The New York Jets surprised a lot of NFL fans when they decided to hire Joe Douglas as general manager after the conclusion of the 2019 NFL Draft. Due to the timeline for when they hired Douglas, the 2020 NFL offseason was his first fair chance to put his stamp on building a roster around quarterback Sam Darnold. Unlike his predecessor, Douglas prioritized the offensive line and protecting Darnold first. His quantity over quality approach in free agency seemed odd, but given how weak the top of the free-agent offensive line class was, it made perfect sense. In the 2020 NFL Draft, he didn't hesitate to use his first pick on offensive tackle Mekhi Becton.
Douglas and the Jets did almost everything right in the draft (prioritizing pass protection, trading back to acquire more picks, and targeting developmental prospects at offensive tackle, EDGE and backup quarterback). However, given the current state of the world and with a likely-shortened OTAs process, this feels like a roster that could still be a year away. Of course, a massive third-year leap from Darnold could change all of that.
The NFL has officially released its 2020 schedule and we're going to dive into it below while pinpointing prime-time games and everything else you need to know. Without further ado, let's dive right into it:
The Pick Six Podcast gang fired up a new episode breaking down every eye-catching aspect of the NFL's schedule release. Give it a listen below, and be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform:
- Week 1, Sept. 13: at Bills, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 2, Sept. 20: vs. 49ers, 1 p.m, Fox
- Week 3, Sept. 27: at Colts, 4:05 p.m, CBS
- Week 4, Oct. 1: vs. Broncos (Thursday Night Football), 8:20 p.m., NFL Network/Amazon
- Week 5, Oct. 11: vs. Cardinals, 1 p.m., Fox
- Week 6, Oct. 18: at Chargers, 4:05 p.m, CBS
- Week 7, Oct. 25: vs. Bills, 1 p.m, CBS
- Week 8, Nov. 1: at Chiefs, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 9, Nov. 9: vs. Patriots (Monday Night Football), 8:15 p.m., ESPN
- Week 10, Nov. 15: at Dolphins, 4:05 p.m., CBS
- Week 11, BYE
- Week 12, Nov. 29: vs. Dolphins, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 13, Dec. 6: vs. Raiders, 1 p.m., CBS
- Week 14, Dec. 13: at Seahawks, 4:05 p.m, CBS
- Week 15, Dec. 19 or 20 (TBD): at Rams, TBD
- Week 16, Dec. 26 or 27 (TBD): vs. Browns, TBD
- Week 17, Jan. 3: at Patriots, 1 p.m., CBS
The Jets will open the season on the road vs. a division rival before hosting the NFC champion 49ers in Week 2 at MetLife Stadium.
Two four-game stretches are in the running for the toughest test the Jets will face all season, but we'll pick the stretch from Weeks 6-9 starting with a road game against the revamped Chargers, a home game against the Bills, a road game against the Super Bowl champion Chiefs and then a prime-time home game against the Patriots.
As noted above in the schedule breakdown, the Jets will be playing in just two prime-time games in 2020. They will be hosting both games -- against the Broncos in Week 4 and Patriots in Week 9. In 2019, the Jets played in three prime-time games.
Strength of schedule
Earlier this offseason, John Breech broke down the 2020 strength of schedule for all 32 NFL teams based on combined opponent winning percentage in 2019. Despite finishing third place in the AFC East, the Jets will face the second-hardest strength of schedule in 2020. For a complete look at every team's strength of schedule,.
However, when basing strength of schedule on the over/under win totals for each team's opponents during the 2020 season at William Hill, the Jets' path doesn't change much. New York will go from facing the second-toughest schedule in the league to facing the third-toughest. For a complete look at every team's strength of schedule using this methodology, check out Jared Dubin's full breakdown here.