The Jets' Xavier Gipson celebrates a punt return TD against the Bills. Sep 11, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Xavier Gipson (82) scores a touchdown in overtime on a punt return against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

After not bearing the fruits of an Aaron Rodgers-led Jets team a season before, the NFL is doubling down on having Gang Green and its 40-year-old quarterback on primetime.

And if last season’s opening slate, which included dates with Buffalo, Dallas, Kansas City, and Philadelphia before an eventual bye week, wasn’t tough enough, the NFL has made sure that the Jets will be battle-tested early on.

After several weeks of Zach Wilson, Tim Boyle or Trevor Siemian in primetime, the NFL is banking on Rodgers to return back relatively healthy from being an older quarterback with an Achilles injury. The Jets now have Tyrod Taylor as their backup quarterback, alongside one of the best rosters in the league. But the NFL sure is tempting fate — again.

And thanks to Rodgers, the Jets have six primetime games this season. That’s also without mentioning the standalone Sunday morning game in London. So, it’s fair to say that the opening stretch of the season will be a doozy for Gang Green.

Here’s what that looks like:

In totality, the Jets face seven standalone games in just 11 weeks, with two grueling Sunday-to-Thursday turnarounds.

The season kicks off on Monday Night Football against San Francisco. But the challenges don’t stop there. Just two weeks later, they’ll be back under the Thursday Night Football lights, hosting the New England Patriots.

After a brief respite, the Jets head across the pond for a Week 6 showdown with the Minnesota Vikings in London. They’ll return for another primetime test on Monday Night Football against the Buffalo Bills, followed by a Sunday Night Football battle on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The relentless schedule continues with another matchup against the New England Patriots before a quick turnaround for Thursday Night Football against the Houston Texans in Week 9. Week 11 brings another Sunday Night Football showdown against the Indianapolis Colts, with a trip to Arizona sandwiched in between.

Oh, and the bye week isn’t until Week 12.

This is the NFL’s way of telling the Jets that if they want to be Super Bowl contenders, they better earn it.

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.