New York Jets’ 2022 opponents are set
The vast majority of each NFL team’s future schedule is already set in stone for years to come. Fourteen games, to be exact, are scheduled for every year in the future.
Three games, though, are unknown until the NFL standings sort themselves out.
The Jets’ three standings-based games became official this week, setting in stone New York’s full slate of 17 opponents in 2022.
Here is the New York Jets’ complete list of 2022 opponents:
- Home: Buffalo, Miami, New England, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Jacksonville, Detroit, Chicago
- Away: Buffalo, Miami, New England, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Denver, Green Bay, Minnesota, Seattle
We already know each NFL team will play six games against teams in its own division, four games against one division in its own conference, and four games against one division in the opposite conference.
There is a set rotation of division-versus-division matchups that has been running for years, so it can be projected an infinite number of years in advance when the AFC East will face the NFC South and so forth.
For example, the Jets – and all AFC East teams – faced every team from the NFC South this year, the first time the divisions clashed since 2017. They’ll face again four years down the road in 2025, with home and road matchups alternating from the previous time the divisions matched up (i.e. the Jets visited the Bucs in 2017, hosted them in 2021, and will visit them in 2025).
In 2022, the Jets will face the AFC North (last facing the entire division in 2019) and the NFC North (last facing the entire division in 2018).
So, the NFL’s yearly divisional matchups and inter-division rotation system cover most of the schedule. But three matchups are determined based on how each season plays out. Those matchups pit teams against each other who placed in the same spot in their divisions.
Each team will face two teams from within their own conference who:
- Do not play in their own division
- Do not play in the division their division is matched up with
- Finished in the same place in their division
For example, those two teams this year for the Jets were the Broncos and Bengals. The Jets faced the entire AFC South division and are a part of the AFC East. They finished in fourth place in the AFC East last year. So, they faced the fourth-place teams from the two divisions they do not face fully, the AFC North and AFC West.
New York will face the AFC North in 2022. Since the Jets finished in last place in the AFC East this year, they will face the last-place teams from the AFC South and AFC West.
The Jaguars locked up last place in the AFC South in Week 16 when they lost to the Jets and the Texans beat the Chargers. So, Zach Wilson and Trevor Lawrence will battle again next year, health provided.
What made the full list of 17 opponents official is what happened in the AFC West this week. The Broncos lost to the Chargers while the Raiders defeated the Colts, so the Broncos became officially locked into fourth place in the AFC West, securing them as the Jets’ final opponent.
New York’s bonus NFC opponent was already locked up before Week 17.
The NFL’s newly-added 17th game uses a similar system to draw an interconference opponent for each team. The opponent shall be the same-placed team from the interconference division that is two years behind in the cycle from the division the team is playing this year.
For example, that team for the Jets this year was the Eagles. The Jets faced the NFC South this year. Two years ago (2019), they played the NFC East. So, the Jets faced the fourth-place team from the NFC East last year, Philadelphia.
Next year, the Jets will face the NFC North. Two years prior to that (2020), they faced the NFC West. So, the Jets will face the fourth-place team from the NFC West this year.
That team clinched its fourth-place spot weeks ago: the Seattle Seahawks.
So, there you have it – the complete list of the Jets’ 2022 opponents. Fourteen teams were set in stone years ago, while Jacksonville and Seattle locked up their spots on New York’s schedule before Week 17 began. The AFC West’s Week 17 action locked up Denver as the final opponent on the Jets’ schedule, officially completing the Jets’ list of 17 opponents for the 2022 season.