NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NFL’s schedule-makers gave the New York Jets a gift with three home games in the first four weeks.
They’d better take advantage of it with a two-game doozy looming in October.
First the Jets will host Peyton Manning and the AFC champion Denver Broncos on Sunday, Oct. 12. Then they’ll have just a few days to prepare for a prime-time road game against Tom Brady the rival New England Patriots on Thursday, Oct. 16.
“Obviously that’s a huge challenge,” Jets head coach Rex Ryan said during a conference call after the NFL announced its schedule Wednesday night. “But again, we’ll be up for it. It is a challenge. You’re facing the two best teams in the AFC last year. … But, we’ll have a lot of football to play up until that and hopefully we’re hitting our stride when we play those two teams.”
The Jets will open their season at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 7 against the Oakland Raiders. A trip to Green Bay follows in Week 2, and then two more games at home against Chicago and Detroit.
“I just know the energy and the passion our fans are going to have to open the season,” Ryan told newyorkjets.com. “Three out of four — I think that’s the highlight. I just think our players feed off of that enthusiasm from our fans. Our guys, they know how important it is, they appreciate our fans. So we put everything we have into it.”
The Jets will play two Monday Night Football games, first against the Bears on Sept. 22 and then against the Miami Dolphins on Dec. 1.
In all, New York is scheduled for three prime-time games.
“I get excited about it because I know our players get excited about it,” Ryan said during his conference call. “And for our football team, some of the fans, maybe on the West Coast that don’t get (to watch) a whole lot of New York Jets games, this gives an opportunity to showcase some of our players and how we play football, the style of football that we play, to the country.”
The Jets, who were 2-6 away from MetLife Stadium last season, will have four road games to finish the season in the six weeks following their Week 11 bye.
“Clearly we have to make big strides in how we play on the road,” said Ryan.
Here’s the complete schedule:
Sunday, Sept. 7 vs. Oakland, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 14 at Green Bay, 4:25 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 22 vs. Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 28 vs. Detroit, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 5 at San Diego, 4:25 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 12 vs. Denver, 1 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 16 at New England, 8:25 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 26 vs. Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 2 at Kansas City, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 9 vs. Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 23 at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 1 vs. Miami, 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 7 at Minnesota, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 14 at Tennessee, 4:05 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 21 vs. New England, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 28 at Miami, 1 p.m.
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