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Week One game becomes critical for Jets

Mike Florio and Myles Simmons look ahead to Aaron Rodgers’ debut with the Jets, which will come Week 1 against the Bills on the anniversary of 9/11.

The full slate of 17 opponents for every NFL team became known the moment the 2022 regular season ended. As specific games from specific weeks are announced, the schedules take on more and more meaning.

The Jets will face plenty of great teams in 2022, making the road in the first season with Aaron Rodgers not an easy one. Ideally, it would be useful to get a few manageable games on the docket early, in order to rack up a few Ws and lay the foundation for a playoff run.

While the schedule beyond Week One isn’t known, we know this: the Jets open with a visit from the defending AFC East champs, the Bills.

It’s a huge game for the Jets, for obvious reasons. And for non-obvious reasons.

Given the overall difficulty of the schedules of the teams of the AFC East, with each one playing six division games and all four of them playing the full slate of AFC West and NFC East teams, it’s entirely possible that only the AFC East division champion will earn a playoff spot. So if the Jets lose to the Bills to cap Week One, the Jets would face losing the head-to-head tiebreaker if the Bills complete the sweep during the rematch in Buffalo.

With an 0-2 record against the Bills, the Jets would have to make up three games in the remaining 15 contests to capture the AFC East crown from Buffalo.

So, yes, it’s a big game for the Jets. The first of many. And then the Jets will have one fewer day to get ready for Week Two, against a team that will have had at least a full week to prepare.