The 2013 NFL schedule will be released tonight. We already know the opponents and locations for the Jets' sixteen games in the 2013 regular season, but tonight we will get dates and times. Here are a few things I would like to see.
Easier in the front: If I had to choose between playing easier games at the start or at the end, I would choose the start. It would allow the Jets to potentially build a little momentum to begin the year. It is intangible for sure, but a quick start can build a team with confidence. Players buy in and are willing to work a little extra hard. They start to believe they are good. This can be meaningful. If you get off to a bad start, players tend to lose faith. They start counting down to the end of the season and punch out because they feel like their situation is hopeless.
The Jets are in a bit of a tricky spot. They play both home and away against the Patriots and also have the Steelers, Ravens, Bengals, Saints, and Falcons on the schedule. Those are all teams that have been consistently good in the NFL. You would like to avoid having those seven games in a row to finish the season. That would be too much to handle, but I would prefer to see the bulk of that gauntlet later rather than earlier.
A late bye week: I think the later the bye week comes, the better you typically are. Football is such a physical game that pretty much everybody is less than 100% a few weeks in. The later your bye comes, the fresher your players will be for the stretch drive.
Lots of short weeks for good opponents: A small plus of how difficult the schedule will be is how good teams are more likely to play primetime games, especially Monday night games. If the Jets could get two or three of them on a short week, it would make things easier.
Few primetime games: With apologies to out of market fans, I want to see the Jets play in primetime infrequently this year. It figures to be a lean year. We don't need to see this team embarrassed on national television again with announcers cracking jokes. Mark Sanchez's buttfumble was horrendous last year, but one reason it took on the life it did was because it happened with the entire country watching on Thanskgiving night. Had it happened during a 1:00 Sunday afternoon kick, people would still laugh, but it might be remembered more like the folly of Dan Orlovsky rolling out than a cultural icon representing this team's ineptitude.
No trip to Miami in September: That is when the Dolphins have an edge. Other teams wear down due to the heat and humidity which the Dolphins are used to.
Dolphins come to the Meadowlands in December: That is when the Dolphins are at a disadvantage. They are not used to the cold.
What do you want to see in the schedule?