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New York Jets to open 2021 season at Carolina Panthers

ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 29: Sam Darnold #14 of the New York Jets throws a pass before a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on December 29, 2019 in Orchard Park, New York.
(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

Sam Darnold will not have to wait very long for his chance to get revenge on the New York Jets, as his Panthers will host New York in Week 1.

According to the New York Jets‘ official Twitter account, Robert Saleh‘s team will begin the 2021 season with a battle against Sam Darnold and the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Ever since the Jets sent their former franchise quarterback down south, Carolina has been one of the most enticing matchups on their schedule, and now we know that fans of both teams will not have to wait long at all for the exciting grudge match. At 1 p.m. Eastern on September 12, Zach Wilson will make his NFL debut against the man he is replacing.

Darnold isn’t the only former Jet who will get his chance to exact revenge. Robby Anderson will get his shot to fire back at the team that apparently lowballed him on the 2020 free agent market. Anderson enjoyed his first season in Carolina, posting career highs of 95 catches and 1,096 yards in Joe Brady’s Panthers offense.

Anderson played 24 games with Sam Darnold in a Jets uniform, posting 1,277 yards and 11 touchdowns, a 16-game pace of 851 yards and seven touchdowns (or a 17-game pace of 905 yards and eight touchdowns).

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Carolina’s roster also features three more former Jets: Frankie Luvu, Trenton Cannon, and Pat Elflein. Greg Van Roten is the most notable former Panther on the New York side.

New York has a 3-4 all-time record against Carolina. The last meeting between the two teams took place at MetLife Stadium in 2017, a 35-27 Panthers win in a shootout between Cam Newton and Josh McCown. Jamal Adams notably tried to interrupt Newton during a touchdown celebration, while Mike Pennel infamously ruined the Jets’ chances of making a comeback with a late penalty. Robby Anderson scored two deep touchdowns and posted a still-standing career-high of 146 yards against his future team.

The Jets’ last trip to Charlotte was in 2013, as the Geno Smith-led Jets entered the fourth quarter trailing by only three points but ended up falling by a score of 30-20 to a red-hot Panthers team that finished the season 12-4. Sheldon Richardson rushed for a one-yard touchdown while Jeff Cumberland led the team with 50 receiving yards.

New York’s last win against the Panthers was a 17-6 win in November of 2009. Their last and only win in Carolina was a 13-12 victory in October of 2001.

The complete NFL schedule will be officially released tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern on NFL Network.

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