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New York Jets schedule and 2021 season predictions

The New York Jets' 2021 schedule is officially out. We're going to predict all 17 games and project how much Zach Wilson can help Gang Green improve this year.

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.

New York Jets schedule predictions, roster outlook
May 27, 2021; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) participates in a drill during an OTA at Jets Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

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
  • DefenseJets 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

DateOpponentTime (ET)TV
Saturday, Aug. 14@ New York Giants7:30 PMWNBC
Saturday, Aug. 21@ Green Bay Packers4:25 PMWLNY/CBS
Friday, Aug. 27vs. Philadelphia Eagles7:30 PMWCBS

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

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Sept. 121:00 PMCBS
  • 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

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Sept. 191:00 PMCBS

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

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Sept. 264:05 PMCBS

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

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Oct. 31:00 PMCBS

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)

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Oct. 109:30 AMNFLN

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

New York Jets schedule and 2021 season predictions
Credit: Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com

Week 7 – @ New England Patriots

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Oct. 241:00 PMCBS

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

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Oct. 311:00 PMCBS

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)

DateTime (ET)TV
Thursday, Nov. 48:20 PMFOX, 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
New York Jets schedule and 2021 season predictions
Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Week 10 – vs. Buffalo Bills

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Nov. 141:00 PMCBS

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

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Nov. 211:00 PMCBS

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

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Nov. 281:00 PMCBS

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

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Dec. 51:00 PMCBS

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

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Dec. 121:00 PMFOX

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

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Dec. 19TBDTBD

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

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Dec. 261:00 PMCBS

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
New York Jets schedule and 2021 season predictions
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Week 17 – vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Jan. 21:00 PMFOX

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

DateTime (ET)TV
Sunday, Jan. 91:00 PMCBS

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

New York Jets record prediction: 6-11