Despite the pandemic, the New York Jets’ 2020 season went on as planned. One portion was nixed by the NFL due to safety concerns though, the preseason.
In 2021, preseason football is back, but it will look a little different this year. With the addition of an 18th regular-season game, the NFL owners and Player’s Association agreed to remove one preseason game.
Brief Schedule Breakdown
The Jets will play three NFC teams during preseason, and technically only one of the three games will be considered home outings for fans (Giants have the home advantage).
While the August 14 preseason opener and August 27 Philadelphia Eagles home game will both be primetime at 7:30 p.m., the August 21 game in Green Bay against the Packers will be at 4:25 p.m.
As you can see, game one will be live on NBC, while CBS has the main coverage for games two and three (game two subject to change).
Besides the dates and times of the games for those of you looking to get tickets, the most interesting curveball here is the Eagles matchup. The Jets play the Eagles Week 13 of the 2021 regular season, meaning preseason game three will be a bit of a preview. That is if any starters actually play the final game, which may be unlikely.
Another interesting detail is the one-week break between game three of preseason and Week 1 of the regular season. There won’t be any football on Labor Day weekend.
Reasons Jets’ Preseason Is Must-Watch in 2021
Normally, preseason games can go unwatched for most fans with no fear of missing out, but not this year.
The Jets preseason should be highly anticipated, being that it’s the first time that rookies like Zach Wilson, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Elijah Moore, Jason Pinnock and both Michael Carters will take an NFL field.
Being that the Jets have such a young team, the players you really want to see play should actually get a ton of preseason snaps. That’s not to say fans won’t be excited to see Corey Davis and Carl Lawson, or even C.J. Mosley who’s finally back from his two seasons on the pine, but veterans like that may not see as much action.
Whatever happens with playing time, one thing’s for sure, preseason will be more crucial for Gang Green than most franchises. It’s not just the roster turnover and coaching changes that will be an adjustment, it’s the mentality of this fanbase.
Joe Douglas and the Jets are attempting to build a winning culture in New York, and preseason will be the first chance for his roster to be the change and prove themselves on the field.
Jets vs. Giants Preview
The first football game at MetLife Stadium with 100% capacity since the Covid-19 shutdown will actually be the Jets versus the Giants on August 14.
The headliners will be the duel of franchise quarterbacks Wilson and Daniel Jones, as well as the first look at the Saleh-Ulbrich defense and LaFleur’s west coast offense.
Of course, good old-fashioned New York rivalry will also be on the line, but don’t expect Saleh and Joe Judge to take this friendly competition as seriously as Rex Ryan once did in 2013. Keeping Wilson safe will be the ultimate priority, but a couple of wins couldn’t hurt for morale.