The New York Jets will square off against the only NFL organization they’ve never beaten, the Philadelphia Eagles, in a 17th game.
The NFL is going to look different, yet familiar, come the 2021 season.
According to commissioner Roger Goodell, the league is planning to have full stadiums when the new year commences. Some of those in the stands will have an extra home game to enjoy, as the league announced that it plans to move forward with a 17-game season, making a permanent change to the number of regular-season contests for the first time since 1978.
“All of us in the NFL want to see every one of our fans back,” Goodell said in a report from Michael David Smith of Pro Football Focus. “Football is simply not the same without the fans and we expect to have full stadiums in the 2021 season.”
Last season, the New York Jets (and, by association, their MetLife Stadium co-tenants the Giants) were one of 13 teams that played their entire regular-season home slate without fans in attendance due to restrictions in place amidst the ongoing health crisis.
MetLife Stadium has been permitted to open at 15 percent capacity. Its last sporting event, an XFL football game between the host New York Guardians and the Los Angeles Wildcats, came last February. A Guns N’ Roses concert originally scheduled for last summer is scheduled for Aug. 5.
As for the 17th game, the Jets are scheduled to battle the Philadelphia Eagles through a new setup where one division’s teams play another, matching with their finish from the prior this season.
For the first time around, the AFC East battles the NFC East, with the Jets facing their fellow fourth-place finishers from Philadelphia. The divisions’ champions Buffalo and Washington will face off in Orchard park, while New England and Miami will take on the Giants and Cowboys, respectively.
Through this matchup with the Eagles, the Jets will have a chance to snap one of the more dubious streaks in franchise history. They have yet to win a single regular-season get-together with Philadelphia, though five of the last seven meetings (dating back to 1993) have been decided by one possession.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags