The New York Jets’ 2022 schedule is best viewed in two parts
The New York Jets’ 2022 schedule has finally been released. Based on last season’s win-loss records, the Jets have the 16th-easiest schedule in the NFL with an opponent win percentage of .495.
Every team's strength of schedule for next season. 👀 (by @Upwork)
— NFL (@NFL) May 12, 2022
Vegas sees the Jets’ schedule as a bit more difficult than that. Using bet365’s current odds for 2022 NFL win totals, the Jets’ opponents combine for an expected win percentage of .511.
With a Week 10 bye, it’s easy to break the Jets’ schedule into two very different halves. Here’s what to expect.
Weeks 1-9: Trial by fire
- Week 1: vs. Baltimore (Sun, Sep. 11, 1 p.m. ET) – CBS
- Week 2: at Cleveland (Sun, Sep. 18, 1 p.m. ET) – CBS
- Week 3: vs. Cincinnati (Sun, Sep. 25, 1 p.m. ET) – CBS
- Week 4: at Pittsburgh (Sun, Oct. 2, 1 p.m. ET) – CBS
- Week 5: vs. Miami (Sun, Oct. 9, 1 p.m. ET) – CBS
- Week 6: at Green Bay (Sun, Oct. 16, 1 p.m. ET) – FOX
- Week 7: at Denver (Sun, Oct. 23, 4:05 p.m. ET) – CBS
- Week 8: vs. New England (Sun, Oct. 30, 1 p.m. ET) – CBS
- Week 9: vs. Buffalo (Sun, Nov. 6, 1 p.m. ET) – CBS
Jets fans’ dreams of finally having a winning record at midseason just got a lot harder. Over the first nine weeks of the season, the Jets’ opponents have a combined projected win percentage of .566, based on Vegas win totals.
The Jets will face off against star quarterbacks like Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson (pending suspension), Joe Burrow, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Josh Allen in the first half.
What better way to test your young secondary than by playing six of the best quarterbacks in the NFL over the first nine weeks? While faith is warranted in the Jets’ young cornerback room, they’re very inexperienced and will be tested early on.
The talent of the opposing offenses will receive most of the attention, but the defenses have more than their fair share of stars. T.J. Watt, Myles Garrett, Jaire Alexander, Tre’Davious White, Xavien Howard, Justin Simmons, and Minkah Fitzpatrick are just a few of the defensive stars the Jets will see over the first nine weeks.
General manager Joe Douglas has made meaningful upgrades at every position on offense. The Jets have confidence in their top weapons to play at a respectable level, featuring three potentially elite duos in running backs Breece Hall and Michael Carter, tight ends C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin, and wide receivers Elijah Moore and Garrett Wilson.
Now it’s up to quarterback Zach Wilson to put it all together. While Wilson has been putting in the work this offseason, he’ll be continuously challenged once the season starts.
Thankfully, things get easier once the Jets hit their Week 10 bye. If the Jets can steal a few games in the first half, they can make a playoff push with a softer finish to the season.
Weeks 11-18: A softer schedule to make a late push
- Week 11: at New England (Sun, Nov. 20, 1 p.m. ET) – CBS
- Week 12: vs. Chicago (Sun, Nov. 27, 1 p.m. ET) – CBS
- Week 13: at Minnesota (Sun, Dec. 4, 1 p.m. ET) – CBS
- Week 14: at Buffalo (Sun, Dec. 11, 1 p.m. ET) – CBS
- Week 15: vs. Detroit (Sun, Dec. 18, 1 p.m. ET) – FOX
- Week 16: vs. Jacksonville (Thu, Dec. 22, 8:15 p.m. ET) – Amazon Prime
- Week 17: at Seattle (Sun, Jan. 1, 4:05 p.m. ET) – FOX
- Week 18: at Miami (TBD: Jan. 7 or Jan. 8) – TBD
After a brutal first half, the Jets get a much easier slate in the second. Outside of their three division games, the Jets only play one team, the Vikings, who have a Vegas win total over seven.
Overall, the Vegas win percentage of the Jets’ opponents drops to a measly .456 from Weeks 11 to 18. Outside of Josh Allen, the top quarterbacks the Jets will face are Kirk Cousins and Mac Jones. Wilson will also get a chance to play his fellow second-year quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields.
The Jets’ defense will still be tested by elite wide receivers like Justin Jefferson, Stefon Diggs, and Tyreek Hill, but the second-half offenses pale in comparison to what the Jets will see to start the year.
On the other side of the ball, five of the eight defenses were below average last season. Outside of the three AFC East teams, each of the other five opponents ranked in the bottom half of the defensive EPA (Estimated Points Added) metric last season, led by the Bears at No. 20. This is the time that the Jets’ offense can truly take flight.
The final four games are especially intriguing as the Jets play the Lions, Jaguars, Seahawks, and Dolphins. All four games are winnable for New York.
So, what should the overall expectations be for 2022?
What to expect in Year Two of the Douglas, Saleh, & Wilson Era
The Jets will be tested early on with a brutal start to the year. Their young roster will have to learn fast as six of the first nine teams they play have legitimate Super Bowl aspirations. With as many as nine new starters and even more new contributors, the Jets will have growing pains.
While I was hoping this young team would get a chance to settle in, they’ll instead learn quickly how much they must improve. With an easier second half, they should have the opportunity to display their progress against less difficult opponents.
Even if the Jets disappoint, they should still be expected to have at least six wins in 2022. Anything less would put them in danger of another overhaul.
If Zach Wilson makes a significant leap, however, the Jets should be fighting for the playoffs.
By winning at least three games early and then taking care of business after the bye week, there’s no reason that at least nine wins shouldn’t be possible.
In a loaded AFC, the Jets will need to do everything right to earn the final playoff spot. The majority of the NFL’s top teams are in the AFC. As the Chargers learned last year, talent isn’t enough if you’re inconsistent. However, the Bengals showed just how quickly things can change in their improbable Super Bowl run.
Can the New York Jets make a similar turnaround?