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Jets' schedule for 2020 gets harder throughout, includes three trips to West Coast

Jets head coach Adam Gase, right, talks to

Jets head coach Adam Gase, right, talks to quarterback Sam Darnold (14) on the sideline prior to the start the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Jacksonville. Credit: AP/Phelan M. Ebenhack

The second year of the Adam Gase era is scheduled to kick off for the Jets at Buffalo, and their home opener will be against the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers. The Jets’ home slate also features a Week 9 Monday night game against the Patriots without Tom Brady.

The NFL released its schedule Thursday night, and the league is planning to go forward as if the season will start on time. Everything, however, is subject to change because of uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

For now, the Jets will open on Sept. 13 at Buffalo at 1 p.m. against a team that many are picking as a favorite to win the AFC East title now that Brady has taken his talents to Tampa Bay. A week later, the Jets will host the 49ers at MetLife Stadium at 1 p.m.

The Jets have two prime-time games — a Thursday night home game against the Broncos on Oct. 1 and a Monday night home game against the Patriots on Nov. 9.

The Jets’ bye is scheduled for Week 11.

The Jets have a chance to make the playoffs for the first time in 10 years, particularly after the NFL expanded the postseason by one team in each conference. The Jets showed marked improvement last year by winning six of their last eight games after a 1-7 start.

But the Jets — with a totally retooled offensive line and some new weapons for Sam Darnold — will have to quickly mesh and develop chemistry to snap their postseason drought against a difficult schedule, especially to end the season.

Seven of their 16 games are against teams that reached the playoffs a year ago. The Jets will play both teams that were in the Super Bowl — they’ll face Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in Kansas City on Nov. 1 — and have three games on the West Coast.

The Jets will face the Chargers in Los Angeles on Oct. 18. Three of their last four games will be on the road, including back-to-back contests at Seattle on Dec. 13 and against the Rams in Los Angeles the following week. After a home game against Odell Beckham Jr., Baker Mayfield and the Browns in Week 16, the Jets will end the season on Jan. 3 at New England in what could be a huge game for both teams.

The AFC East has undergone plenty of changes. Not only is Brady out of the division for the first time since 1999, but the Bills, who will play at MetLife Stadium on Oct. 25, added major weapon Stefon Diggs and upgraded the defense. The Dolphins spent big money in free agency on both sides of the ball.

The Jets hope being in Gase’s system for a second year and having a healthy C.J. Mosley, who missed 14 games last year, plus all of the additions will lead to a resurgent season.

“We definitely have the guys to be able to win football games,” Darnold said. “But it’s about putting everything together. We have a long way to go.”

Arizona, with quarterback Kyler Murray (last year’s top overall pick), future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald and recently acquired Pro Bowl receiver DeAndre Hopkins, will visit MetLife Stadium in Week 5. It’s the second of two straight home games.

The Jets will play their last game before the bye at Miami on Nov. 15 and come out of it at home against the Dolphins on Nov. 29. The Jets are home the following week as well, Dec. 6 against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Although the schedule is out, the Jets announced Wednesday that individual tickets will not go on sale because of uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. The team also said it will defer the next scheduled season-ticket payment that had been scheduled to be charged in June. The Jets previously deferred the April and May payments.

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