If Jets Want More Primetime Games, They Have to Earn It


ESPN Monday Night Football crew discussing some tasty topics.

When the 2021 NFL schedule dropped this week, everyone seemingly had a hot take.

One of those that was circulating on social media was regarding the New York Jets not having enough primetime games in 2021.

The Jets received only one game on the national stage. Gang Green will travel to play the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday Night Football in Week 9.

The Jets were one of only eight teams that are scheduled to play one primetime affair this upcoming season. The others include the Detroit Lions, Atalanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Several Games Seemed Primetime Worthy

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When you take a closer look at the Jets schedule, several opponents stood out as potential targets for the national stage:

At Carolina Panthers

The storylines are overflowing here: Sam Darnold gets a chance for revenge against his old team. Robby Anderson also gets his first whack at the green and white. Plus on the Jets’ side of things it’s the debut of Zach Wilson who immediately, whether fairly or unfairly, will get to compare himself to the ex-girlfriend.

Vs Jacksonville Jaguars

On first look, this game has no redeeming primetime qualities whatsoever. However, when you dive deeper there are several interesting tidbits. Of course, it’s headlined by the battle of the No. 1 overall and No. 2 overall picks in the 2021 NFL draft.

If the NFL was smart they could’ve used this game as an early contest on the national stage (Monday Night Football in Week 1 or Thursday Night Football in Week 2).

There’s so much freshness with both of the teams: Urban Meyer, Robert Saleh, Trevor Lawrence, and Wilson. If you waited and scheduled this game later in the year, you risk pitting two potentially terrible teams against each other (record-wise) in primetime.

Vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This would mark the first time Tom Brady returns to MetLife Stadium since he signed with the Buccaneers. Plus Tampa Bay is the defending Super Bowl champions. So plenty of hype on their side and the Jets are just an interesting team with all their new pieces on offense and defense.

Although the Games Aren’t the Reason for Less Primetime Action

That’s where a lot of the confusion lies. People who are complaining about the Jets not getting enough primetime games are pointing in the wrong direction.

It’s not about who the Jets are playing, it’s about Gang Green.

Folks, the Jets were 2-14 last season. They don’t and didn’t deserve more than the minimum one primetime game.

If the green and white want more primetime games, the solution is simple, earn it.

Take a look at the 2018 season, Sam Darnold’s rookie campaign. The year prior the Jets were awful (5-11) so the team had to prove themselves.

While the team wasn’t super successful on the field, finished 4-12 that season, they did show enough flashes that piqued the interest of casual fans and most importantly the NFL. In 2019 the Jets received three primetime games.

That same blueprint is there for the 2021 version of Gang Green. It’s not necessarily about winning a ton of games, just be competitive and show signs of life.

If they’re able to do that, don’t worry Jets fans, you’ll get plenty of games on the national stage in 2022.