To be honest with you I think way too much is typically made of schedule release day. We already knew all of the home and road opponents for the Jets this season. The announcement of the schedule only tells us when these games will be played. Additionally the perceptions of which games are easy might not match with reality. This time last year I’m sure everybody was pencilling in the game against Cincinnati as an easy game. Although the Jets did win it, the Bengals ended up being one of their toughest opponents.
With all of this in mind, here are some quick hit thoughts on the schedule.
An AFC North Start: The Jets’ first four games are all against the AFC North. I was wondering whether the league decided this year to give every team the first four games against a division from the same conference, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I have to say I think the timing of these games lines up pretty well for the Jets. The Week 1 opponent, Baltimore, plays a unique brand of football. It’s probably better to have a full offseason to prepare for them than it would be to have to do it in a week. In Week 2 Cleveland might be without quarterback Deshaun Watson who is looking at a possible suspension. Week 3 against the Bengals could be tough on paper, but the next week the Jets get a Steelers team that could be playing with a rookie quarterback still trying to figure things out at the very beginning of his career.
Fortunate Florida Luck: Two things I hoped from the schedule were to avoid a trip to Miami in September where the heat and humidity could be a disadvantage for a team from the North and to get a Florida team in the Meadowlands cold of December. The Jets got both. Their road game against the Dolphins will be in January shortly after a Thursday night home game against Jacksonville.
Relatively Late Bye: Sometimes you benefit from an early bye if you have a lot of key players suffer short term injuries at the very beginning of the season, but in general I think it’s best to have the bye as late as possible. Teams tend to benefit from some rest heading into the stretch run. The Jets bye at Week 10 could have come later, but it still is a November week off that will rest after the grind of the season’s first half.
Lots of Early Games: Of course with flex scheduling times can change, but only three games are not initially scheduled for 1:00 pm Eastern. Two are games in the Western half of the country at Denver and Seattle. The third is the Thursday night game against Jacksonville. The schedule makers don’t seem to think much of the Jets’ chances this season, but if they can surprise we still might see more late afternoon or primetime games.
What are your thoughts on the schedule?