Who are the New York Jets’ 2021 NFL opponents as they look to bounce back from a poor performance in the 2020 season? Let’s look at who the Jets are set to play in 2021, and what that means in terms of their strength of schedule ranking compared to other teams.
Who do the Jets play in 2021?
The Jets’ list of 2021 opponents will see them play the regular six games against the AFC East: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and New England Patriots. As is customary, the Jets will face each of those three teams both at home and on the road during the 2021 season.
In addition, the 2021 season will have the AFC East compete against the AFC South and NFC South for another eight games. The final two games of the traditional schedule will see the Jets face the two teams that finished in last place of the AFC North (Cincinnati Bengals) and AFC West (Denver Broncos).
What about the Jets’ 17th game in 2021?
The 2021 season is expected to introduce a 17th regular season game for all NFL teams. Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport reported on NFL.com that plans are in place to expand the regular season, although their report has yet to be officially confirmed by the NFL. With that in mind, who would be the opponent for the Jets’ 17th game in the 2021 season?
Reports suggest that a decision has been made on how the 17th game opponent will be decided. The matchup will be an interconference matchup based on standings on a rotational basis.
Albert Breer reported that the divisional alignments for the 2021 season had already been set. According to Breer, the AFC East will match up with the NFC East for the 17th game. Therefore, the Jets’ opponent for their 17th game in 2020 would be the Philadelphia Eagles.
The New York Jets’ 2021 opponents
Here are the teams that the New York Jets will play against in the 2021 NFL season:
Home: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cincinnati Bengals
Road: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos
17th game (location TBD): Philadelphia Eagles
New York Jets’ strength of schedule for 2021
As we look ahead towards the 2021 NFL season, how does the Jets’ strength of schedule for 2021 shape up? The strength of schedule rankings here are based on the 2020 records of the Jets’ 2021 opponents.
The Jets have a middle of the road schedule in 2021
The Jets’ 2021 strength of schedule ranks tied for 19th in the league (tied with their division rival New England Patriots). They have the 11th most difficult schedule in the AFC. However, along with the Patriots, the Jets have the toughest schedule in the AFC East.
The six games against their own division make a big difference to the way the Jets’ schedule rank. With the three teams in their division having combined for 30 wins from a possible 48, they account for a significant increase in the difficulty of the Jets’ schedule.
The remainder of the schedule includes four other playoff teams. Those four teams are the Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts, and the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Including the Bills and Dolphins, that is eight games the Jets will have against teams with winning records from 2020.
However, the Jets’ schedule does get some respite. Facing the Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, and Philadelphia Eagles means they face six teams with an average of just 3.67 wins during the 2020 season.
How does their schedule at home compare to their schedule on the road?
The home and road breakdown of the Jets’ 2021 opponents is interesting. In MetLife Stadium, they face five teams with a winning record from last season. However, three of those teams (Buccaneers, Saints, and Jaguars) are teams from warmer climates. All three of them have the ability to beat the Jets, but the weather could play into the Jets’ favor.
However, on the road, they face just three teams with winning records in 2020. The Jets’ toughest 2021 road opponent is the Denver Broncos. Playing in Denver is always tough due to the atmospheric conditions.
How the scheduling falls with the game in Miami could also make that game a tough experience if the Jets have to play in the early part of the season. Despite that, the Jets’ road schedule does not look to be all that intimidating.
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