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How are Jets 2018 opponents determined?

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NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at New York Jets Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

By the end of Sunday, we will know all sixteen opponents the Jets will face next season. We actually know fourteen of the sixteen opponents right now. The NFL has a formula to determine schedules. Contrary to what some say on Twitter, the formula does not involve a conspiracy to give the Jets a difficult schedule and the Patriots an easy schedule.

Games vs. AFC East (6)

Each year, the Jets and every team in the NFL play one home game and one road game against the other three teams in the division.

at Buffalo

vs. Buffalo

at Miami

vs. Miami

at New England

vs. New England

Games vs. AFC South (4)

Each year the Jets and every team in the NFL play the four teams from another division in their conference once apiece. They play two of the teams at home and two on the road. For the Jets, the AFC division they play is determined on a rotating basis.

2014: AFC West

2015: AFC South

2016: AFC North

2017: AFC West

2018: AFC South

2019: AFC North

The last time the AFC South came up in the rotation in 2015, the Jets played at home against the Jaguars and Titans and the Colts and Texans on the road. The home team switches for each game the next turn through the order.

at Jacksonville

at Tennessee

vs. Indianapolis

vs. Houston

Games vs. NFC North (4)

Each year the Jets and every team in the NFL play the four teams from a division in the other conference once apiece. They play two of the teams at home and two on the road. The NFC division they play is determined on a rotating basis.

2013: NFC South

2014: NFC North

2015: NFC East

2016: NFC West

2017: NFC South

2018: NFC North

2019: NFC East

The last time the NFC North came up in the rotation in 2014, the Jets played at home against the Bears and the Lions and on the road against the Packers and the Vikings. The home team switches for each game the next turn through the order.

at Chicago

at Detroit

vs. Green Bay

vs. Minnesota

Games vs. AFC teams that finish in the same spot in the standings (2)

In additions to their in-conference games against AFC East and AFC South opponents, the Jets will play teams from the two other divisions in the AFC that finish in the same place in their division standings. It is not set in stone where the Jets will finish in the AFC East standings. They likely will finish in fourth place, but a Week 17 win and a Miami loss will allow the Jets to finish in third place.

Depending on the outcomes on Sunday, the Jets will thus either play the third place or fourth place finishers from the AFC North and AFC West.

The last time the Jets drew teams from the AFC North and AFC West that finished in the same spot in the standings the year before was 2015. The Jets played the AFC North team (Browns) at home and the AFC West team (Raiders) on the road. That changes each turn through the order.

at AFC North team with same spot in standings

vs. AFC West team with same spot in standings

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

Until the NFL expands or changes its scheduling procedures, you can use these rotations to figure out the majority of the Jets’ schedule every future season.