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2015 NFL Schedule: How Did the Jets Draw Their Opponents?

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL schedule came out tonight. There have been stories about the Jets' 2015 opponents since before the 2014 season ended, though. Tonight we just found out the dates and times of the games. Why is this?

The NFL has a formula that automatically sets opponents. As you will see, we know 14 of the 16 games every team will play in every future season from now until the end of time, or at least until there is expansion, realignment, or something else to change the way the NFL schedules opponents. Here is how the 16 games break down.

Divisional Opponents (6)

Every team plays one home game and one away game against the three other teams in its division.

Opponents:

Buffalo

at Buffalo

Miami

vs. Miami at London

New England

at New England

One Division in the AFC (4)

Every team plays all four teams from one division in the same conference. The division rotates each season. For the Jets and other teams in the AFC East, that division is the AFC South in 2015.

2012: AFC South

2013: AFC North

2014: AFC West

2015: AFC South

2016: AFC North

2017: AFC West

Opponents:

at Houston

at Indianapolis

Jacksonville

Tennessee

One Division in the NFC (4)

Every team plays all four teams from one division in the opposite conference. The division rotates each season. For the Jets and other teams in the AFC East, that division is the NFC East in 2015.

2011: NFC East

2012: NFC West

2013: NFC South

2014: NFC North

2015: NFC East

2016: NFC West

2017: NFC South

2018: NFC North

Opponents:

at Dallas

at NY Giants

Philadelphia

Washington

Conference Opponents Finishing at Same Spot in Standings (2)

These are the only opponents not set years in advance. Each team faces the two teams not already on the schedule from the same conference who finished in the same place in the standings the year before. The Jets finished in fourth (last) place in the AFC East last season. Since the AFC South last place finisher, Tennessee, is already on the schedule, this leaves the last place teams from the AFC North and AFC West.

Opponents:

Cleveland

at Oakland

...........................................

So the next time you think there is some sort of conspiracy to give the Jets a tough schedule, remember the opponents are set in stone by a formula.