Fri, 21 Jan 2022

Who Will the Jets Play in 2022

New York Jets
11 Jan 2022, 00:56 GMT+10

Other Non-Division Games vs. AFC South & NFC South Plus 4th-Place Teams in AFC North & West Eric Allen

Prior to Sunday's season finale in Buffalo, the Jets' opponents had been locked in for the 2022 NFL season. Based on the NFL's schedule rotation, the Jets and the three other members of the AFC East will battle teams from the AFC North and NFC North. With their fourth place finish in the AFC, the Jets are set to take on the fourth-place finishers in the AFC South, AFC West and NFC West.

Five of the Jets' 17 games will be against 2021 playoff teams as they'll have their annual two-game set with the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots in addition to a home game against the Cincinnati Bengals and a road date at the Packers in Green Bay as well as the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

Here are thumbnails on the Jets' 17 games against their 14 different opponents for the new season (2021 season records in parentheses):

JETS HOME OPPONENTS (8)

Buffalo Bills: Despite Corey Davis and Elijah Moore combining for 8 catches, 137 yards and 1 TD in the teams' Week 10 meeting, the Bills ran away with a 45-17 decision. Buffalo has won the past four as the visitor in the series, but Zach Wilson has yet to get a crack at the Bills at home. With Wilson out with a PCL sprain in November, Mike White threw for 251 yards but had 4 INTs.

New England Patriots: The Pats captured a 26-6 decision at the Jets in Week 2, but there were promising signs of what was to come late in the 2021 campaign. The Jets rushed for 152 yards and averaged 4.9 yards an attempt while rookie RB Michael Carter led the way with 59 yards on 11 carries. Braxton Berrios was targeted a team-high 11 times and had 7 receptions for 73 yards receiving.

Miami Dolphins: Moore broke out in a big way at home against the 'Fins, hauling in 8 passes for 141 yards including a 62-yard TD. On defense, waiver find Quincy Williams, who finished with 100+ tackles, collected 15 in the November meeting at MetLife that went Miami's way, 24-17.

Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens were decimated by injury this season and missed the playoffs, but they will be back in contention if Lamar Jackson is healthy. Jets Team MVP C.J. Mosley will lead the defensive charge against the Edgar Allen Poes, the team who selected the Alabama product in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Mosley was a four-time Pro Bowler and four-time second-team All-Pro in Ravens' purple from 2014-18.

Cincinnati Bengals: The Jets' promising young cornerbacks, Bryce Hall, Michael Carter II and Brandin Echols, will counter one of the NFL's best passing attacks as Joe Burrow is set to return with Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Ja'Marr Chase. In the Jets' 34-31 win over the Bengals on Halloween, Chase was held to 3 catches for 32 yards although one of his receptions was TD. RB Ty Johnson (5-71-1TD) and Carter (9-95) combined for 14 catches, 166 yards and 1 TD.

Chicago Bears: One of the top storylines will be Wilson, the No. 2 overall selection in April's NFL Draft, going toe-to-toe with Justin Fields, who was taken nine picks later by the Bears. Watch the edges, though, as the Jets got very good play out of their tackles this season with George Fant and Morgan Moses and they'll expect to get Mekhi Becton at full-go in 2022. No matter who lines up, they'll have to contend with OLB Robert Quinn, who had 18.5 sacks heading into Week 18, and Khalil Mack.

Detroit Lions: This won't be a homecoming for Robert Saleh, but the Jets HC is a Michigander who is a Dearborn native. He was an all-conference tight end at Northern Michigan and then started his coaching career as an offensive assistant at Michigan State in 2002. The Lions hold the No. 2 overall selection in the NFL Draft and could have their eyes on Michigan DE Aidan Hutchinson barring that he doesn't go No. 1 overall.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Despite beating to the Colts in Week 18, the Jaguars will have the No. 1 overall selection in the NFL Draft for a second consecutive spring. Last year's No. 1 pick, Trevor Lawrence, will have a new head coach when the J-Ville makes a return appearance to MetLife Stadium. In the teams' day-after Christmas clash in Week 16, Carter reached 100 yards on the ground for the first time (118) and Wilson established a franchise mark with 91 rush yards and his 52-yard sideline sprint to paydirt was the longest run by a QB in franchise annals.

