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New York Jets' schedule 2020: Sam Darnold, O-line brace for Weeks 1-2

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The Jets' biggest can't-miss game on the 2020 schedule (0:45)

Rich Cimini points to the Jets' Week 2 home opener against the 49ers as New York's most intriguing matchup. (0:45)

The New York Jets' schedule for 2020, the NFL's second-hardest schedule, was released Thursday.

The regular season kicks off with the Houston Texans visiting the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday, Sept. 10 (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC). The opening doubleheader for Monday Night Football will feature the Pittsburgh Steelers at the New York Giants (7:10 p.m. ET, ESPN) and the Tennessee Titans at the Denver Broncos (10:20 p.m. ET) on Monday, Sept. 14.

Check out the full week-by-week schedule here. Here's what is in store for the Jets:

Game-by-game prediction

Jets reporter Rich Cimini is predicting a 7-9 finish:

Sept. 13: at Buffalo, Loss

Sept. 20: vs. San Francisco, Loss

Sept. 27: at Indianapolis, Loss

Oct. 1: vs. Denver, Win

Oct. 11: vs. Arizona, Win

Oct. 18: at L.A. Chargers, Loss

Oct. 25: vs. Buffalo, Win

Nov. 1: at Kansas City, Loss

Nov. 9: vs. New England, Win

Nov. 15: at Miami, Loss

Nov. 22: BYE

Nov. 29: vs. Miami, Win

Dec. 6: vs. Las Vegas, Win

Dec. 13: at Seattle, Loss

Dec. 20: at L.A. Rams, Loss

Dec. 27: vs. Cleveland, Win

Jan. 3: at New England, Loss

Strength of schedule: 2nd, .533

Breakdown

Did coach Adam Gase tick off somebody in the league office? The first two games are a nasty way to start for the Jets, whose rebuilt offense will face two of the strongest defensive teams in the league -- the Buffalo Bills (No. 2 in total defense) and San Francisco 49ers (No. 8). The new offensive line, which could have as many as four new starters, will be put to an immediate test. There will be no soft beginning for quarterback Sam Darnold, who has to break in two new receivers against elite cornerbacks Tre'Davious White and Richard Sherman, respectively.

A fish sandwich

Or maybe we should call it a Gase sandwich. For the first time since the modern bye weeks were introduced in 1990, the Jets will play the same team twice in three weeks surrounding a bye. And that team is the Miami Dolphins, Gase's previous team. This is certainly a weird wrinkle in the schedule. In case you're wondering, it's the same setup for the Dolphins. The Jets could be limping into the Miami-Twice showdowns, coming off games against the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots, who won't be pushovers in the post-Tom Brady era.

Tough way to finish

If the Jets make the playoffs after navigating December, they will have earned the postseason berth. Three of the Jets' final four games are on the road, and we're not talking about pushovers -- the Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams and Patriots. Seattle and Los Angeles are back-to-back, so the Jets could opt to spend the week on the West Coast to cut down on travel. Right now, they will log an estimated 21,100 air miles, the second most in team history.