New York Jets schedule takeaways:
- The Jets face the Carolina Panthers in Week 1 of the NFL season.
- Their Week 6 bye is set between a trip to London to face the Atlanta Falcons and a road game against the New England Patriots (Oct. 10 and Oct. 24).
- Sportsnaut predicts the Jets will end the season with a 6-11 record.
The New York Jets have legitimate hope entering 2021 for the first time in a while, with a new coaching staff led by Robert Saleh and a fresh face of the franchise in No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson.
Can Wilson finally be the star quarterback Gang Green has sought since Broadway Joe Namath’s heyday? It’s very possible, but whether that translates to a lot of wins this year is another matter.
Now that the Jets’ 2021 schedule has been released, let’s look at each game to see how New York might fare this coming season.
New York Jets schedule predictions, roster outlook
Let’s take a look at the team’s complete 2021 schedule and make predictions for each game.
Jets roster outlook
All our predictions are based on the Browns keeping and starting these key players:
- QB – Zach Wilson
- RB – Tevin Coleman, Michael Carter (rookie), Lamical Perine
- WR – Corey Davis, Denzel Mims, Elijah Moore (rookie), Jamison Crowder
- TE – Christopher Herndon, Ryan Griffin
- Defense – Jets not ranked in top 20 this week
Wilson’s adjustment to the NFL game is going to go a long way in determining how high the Jets offense soars in 2021. He has a decent trio of backs to work with, including draft classmate Michael Carter, and a solid receiving corps, headlined by free-agent acquisition Corey Davis.
New York Jets 2021 preseason schedule
|Saturday, Aug. 14||@ New York Giants||7:30 PM||WNBC|
|Saturday, Aug. 21||@ Green Bay Packers||4:25 PM||WLNY/CBS|
|Friday, Aug. 27||vs. Philadelphia Eagles||7:30 PM||WCBS|
This season the NFL is lowering the amount of preseason games to three per team, and instead expanding the regular season to 17 games, rather than the traditional 16 games.
Week 1 – @ Carolina Panthers
|Sunday, Sept. 12||1:00 PM||CBS|
- Spread: Panthers -4.5 (via DraftKings)
- Moneyline: Jets +160; Panthers -200
- Over/Under: 43
Oh, this will be fun. Sam Darnold facing his former team. Some have compared Darnold favorably to Wilson, but that feels misguided because in the humble opinion of this author, the talent gap seems to heavily favor the Jets’ new QB. Darnold will press his way into multiple turnovers, allowing New York to leave Charlotte with a “W.”
- Week 1 prediction: Jets 30, Panthers 20
Week 2 – vs. New England Patriots
|Sunday, Sept. 19||1:00 PM||CBS|
This Patriots defense just isn’t going to surrender a lot to a rookie QB in Wilson. Unless the Jets’ rushing attack far exceeds expectations and gets immediate, phenomenal production out of rookie fourth-round pick Michael Carter, they won’t have enough balance or firepower to beat New England.
- Week 2 prediction: Patriots 21, Jets 10
Week 3 – @ Denver Broncos
|Sunday, Sept. 26||4:05 PM||CBS|
Playing in the altitude actually works to New York’s probable strength, which is Wilson stretching the field in the play-action passing game with Corey Davis, Denzel Mims and Elijah Moore. The Jets are liable to surrender some points, but don’t be shocked if they emerge from Denver with an upset win.
- Week 3 prediction: Jets 26, Broncos 24
Week 4 – vs. Tennessee Titans
|Sunday, Oct. 3||1:00 PM||CBS|
Ryan Tannehill lost the offensive coordinator who revived his career in Arthur Smith. Oh well, he still has a 2,000-yard rusher in Derrick Henry to hand off to. Provided at least one of Tennessee’s defensive rookies in Caleb Farley or Elijah Molden step up on the back end, the Titans should be able to beat the Jets in a shootout.
- Week 4 prediction: Titans 37, Jets 27
Week 5 – @ Atlanta Falcons (London)
|Sunday, Oct. 10||9:30 AM||NFLN|
What have the Falcons done to really upgrade their defense? Not much. An awful salary cap situation doesn’t help. Given Atlanta’s tendency to blow big leads, this has all the makings of a massive letdown for the hosts.
- Week 5 prediction: Jets 41, Falcons 34
WEEK 6 BYE
Week 7 – @ New England Patriots
|Sunday, Oct. 24||1:00 PM||CBS|
Bill Belichick routinely beats up on rookie quarterbacks, and there’s little reason to think Wilson will be an exception. This is no longer mid-major college football. It’s the AFC East, and even during last year’s down season, New England was still 5-3 at home.