JETS AWAY OPPONENTS (9)

Buffalo Bills: After ending the season in Buffalo, you wonder if the NFL will schedule the Jets' return trip to Western New York in September? Josh Allen is one of three QBs in NFL history with 120-plus rush and pass TDs (134) and 30-plus wins (39) in his first four seasons. The Bills will enter 2022 looking for a third consecutive division championship.

Miami Dolphins: Finishing is the next step for the young Jets. When the teams battled in South Florida before Christmas, the Jets scored on three of their first four possessions and twice held a 10-point lead in the first half. They also got a pick-6 from Echols in the fourth quarter but couldn't close the deal in a 24-17 loss. The 'Fins became the first team in NFL history to have a seven-game losing streak and seven-game winning streak in the same season.

New England Patriots: The Jets' last win at New England was in the divisional round of the 2010 playoffs, a 28-21 show-stopper. The Pats gained wild-card entry into the postseason this season with rookie QB Mac Jones at the helm of a run-first offense in addition to a tough defense. You have to play well in all three phases to beat a Bill Belichick squad and the 2021 Jets, buoyed by great special-teams play from Berrios, were the only NFL team to rank in the top five in kick and punt return average.

Cleveland Browns: The Browns were far better at home this season, going 6-3 at the Dawg Pound. The Browns finished tied for first in the NFL averaging of 5.09 yards per rush. One area where the Jets have to significantly improve is in turnover margin as finished tied for No. 29 at -13.

Pittsburgh Steelers: With all signs pointing to Ben Roethlisberger's retirement, who will be the Jets see at QB when they go to Pittsburgh? T.J. Watt ended the season tying the NFL's single-season sack record, but the best way to slow down a pass rush is to run at a defense. The Jets ranked 13th in NFL in yards per rush at 4.39 yards per attempt.

Green Bay Packers: Carl Lawson might have this one circled on his calendar. A prized free-agent signing by the Jets, Lawson was lost for the year when he ruptured his Achilles in August during a joint practice with the Packers in Green Bay. Lawson was dominant in the early stages in training camp and will be a key piece for a defense that wants to create chaos up front. Saleh and GB HC Matt LaFleur were grad assistants together at Central Michigan and were groomsmen in each other's weddings. Matt is the elder brother of the Jets' talented young OC, Mike LaFleur.

Minnesota Vikings: The 'Vikes have big-time skill at RB and WR with Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson, but Minnesota had issues on the other side of the ball this season. Hall, who was T-6th in the league with 16 PDs, and the Jets will look to improve their all-time mark at Minnesota to 4-2.

Denver Broncos: The Jets were shutout, 26-0, by the Broncos in Denver in Week 3. Mosley, who had a career-high - tackles this season, registered one of the most violent hits of the season when he delivered a crushing blow on RB Melvin Gordon to prevent a touchdown. After the Broncos started 3-0, they won just four of their next 14 games.

Seattle Seahawks: The trade that sent Jamal Adams to Seattle in July of 2020 will continue to pay dividends for the Jets this offseason. Adams had 9.5 sacks in 2020 with the 'Hawks, but Seattle dropped a wild-card contest to the Rams in the playoffs. Adams had a pair or interceptions this season but no sacks in 11 games before being placed on injured reserve in December. The Jets, who used Seattle's 2020 first-round pick in order to move up and select LG Alijah Vera-Tucker last April, have the 'Hawks first-rounder in the 2022 NFL Draft, No. 10 overall.

More Buffalo News

Access More

Sign up for Buffalo News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!