Then the trade became official and North and his staff, both human and computer, were able to “take that trepidation away” and “grind forward and continue on path and land this plan on May 11.”
On Thursday morning, word seeped out that the Jets would host AFC rival Buffalo on “Monday Night Football” on Sept. 11, preceded by news on Wednesday that the Jets and Dolphins would play the league’s first game on Black Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving tripleheader, kicking off at 3 p.m. ET on Amazon (no subscription to Prime required). Each of the NFL’s 32 teams received their 17-game schedules this past Wednesday, the league’s TV partners — CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and Amazon — received the schedule on Thursday, hours before the league’s official announcement that night.
“I’m glad it’s over,” North said. “It was a bit of a death march.”
So, with the acquisition of Rodgers, a young and promising roster, an emergent defense and a strong 2022 season, the Jets have morphed from a matinee darling (14 of 17 games kicked off at 1 p.m. Eastern last season) to a marquee, primetime attraction with six evening games (two each on Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights). In addition, the Green & White is slated for four late doubleheader games (kicking off at 4:25 p.m. Eastern). And then there’s the Black Friday matchup (3 p.m. kickoff) against the visiting Dolphins.
“It’s going to be a first for us,” North said. “Our friends at Amazon were eager for it. It’s a big retail day and they are a big retail partner, that’s their Super Bowl. The game has been moved in front of the [Prime] paywall and fans only need an internet connection. There aren’t a lot of windows to put an NFL game where we haven’t, and that was one of them. That weekend is such a big sports weekend — three games on Thanksgiving, we usually have a good [Sunday] doubleheader, and that Friday afternoon felt like an itch we could scratch. Now there’s a game that feels like more people should be able to see. Getting that…