Finally, the New York Jets will get some fresh meat to kickoff the 2021 NFL season.
It’s become an annual ritual over the last few years for the Jets to play the Buffalo Bills in Week 1.
In three out of the last four years, the green and white have renewed their AFC East rivalry with the Bills to start their season. That pattern apparently has come to a screeching halt.
The Bills are reportedly set to play the New England Patriots in Week 1. Pats insider Marc Bertrand shared the news on social media via Scott Zolak:
— Marc Bertrand (@Marc_Bertrand) May 11, 2021
The 2021 NFL schedule isn’t set to be officially released until Wednesday, May 12 at 8 pm on NFL Network. Yet every year we see leaks on social media ahead of the big reveal.
The Bills had an incredible run in 2020 that brought them all the way to the doorstep of the Super Bowl. Ultimately Buffalo lost to Kansas City on the road in the AFC Championship game, 38-24.
Biggest NFL Season in History
Earlier this offseason it was revealed that the NFL would exercise its right to expand the regular season to 17 games.
This is the first time in almost half a century that the NFL has changed its regular season which speaks to the magnitude of this decision.
Both the league and the NFLPA agreed to this stipulation in the latest edition of the CBA. Both sides have been negotiating this specific topic for over a decade and it finally came to fruition.
As a concession for regular season expansion, one of the regularly scheduled four preseason games will be eradicated.
Who Will the Jets Play in the 17th Game?
The NFL’s formula will be on a rotating interconference matchup based on the standings.
In other words, here’s how the divisions will match up in 2021. The AFC East will face off against the NFC East. This means the Jets will play the Philadelphia Eagles in this 17th game.
The entire AFC conference will get a bonus home game this year as they host this extra regular-season game. Then next year the NFC conference will host the bonus home game as the 17th regular season contest.
The other divisions match up with the NFC South battling the AFC South. AFC North will host the NFC West. While the AFC West will compete against the NFC North.
New Era on One Jets Drive
This is one of the most highly anticipated Jets seasons in recent memory.
It feels like the start of a new era led by head coach Robert Saleh and newly minted former BYU quarterback Zach Wilson. Optimism is at an all-time high after a stellar 2021 NFL draft that reinvigorated the fan base and upgraded the team at several key positions.
It also seems fitting that the schedule for the green and white should mirror that with a fresh new car smell.
It’s still unclear who the Jets will actually play to kick off things in 2021, but we do know one thing, it won’t be the Buffalo Bills.