Breaking Down the Jets 2015 Schedule

The NFL released schedules for all 32 NFL teams for the 2015-2016 season in a nationally televised special. It’s a huge event for NFL fans, and a day to look forward to every year. Sure, the New York Jets already knew their 2015 opponents, but having dates and context to put the games in makes the season seem that much closer.

2015-2016 Jets Schedule

  • Week 1: Vs. Cleveland Browns (1:00 PM)
  • Week 2: At Indianapolis Colts (8:30 PM, ESPN Monday Night Football)
  • Week 3: Vs. Philadelphia Eagles (1:00 PM)
  • Week 4: “At” Miami Dolphins (9:30 AM, London)
  • Week 5: BYE
  • Week 6: Vs. Washington Redskins (1:00 PM)
  • Week 7: At New England Patriots (1:00 PM)
  • Week 8: At Oakland Raiders (4:05 PM)
  • Week 9: Vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (1:00 PM)
  • Week 10: Vs. Buffalo Bills (8:25 PM, NFL Thursday Night Football)
  • Week 11: At Houston Texans (1:00 PM)
  • Week 12: Vs. Miami Dolphins (1:00 PM)
  • Week 13: At New York Giants (1:00 PM)
  • Week 14: Vs. Tennessee Titans (1:00 PM)
  • Week 15: At Dallas Cowboys (8:25 PM, Saturday Night)
  • Week 16: Vs. New England Patriots (1:00 PM)
  • Week 17: At Buffalo Bills (1:00 PM)

Season Opener

The Jets kick off their 2015-2016 season at home, against the Cleveland Browns. This could be a very interesting matchup, and according to rumors, Marcus Mariota could be starting or at least on the bench of either two teams.

Any assortment of quarterback matchups is what will make this game intriguing. The Jets may roll out Geno Smith or Ryan Fitzpatrick, while the Browns could be undecided on Josh McCown or Johnny Manziel. Throw in the possibility of a newly drafted signal-caller on either side and this could be an interesting game to monitor the next few months.

On paper, this could be a toss-up. The Browns looked great early last year, but stumbled to end the season at 7-9, and the Jets rollercoaster season yielded them a 4-12 record. There’s no early favorite in this game, but the Jets should still be thankful for the possibility of an opening week win.

Starting the season 1-0 is quite possible against the Browns, and could potentially be a high point if next season is another troubled one.

Primetime Games

Love them or hate them, the Jets will appear on national television three times this year. Three times seems just about right for a team that has some upside and plays in a big market. However, it would be very disappointing to see an abysmal Jets team get blown out in a night game in front of millions of viewers.

The Jets travel to Indy to take on Andrew Luck and the Colts in primetime. (Getty Images)
The Jets travel to Indy to take on Andrew Luck and the Colts in primetime. (Getty Images)

The first primetime game comes early in week two, when the Jets travel to play the Colts in Indianapolis. This is perhaps the most questionable of the nationally-televised games. Andrew Luck and the Colts rolled all the way to the AFC Championship last year, and look to improve on that with the additions of Frank Gore and Andre Johnson.

If the Colts offense doesn’t click at first, the Jets may have a chance. But traveling to Lucas Oil Stadium to play the mighty Colts may be a setup for a blowout on national television.

On a Thursday night in week ten, the Jets will host the Buffalo Bills. This is a much less lop-sided matchup and shapes up to be a pretty good game. Divisional rivalries always have more implications, and Thursday night games have a knack for being close and often having underdog winners. This is one game where the Jets could definitely step up and win in the spotlight.

Finally, the Jets will travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys on a Saturday night during week 15. While not as high-profile as the typical Sunday and Monday night games, the Saturday game will still be viewed nation-wide.

The matchup is definitely interesting. Will the Cowboys be the same team after losing DeMarco Murray, or will they slide back to familiar 8-8 territory? Tony Romo could have fits trying to throw into the Jets scary secondary. If the Jets are indeed competitive late in the year, this could be a very fun game to watch.

However, if the Jets are anemic on offense again this year and the Cowboys are the same team that beat the Seahawks in Seattle last year, this one could also be over quick.

Easiest Stretch

The Jets easiest stretch of games includes the New England Patriots right in the middle.

Before taking on Tom Brady and the Patriots, the Jets play a winnable home game against the Washington Redskins. The Redskins are among three teams in this stretch that actually fared worse than the Jets last year, earning the fifth overall pick.

