Jamal Adams Sam Darnold
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The New York Jets 2019 slate features plenty of east coast flair, as well as many challenges for Sam Darnold against fellow 2018 draftees.

Geoff Magliocchetti

Nothing showcases the stranglehold the NFL has on the American imagination than schedule release day. The NHL/NBA playoffs are underway, baseball is back … and all anyone’s talking about is attaching times/dates to matchups we knew/know about a decade in advance.

Wednesday marked the annual date reveals, as the NFL inches one step closer to Week 1. Below, we go throw the New York Jets slate game-by-game, offering thoughts, fun facts, and analysis …

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Week 1: Buffalo Bills (9/8) 

(1:00 p.m. ET, CBS)

Have Sam Darnold and Josh Allen brought the Jets-Bills rivalry back from the dead? Their first meeting in Orchard Park provided great entertainment for two doomed teams, with a game-winning drive from Darnold giving the Jets a 27-23 victory.

This will also be the second time in three years the Jets open against the Bills, as Buffalo triumphed in 2017’s opener by a 21-12 final. It’s also the first time the Jets open their slate at home since 2016 when they fell 23-22 to Cincinnati.

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Week 2: Cleveland Browns (9/16)

(8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)

It missed the opening week slot foretold by Jamal Adams and Odell Beckham Jr., but this unlikely prime time matchup is nonetheless crammed with headlines.

The two superstars will line up across from each other. This marks Beckham’s return to East Rutherford after the infamous trade from the Jets co-tenents (more on them later). 2018’s top two quarterback selections will square off again, as Baker Mayfield shocked Darnold and the Jets last season in a 21-17 victory in Week 3’s Thursday night portion. New Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams departed Cleveland as its first winning coach since Marty Schottenheimer in 1988, guiding the Browns to a 5-3 mark as an interim boss.

Jets-Browns as a prime time matchup may sound ludicrous to some, but it was groundbreaking in terms of NFL television. Monday Night Football, which celebrates its 50th edition this season, began with such a showdown, a 31-21 Cleveland win in 1970.

Week 3: @ New England Patriots (9/22)

(1:00 p.m. ET, CBS)

The Jets have a short week to prepare for the Patriots, as they seek their first regular season win at Gillette Stadium since 2008. Including a Saturday afternoon home game against the Texans last season, the Jets are 2-6 in their last eight games with a short week.

Notably, the Jets will take Week 4 off, their earliest bye since their 2015 vacation came a week later. In that year, they started 3-1 before finishing on a 7-5 note.

Week 4: Bye Week

Week 5: @ Philadelphia Eagles (10/6)

(1:00 p.m. ET, CBS)

What’s normally reserved for the final week of the summer extends to the fall, as the Jets open their interconference slate against the Eagles. The Jets will look to end a dubious streak: in 10 tries dating back to 1973, they have never beaten Philadelphia in the regular season. Their last attempt came in 2015 in East Rutherford, where a comeback from 24-0 down fell just short, as the Eagles escaped with a 24-17 victory.

Week 6: Dallas Cowboys (10/13)

(4:25 p.m. ET, Fox)

Of all the Jets’ prime time snubs, this one could be the most shocking. While their series with the Cowboys will never be mistaken for a bitter rivalry, the last three meetings were all national games (Thanksgiving in 2007, Week 1 Sunday night game in 2011, December Saturday night game in 2015).

This meeting features plenty of headlines as well. Young quarterbacks Darnold and Dak Prescott will go head-to-head, as will Le’Veon Bell and Ezekiel Elliott. The last time those two faced off was an instant classic. With Dallas taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers, the pair combined for 343 yards of total offense and five touchdowns. The last of the latter was scored by Elliott with nine seconds to go, giving the Cowboys a 35-30 victory.

While not considered a true “national” game, the game will still see a wide audience in the primary late afternoon spot. It marks the first time they’ve had a 4:00 Sunday game at home since November 2016, a 22-17 loss to New England.

(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Week 7: New England Patriots (10/21)

(8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)

This marks the first time the Jets have had multiple appearances on Monday Night Football, and it comes against the Patriots. With the New England proceedings wrapped up before Halloween, it marks the earliest the matchups conclude since 2013, when they were likewise completed through seven games. This is also the first time the teams take their rivalry to Monday since 2010 when the Patriots crushed the Jets by a 45-3 margin at Gillette. The Jets would get their revenge later that postseason with their famous 28-21 victory in the AFC Divisional playoffs.

The Jets also appear on Monday Night Football multiple times for the first time since 2016. Those appearances ended only in disaster, as they lost to Arizona on the road in a 28-3 final before dropping a 41-10 decision to the Indianapolis Colts at home.

The first seven weeks of the season could make or break the Jets’ season. Including the Patriots pair, the Jets face two more playoff teams from last season (Dallas and Philadelphia) and the two outliers are up and coming AFC squads.

(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Week 8: @ Jacksonville Jaguars (10/27)

(1:00 p.m. ET, CBS)

Despite the lack of a divisional connection, this will mark the third straight season that the Jets face off with the Jaguars. Jacksonville won last year’s meeting, also at TIAA Bank Field, by a 31-12 score, ending the Jets’ four-game winning streak against them.

