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Jets face road-heavy schedule early in season

The Jets will kick off their season against the Bengals in Week 1.Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Jets will kick off their season against the Bengals in Week 1.

This could get ugly quick.

Though the Jets hope to build off their 10-6 season from a year ago, they face a brutal stretch to open the 2016 season. When the schedule was released Thursday night, it revealed that five (Bengals, Chiefs, Seahawks, Steelers, Cardinals) of the Jets’ first six opponents are coming off of postseason appearances. Four of those six games are on the road, too. And, in fact, six of their first nine games will be on away from MetLife Stadium. That will make for a rough beginning to Todd Bowles’ sophomore campaign with the Jets.

For the second straight year, Rex Ryan could get another shot to keep the Jets out of the Jets out of the playoffs in the final week of the season. This time, though, the Bills will come to New Jersey for the Week 17 showdown. Last season, the Jets blew their shot at the playoffs by losing to the Bills in Orchard Park in Week 17, despite the fact that the Bills had nothing officially to play for.

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The Patriots and Jets will square off on Sunday Night Football in Week 12 and then again on Christmas Eve, a Saturday day game, in Week 16. That game is part of a three-game divisional matchup stretch the Jets finish the season with.

The Jets, who are slated to play five primetime games, will obviously have more games back in New Jersey in the second half of the year. Following a Week 11 bye, four of their final six games will be at home. Gang Green will play at home in Week 17 for the first time since 2010. The Jets’ AFC East standing could hang in the balance late into the year because four of their six divisional contests come in Week 12 or later.

The Jets also have back-to-back short weeks in December due to a Monday night game against the Colts in Week 13 and a Saturday night game against the Dolphins in Week 15.

Though the schedule was released Thursday, the Jets’ opponents have been known for months, so the team long knew this was going to be a more difficult schedule than it had a year ago, when it faced the cushy AFC South and NFC East.

The Jets are on the docket for five primetime games in 2016.

JETS 2016 SCHEDULE

9/11 Sunday Cincinnati 1:00 p.m. CBS

9/15 Thursday at Buffalo 8:25 p.m. CBS/NFLN/Twitter

9/25 Sunday at Kansas City 4:25 p.m. CBS

10/2 Sunday Seattle 1:00 p.m. FOX

10/9 Sunday at Pittsburgh 1:00 p.m.^ CBS

10/17 Monday at Arizona 8:30 p.m. ESPN

10/23 Sunday Baltimore 1:00 p.m.^ CBS

10/30 Sunday at Cleveland 1:00 p.m.^ CBS

11/6 Sunday at Miami 1:00 p.m.^ CBS

11/13 Sunday Los Angeles 1:00 p.m.^ FOX

11/20 Bye Week

11/27 Sunday New England 8:30 p.m.* NBC

12/5 Monday Indianapolis 8:30 p.m. ESPN

12/11 Sunday at San Francisco 4:05 p.m.* CBS

12/17 Saturday Miami 8:25 p.m. NFLN

12/24 Saturday at New England 1:00 p.m.* CBS

1/1 Sunday Buffalo 1:00 p.m.* CBS

^Subject to Week 5-10 Flex Scheduling

*Subject to Week 11-17 Flex Scheduling

Flexible scheduling may be applied in Weeks 5-10. During that period, flexible scheduling can be used in no more than two weeks by shifting a Sunday afternoon game into primetime and moving the Sunday night game to an afternoon start time. 

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new york jets ,
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