In 2014, the New York Jets will play, outside of their divisional games, the NFC North, the AFC West, the Pittsburg Stealers and the Tennessee Titans. Last year, the green and white finished the season 8-8 after a dramatic win in Miami to finish off the season and save Rex Ryan’s job. Their schedule in 2014 reflects their record of last year. Their home opponents had a combined record of 66-62 last year, while their away opponents had a combined record of 66-60-2 (the Vikings and Packers tied last year and New York plays them both away). The New York Jets will also play five of the 12 playoff teams from last year, along with their other opponents for the 2014 season, which are analyzed below.
The Jet’s home games this year see them facing (outside of AFC East teams) the Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions and the Pittsburg Stealers. This will be the fifth time the Jets play the Stealers in the last five years. They have not fared well against the black and gold, losing regular season games to them the past two years, and splitting their two games in 2010; unfortunately the game they lost in ’10 was in the AFC Championship game. They will face the Broncos for the first time since Peyton Manning has been on the team. Last time the two teams faced, Denver was in the middle of Tebow-mania and got the best of the Jets. Oakland is still in a rebuilding year, but have made some serious upgrades thus far; luckily for the Jets, Oakland has the longest trip of any home opponent which should slow down any momentum they may bring in. The Lions and Bears both have above average passing games with Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall, which could be a bad omen for the cornerback-less Jets, but at home they seem to play better defense.
New York’s away schedule is quite different from their home. Outside of the AFC East teams, the Jets will travel to the Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers (their longest road trip), Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and the Tennessee Titans. This will be the third year in a row New York plays Tennessee and hopes to get their first win against the Titans in that span. Kansas City and San Diego were both wildcard teams last year and boast strong run games with above average quarterbacks. New York was great against the run last year, which will be good when they play Green Bay and Minnesota who have Eddie Lacy and Adrian Peterson; Green Bay should also have a healthy Aaron Rodgers, who should have no problem throwing against the Jets’ below average passing defense. Outside of Kansas City, none of the New York Jets away opponents analyzed for 2014 season have great defenses, which should keep them in the games and hope to squeeze out a couple extra wins.
The Jets have been very up and down against their AFC East counterparts. They were 1-1 against all three teams last year. New England, their hated rivals, will always be the two biggest games of the season. When the Patriots come to Met Life Stadium, Darrell Revis will have played at least one game every year in East Rutherford, assuming he is not injured before the game. The Jets have fared much better at home than away against the Patriots and will hope to keep their home winning ways going and change their fortunes away. The story between the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins is basically the same, just reversed. The past two years the Jets have won both their games in Miami, but lost both their games in Buffalo. When facing the two teams at home, the Jets have won both home games against Buffalo, but lost both against Miami. They have been able to figure Miami out on the road, but are stumped when they play them at home, and vice versa for the Bills. If the Jets want to have any hopes of making the playoffs this year, they will have to finish better than 3-3 in their division.
If New York finds some good cornerbacks in the draft or through a trade, and gets a number one receiver, they could finish the season 10-6, putting them on the bubble of making the playoffs. Assuming they go 4-2 in their division (beating either Miami or Buffalo twice and splitting the others) they should be able to find wins against Oakland, Pittsburg (who have lost a lot in free agency), Minnesota and Tennessee. They will not win against Denver, and traveling to Kansas City and San Diego will spell losses for them as well. If they can go 2-1 against Chicago, Detroit and Green Bay, then a ten win season is very much in their grasp, assuming they find the missing pieces. After being analyzed, the New York Jets have a very average schedule, one year after finishing 8-8, and their opponents in 2014 reflect this.
Commentary by Chris Dragicevich