Jets’ full schedule for 2021 NFL season

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The NFL clearly believes the Jets are not ready for primetime.

Following a 2-14 season in 2020, Gang Green only has one game in primetime in the upcoming season. They face the Colts on Nov. 4 on “Thursday Night Football.” The rest of their schedule consists of 1 p.m. games, one 9:30 a.m. start and one 4:05 p.m. start. 

The Jets travel to London for the first time since 2015 to face the Falcons on Oct. 10. Other highlights of the schedule are the Week 1 matchup with Sam Darnold, Zach Wilson vs. Trevor Lawrence on Dec. 26 when the Jaguars visit and the season finale in Buffalo on Jan. 9.

Here is the full slate, according to sources:

Week 1: at Panthers

Sept. 12, 1 p.m., CBS

The Sam Darnold revenge angle will be out of control leading into this one, but there are other interesting storylines. This will be the debut of new coach Robert Saleh and most likely quarterback Zach Wilson. Robby Anderson faces the Jets for the first time and Matt Rhule, whom the Jets nearly hired in 2019, will be on the other sideline. 

Week 2 vs. Patriots

Sept. 19, 1 p.m., CBS

Bill Belichick faces another Jets coach, getting his first look at Saleh in this one. The fascinating question here is one we have not asked many times in the last two decades: Who will the Patriots quarterback be? Can rookie Mac Jones win the job or will it be Cam Newton?

Week 3 at Broncos

Sept. 26, 4:05 p.m., CBS

With no NFL teams in Utah, this is as close to home as Wilson will get in his rookie season. The Broncos won this battle of bad teams in 2020. This will be a good measuring stick for the Jets to see how much they have improved in a year. 

Week 4 vs. Titans

Oct. 3, 1 p.m., CBS

This game would have been more fun if Adam Gase was still the Jets coach and he was facing quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Instead, we’ll get to see how Saleh’s defense stacks up against Derrick Henry and Co. New Jets wide receiver Corey Davis gets to face his former team. 

Week 5 at Falcons (in London)

Oct. 10, 9:30 a.m., NFL Network

Woody Johnson just finished his term as ambassador to the United Kingdom and now his team is headed for England. The Jets will get to see rookie tight end Kyle Pitts up close. He would have been a candidate for them to draft at No. 2 if they had stuck with Darnold. 

Week 6 — BYE

Week 7 at Patriots

Oct. 24, 1 p.m., CBS

The Jets are done with the rival Patriots fairly early this season with the second meeting coming before Halloween. We should have a good feel for who the Jets are as a team by this point and a win over the Patriots would go a long way. The Jets have not won in Foxborough since the 2010 playoffs. 

Week 8 vs. Bengals

Oct. 31, 1 p.m., CBS

Playing a team whose colors are orange and black on Halloween? That could be trouble for the Jets. This could be a fun shootout between young quarterbacks Wilson and Joe Burrow. New Jets defensive end Carl Lawson will be fired up to face his former team.

Week 9 at Colts

Nov. 4, 8:20 p.m., FOX

The Jets’ lone primetime appearance comes against Carson Wentz and the Colts. The Jets scored a big primetime win in Indianapolis in 2015 that sparked a 10-6 season. A win here would be huge and could propel the Jets in the second half of the season. 

Week 10 vs. Bills

Nov. 14, 1 p.m., CBS

The Jets don’t see the defending AFC East champions until late in the year. Buffalo has zoomed past the Jets through effective team building in recent years. The Jets are now chasing the Bills and this will be a chance to see if they have gotten any closer. 

Week 11 vs. Dolphins

Nov. 21, 1 p.m., CBS

It is division games in back-to-back weeks for the Jets after only seeing the Patriots early in the season. This is the first potential matchup between Tua Tagovailoa and Wilson, which could be a quarterback battle for years in the division. 

Week 12 at Texans

Nov. 28, 1 p.m., CBS

Who knows what Houston will look like for this game? Deshaun Watson’s future is still very murky between his trade demand and his legal issues. Chances are this game will be quarterbacked by someone else. This is a chance for a road win for the Jets. 

Week 13 vs. Eagles

Dec. 5, 1 p.m., CBS

The Jets have never beaten the Eagles, going 0-11 against Philadelphia all-time. This should be a weak Eagles team and maybe the Jets have a chance to snap that skid. Quinnen Williams gets a chance to hit his college teammate from Alabama, quarterback Jalen Hurts. 

Week 14 vs. Saints

Dec. 12, 1 p.m., FOX

The Jets let linebacker Demario Davis go twice. He has blossomed into one of the best linebackers in football in New Orleans. Now, Davis returns to MetLife Stadium to show his old team what a mistake it made. 

Week 15 at Dolphins

Dec. 18 or 19, TBD

Miami in December? Yes, please. Maybe you don’t care how about my personal feelings here. For the Jets, they are going to have to prove they can hang with the other division teams to be taken seriously. Brian Flores has the Dolphins heading in the right direction. Saleh needs to show his team can compete. 

Week 16 vs. Jaguars

Dec. 26, 1 p.m., CBS

The dream for most Jets fans last season was to land the No. 1 pick in the Draft and take quarterback Trevor Lawrence. That dream died last December with two wins. This December, Jets fans get to see Lawrence, who ended up in Jacksonville with new coach Urban Meyer. 

Week 17 vs. Buccaneers

Jan. 2, 1 p.m. FOX

The Super Bowl champions come to MetLife Stadium late in the season. It will be the first time Todd Bowles, Tampa’s defensive coordinator, faces the Jets since the team fired him after the 2018 season. It is also another chance for Tom Brady to torment the Jets, something he did for 20 years in New England.

Week 18 at Bills

Jan. 9, 1 p.m. CBS

Buffalo in January? No thanks. Sorry, there I go again. It has been a long time since the final game of the season meant anything for the Jets. You have to go back to 2015 in Buffalo. If this one has playoff implications, the Jets have played much better than expected and the Saleh/Wilson era has gotten off to a great start. 

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