wrinkle thrown in. Sam and Co. do what they can to keep the pace going, but unfortunately, it’s too little too late, and the Jets fall to a lesser foe.
Prediction: 19-17 Raiders, Jets 5-7
Week 14: @ Seattle 4:05 pm
The Jets go cross-country to Seattle, and the 12th man becomes an early factor. Sam struggles to call out the plays and set the Offense up for success, leading to multiple mistakes and communication breakdowns. Meanwhile, Russ is lights out and seemingly can do no wrong as he puts the ball wherever he wants at will. Jets D is able to coax a turnover from Rashaad Penny that the offense capitalizes on, but that’s the lone bright spot in a total beatdown. DK Metcalf looks like a man among boys, and the Seattle offense puts up 400 yards in an easy walkover victory. Gregg Williams is steaming.
Prediction: 38-10 Seahawks, Jets 5-8
Week 15: @ LA Rams date/time TBD
Jets shoot South to LA from Seattle to take on the Sean McVay-powered Rams. Jared Goff looks more comfortable this season with his reads, and McVay calls a great game plan to minimize his errors. The Jets, however, have prepared well, and end up forcing some fumbles from Darrell Henderson and Robert Woods, allowing them short field position. Sam again looks amazing and makes no mistakes all day long. Le’Veon Bell rushes for over 150 behind Mekhi Becton, and Denzel Mims embarrasses Jalen Ramsey all game, showing the WR1 potential Jets fans are counting on. 4 sacks by the defense keep Goff at bay mostly, and Jets head back to NY feeling better.
Prediction: 27-12 Jets, Jets 6-8
Week 16: vs. Cleveland date/time TBD
Sam vs. Baker has all the makings of a gunslinger duel, and they do not disappoint. The QB’s go back and forth trading points, trying to prove who deserved to be #1 in 2018. OBJ has a monster day, as does Breshad Perriman. Herndon and Njoku trade stats as well, leaving it up to the defenses to make a play for their team to emerge victoriously. Ultimately Myles Garrett proves too much to handle and creates a strip-sack fumble TD off Sam that skews the game in the Browns favor. Greedy Williams makes a late INT to ice it.
Prediction: 35-30 Browns, Jets 6-9
Week 17: @ New England 1 pm
The Pats are fighting for a Wild Card birth, while the Jets head home after today. Jets though have no plans on laying down, and plan to play spoiler on the Pats season. Rookie Bryce Hall gets his first INT of the year, and Jamal Adams has 2.5 sacks along with 2 sacks for Quinnen Williams to thoroughly embarrass Stidham and the Pats. Sam struggles early, but finds his stride before half and gets the Jets on top with a redzone score to Crowder. Perriman beats Jason McCourty for a 70 yard bomb, and La’Mical Perine has 2 short red-zone TD’s to help the Jets end the season on a high note.
Prediction: 27-14 Jets, Jets 7-9
Overall the Jets finish at 7-9, but look ultimately like a team on the upswing, The Offense goes from 32nd in 2019 to 22nd in 2020. The O-Line goes from 32nd to 24th, and the Defense goes from 7th to 9th. Gase is ultimately let go due to end of season locker room friction, and Le’veon Bell gets permission to seek a trade elsewhere. Jamal Adams gets his record-setting contract, and Sam’s 5th year option is exercised. Quinnen Williams shows great development in year 2, and looks poised to be a consistent gamewrecker in 2021. Most improved player goes to Blessuan Austin, and Team MVP is, to no one’s surprise, Jamal Adams, who is elected 1st team All-Pro and the only Jet again to make the Pro Bowl. Quinnen Wiiliams gets 2nd team alternate.
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