- Week 7 prediction: Patriots 28, Jets 14
Week 8 – vs. Cincinnati Bengals
|Sunday, Oct. 31||1:00 PM||CBS|
Joe Burrow has Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd to throw to. The Jets don’t have the personnel on the back end to match up. However, it’s not like Cincinnati’s defense is anything special, so Wilson should have no problem putting points on the board, either.
- Week 8 prediction: Jets 41, Bengals 38
Week 9 – @ Indianapolis Colts (TNF)
|Thursday, Nov. 4||8:20 PM||FOX, NFLN|
Is Carson Wentz really the answer at quarterback for Indianapolis? Time will tell, and dealing with championship expectations isn’t going to help. This seems like the classic trap game for the Colts that they should ultimately prevail in, but Wilson will make it interesting.
- Week 9 prediction: Colts 31, Jets 27
Week 10 – vs. Buffalo Bills
|Sunday, Nov. 14||1:00 PM||CBS|
No matter what the venue is, Bills quarterback Josh Allen and his receiving corps of Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley and Emmanuel Sanders are going to be too much for the Jets’ unproven secondary to handle. They should have little trouble piling up points at MetLife Stadium, regardless of game day conditions.
- Week 10 prediction: Bills 45, Jets 21
Week 11 – vs. Miami Dolphins
|Sunday, Nov. 21||1:00 PM||CBS|
Home-field advantage may well be enough to swing this one in New York’s favor. A lackluster Dolphins offense and Saleh’s exotic schemes, combined with Wilson’s playmaking ability, could derail Miami’s hopes of picking up a key division win.
- Week 11 prediction: Jets 19, Dolphins 17
Week 12 – @ Houston Texans
|Sunday, Nov. 28||1:00 PM||CBS|
As bad as the Jets’ roster looked entering this offseason, they’ve made some serious improvements. Meanwhile, Houston may have the worst collection of players in the NFL. Even Gang Green should have little trouble blowing the Texans out.
- Week 12 prediction: Jets 38, Texans 17
Week 13 – vs. Philadelphia Eagles
|Sunday, Dec. 5||1:00 PM||CBS|
Philadelphia’s defense is for real, its offensive line is getting lots of key players back, and Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith may be an immediate No. 1 receiver for the Eagles. That spells trouble for New York, as Wilson figures to get pummeled in this one by Fletcher Cox and Co.
- Week 13 prediction: Eagles 27, Jets 19
Week 14 – vs. New Orleans Saints
|Sunday, Dec. 12||1:00 PM||FOX|
Despite a thin cornerback corps that should be tested, New Orleans should be able to do enough to grind out a win. Saints pass-catching tailback Alvin Kamara is going to be a problem for anyone New York tries to put on him in coverage, and should be the X-factor who swings this one in the visitors’ favor.
- Week 14 prediction: Saints 31, Jets 23
Week 15 – @ Miami Dolphins
|Sunday, Dec. 19||TBD||TBD|
Because Tua Tagovailoa hasn’t really proven himself yet, the Jets may have the better quarterback when they squared off with the Dolphins this season. However, Miami’s top-flight defense is probably going to be too much for Wilson to handle, particularly on the road.
- Week 15 prediction: Dolphins 27, Jets 17
Week 16 – vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
|Sunday, Dec. 26||1:00 PM||CBS|
Trevor Lawrence vs. Zach Wilson. The battle of the 2021 draft’s top two picks will probably go to the Jaguars. They’re better at key positions on the front seven and in their secondary, and have a true generational talent under center in Lawrence.
- Week 16 prediction: Jaguars 28, Jets 24
Week 17 – vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|Sunday, Jan. 2||1:00 PM||FOX|
Pity anyone who has to face off with the reigning Super Bowl champions this season. Tampa Bay returned all its offensive and defensive starters from its 2020 championship roster. Maybe the Jets score a little in garbage time to make the score closer than the game actually winds up being.
- Week 17 prediction: Buccaneers 35, Jets 22
Week 18 – @ Buffalo Bills
|Sunday, Jan. 9||1:00 PM||CBS|
The Bills were just one win away from the Super Bowl, and the Jets were just one loss away from being tied as the NFL’s worst team. That’s a chasm that won’t be closed enough for New York to keep this final score within one possession.
- Week 18 prediction: Bills 37, Jets 24