Last year’s meeting notably featured the Jaguars running up the score on the hapless Jets, scoring a touchdown and going for two points with the game well in hand in the final minute. The ensuing victory moved the Jaguars to 3-1, but, in apparent karmic timing, went 2-9 for the rest of the season.

Week 9: @ Miami Dolphins (11/3)

(1:00 p.m. ET, CBS)

Autumn is a popular time for homecoming on college campuses. The trend extends to the pros in Week 9, as head coach Adam Gase and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains return to South Beach. Gase had the Jets’ tenure during his time at the Miami helm, going 5-1 against New York in his three seasons. That tally included a perfect trio at Hard Rock Stadium.

The season sweep narrowed the Jets’ hold on the all-time series. They currently lead it 54-52-1.

(Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Week 10: New York Giants (11/10)

(1:00 p.m. ET, Fox)

The Snoopy Bowl makes the jump to the regular season. MetLife Stadium will go green for the occasion, as the Jets are the designated home team. Picks number two and three of the 2018 NFL Draft square off for the first time, as Darnold will look to show the Giants they made the wrong move in picking Saquon Barkley. It could also mark the final time Eli Manning faces off against the Jets, with his contract set to expire after this season.

When the games actually count, the Giants own the advantage with an 8-5 tally. The Jets’ thrilling victory in 2015, a 23-20 overtime final, ended a five-game Giants winning streak in the series.

Week 11: @ Washington Redskins (11/17)

(1:00 p.m. ET, Fox)

The Jets wrap up their NFC East tales in Landover. While a Mark Sanchez appearance might be out of the question, it will mark a homecoming for Jamison Crowder, who spent the first four seasons of his NFL career in burgundy.

Washington leads the all-time set 8-3, but the Jets are riding a two-game winning streak. In the last meeting, Crowder, then a rookie, had 40 yards on four receptions, but the Jets prevailed 34-20.

Week 12: Oakland Raiders (11/24)

(1:00 p.m. ET, CBS)

Could this be the final time the Jets face off against the “Oakland” Raiders? It’s a rivalry that dates back to the earliest days of the AFL, one that the Raiders lead 25-19-2.

Oakland hasn’t defeated the Jets in East Rutherford since 1996, with the Jets winning each of the five meetings since. The last such showdown opened the 2014 season, as the Jets earned a 19-14 victory.

Week 13: @ Cincinnati Bengals (12/1)

(1:00 p.m. ET, CBS)

The Jets will make their first visit to Paul Brown Stadium since 2013, and it’s one they’d like to forget, as Andy Dalton threw five touchdowns en route to a 49-9 blowout. It marked the Bengals’ second straight win in the series, but the Jets continue to lead it 17-9.

Week 14: Miami Dolphins (12/8)

(1:00 p.m. ET, CBS)

Could this be a homecoming for Ryan Fitzpatrick? The former Jets thrower signed with Miami this offseason and is currently slated to be their starter.

With the Dolphins expected to struggle this season, this could mark the end of a crucial stretch for the Jets. If the team is serious about contending, with the wild card being more likely thanks to the New England monopoly in the East, they have a manageable midseason stretch to contend for the wild card. After their tough opening six, the Jets’ next seven opponents features zero participants from the 2018 postseason.

Week 15: @ Baltimore Ravens (12/12)

(8:20 p.m. ET, Fox/NFL Network/Amazon Prime)

The Jets have a big three-game slate to end the year, featuring familiar faces and a divisional foe. First, C.J. Mosley makes his return to Charm City in what will be the 2019 Thursday Night Football finale. The Ravens are up in the all-time set 8-2, but the Jets won the last meeting in 2016, thanks in part to a 69-yard touchdown from Quincy Enunwa.

Since full-time Thursday night games were introduced in 2013, the Jets are 2-4, including last season’s infamous loss in Cleveland.

Le'Veon Bell, New York Jets
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Week 16: Pittsburgh Steelers (12/22)

(1:00 p.m. ET, CBS) 

Bell’s former comrades will come to visit for what could be a crucial December matchup in the Jets’ home finale. The Jets will have to reverse some brutal happenings against the Steelers if they hope to keep a late playoff push alive. They won the last East Rutherford meeting in 2014, as Bell was held to 36 yards in the 20-13 decision. He’d fare slightly better in the more recent matchup, earning 66 yards in a 31-13 Pittsburgh win.

Week 17: @ Buffalo Bills 

(1:00 p.m. ET, CBS)

The NFL introduced the all-divisional slate to end the season in 2010. The last time the Jets went to Buffalo to wrap things up was in 2015 … a game that ultimately defined the Todd Bowles era, the brutality of a 22-17 loss that cost them a playoff spot.

Armed with the hope of young throwers, both the Jets and Bills will have heightened hopes this season, ones that could feature playoff dreams. Could Darnold and Allen’s final test be a battle against each other for a playoff push?

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