After what could be the toughest game of the year in New England, the Jets can find solace in playing the Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars in back-to-back weeks. The Jaguars and Raiders hold the third and fourth picks in this year’s draft, respectively.

Each team will also likely employ a second-year quarterback, in Blake Bortles and Derek Carr. Each has shown flashes of upside and tremendous potential, but both are severely lacking in the wins department.

With three games coming against the rare opponent who finished worse than the Jets last year, and two of the three games coming at home, weeks six through nine could be the Jets best run of the year.

Toughest Stretch

While the Jets may go winless a couple weeks in a row more than once next season, they don’t really have any brutal stretches.

As mentioned, their first matchup with the Patriots is sandwhiched around much easier opponents. Weeks 15-16 see the Jets play the Cowboys and Patriots, but is preceded by a game against the Tennessee Titans. The New York Giants matchup comes at the end of a stretch of ver solid competition, but not the toughest around.

All in all, the Jets may find the most trouble in the first four weeks of the season.

The season opener against the Browns is up for debate, but Cleveland started hot last year, and under the right quarterback could be a tough matchup.

The season opener is directly followed by the Monday Night Football game with the Colts in week two, which is in the debate for toughest single game on the Jets schedule.

Could Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow both face their former team? (Associated Press)
Could Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow both face their former team? (Associated Press)

Afterwards the Jets return home to face the Philadelphia Eagles, another team that’s hard to peg at this point. But whether the quarterback is Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez, or Tim Tebow, head coach Chip Kelly certainly has something up his sleeve.

This four game stretch is actually concluded in London, where the Jets will take on the Miami Dolphins in a neutral site. The Dolphins are a team on the rise, and the additions of Ndamukong Suh and Kenny Stills will definitely bolster Miami into a tough matchup for anyone in the league.

There’s no particularly daunting stretches in this schedule, but this four game run might be the hardest challenge the Jets face early in the season.

Bye Week

The Jets bye week falls pretty early this year, coming in week five. If the previous four games are as difficult as they seem on paper, the Jets could easily be 1-3 or even 0-4. However, the schedule then segways into what has been deemed the easy stretch of the season, so all hope will not be lost for the Jets.

The bye week will come at a great time for the Jets to evaluate where they are and what went wrong. In theory, it could even be the time the Jets make a quarterback change. Perhaps Geno Smith wins the starting job, but leads the Jets to an 0-4 record with little signs of life. At this point, the Jets would be wise to use the extra practice time to transition to Ryan Fitzpatrick or even a rookie signal-caller.

Though it comes early, the bye week couldn’t come at a better time for the Jets.

Most Exciting Game

Every four years, the AFC East and NFC East meet in the regular season, and no game is more fun to watch than Giants vs. Jets. The only two teams in the league to share a stadium, the rivalry is intense but even a bit friendly because of the close proximity.

Four years ago, Eli Manning and Victor Cruz downed the Jets on a 99-yard touchdown pass that has it’s place as one of the best plays in MetLife Stadium history. Cruz has exposed the Jets multiple times, including the last matchup and a three touchdown performance in the playoffs. Now, the Giants have an even more dangerous weapon in Odell Beckham Jr.

Watching Beckham Jr. go toe-to-toe with Darelle Revis in each team’s shared home stadium will certainly be exciting to watch. It’s a shame the NFL couldn’t find a way to push this game into the national spotlight, as it should be a great show for NFL fans everywhere.

Season Finale

The Jets close out the season in January against the Bills, in Buffalo. The late season game will most likely be a cold one in Buffalo.

Does this matchup hold any real weight?

Even after an impressive offseason, the Jets are still not expected to compete for the AFC East title. The Patriots look to grab the crown once again after a Super Bowl run last year. But the Jets have closed the gap on the Bills and Dolphins, and could be very competitive with them.

If the Jets can squeeze out eight or nine wins in the first sixteen weeks and the Bills can do the same, a wildcard spot could be on the line in week 17. It’s not unreasonable to think at 9-7 or 10-6 one of these teams could sneak into the playoffs in the final week.

Conversely, the Jets and Bills could both underachieve and this could be a meaningless matchup for a Jets team who’s season has already ended.

But there’s still hope. The New York Jets, just like every team in the NFL, are 0-0 right now, and full of potential for the 2015-2016 season.

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