New York Jets – 2013 Schedule Presents Challenge

Dan Marcus on the challenges of the New York Jets 2013 schedule and the need for a fast start

Let me preface by saying that I understand the game is not played on paper and much can and will change between now and Week 1. That said, after pouring over the New York Jets regular season schedule, I had a difficult time conjuring up ways they could make a legitimate postseason run.

Let’s be frank though, the schedule makers over on Park Avenue didn’t do the Jets any favors by pitting them a young/upstart Bucs team in Week 1 and then sending them north to New England four days later. If there is a better recipe for this team to start 0-2, I can’t really think of it. Someone in the league office must have thought that the TV story lines were more important than legitimate competitive balance. I am not/do not care to suggest some sort of conspiracy theory. I would just merely like to point out that this is a rather difficult way for a 6-10 team with a top-ten draft pick to start off a season.

For those fans hoping for a 2006-esque season where a team full of question marks and young core players surprised the league by going 10-6 and making the playoffs, don’t hold your breath. The fact of the matter is that this schedule is simply too tough, it would take some spirited performances and bona fide upsets for this team to put themselves into the playoff conversation.

Let me for play Devil’s Advocate against myself and outline the scenario in which the 2013 Jets are able to keep their collective heads above water to make this season interesting –

As was mentioned, the first two weeks of the season are pretty brutal but if the Jets are somehow able to split or even win both of those games, then all bets are off and I am happily eating my words. The likely outcome is a win at home against “Treasure Island” and the Bucs as the Jets D proves too much for a still-inconsistent Josh Freeman and the Tampa Bay offense. In terms of the debut of Thursday Night Football, I don’t see a way the Jets can realistically go into New England on a short week and knock off Brady and the Pats. However, a 1-1 start going into games against Kevin Kolb/EJ Manuel and Jake Locker is not the worst place to be and it is not out of the realm of possibility that this team surprises with a 3-1 start.

Gang Green will probably need to be 2-2 or 3-1 as they head into one of the most daunting five-game stretches any team in the NFL will have this season: Falcons, Steelers, Pats, Bengals, and Saints in consecutive weeks. That stretch has potential disaster written all over it and could be the reason the team is playing for a draft pick instead of a playoff spot down the stretch.

  • Harold

    Those 5 games especially the Saints at home doesn’t really scare me much. We also get the Steelers at home. I feel we can go 2-3 or 3-2 during this stretch. I don’t see the schedule we have as being overly tough. Everyone has to play good teams. It how you play that matters. Let’s get the pads on and then see what happens.

  • kilbasar

    RE: Harold, the Saints should scare you. Even if the Jets’ O turns things around this year, it will be a massive accomplishment for them to keep up with the Saints’ O. Last season (their worst of the Brees era), the Saints averaged 28.8 points/game. The Jets averaged… 17.6. Of course, that’s why they play the games, upsets happen every week, but it would definitely be an upset. On the other hand, the Steelers and Bengals are both very winnable match-ups.

    As for the “brutal” first two weeks, I don’t see why everyone is hyping the Bucs. This is a team that ended last season losing 5 of their last 6, including losses to opponents like the Rams and Eagles. Josh Freeman is only marginally better than Mark Sanchez:

    Sanchez Career: 55.1% completion, 12,092 yards, 68 TDs, 69 INTs
    Freeman Career: 58.8% completion, 12,963 yards, 78 TDs, 68 INTs

    Bucs D was ranked 29th last year. Despite the addition of Revis, they are still a very beatable team.

  • Nikolas

    I think that the best indicator, on how well this Jet team will do, is the RUN DEFENSE. If we can stop the run the defense will dominate and there will be less pressure for the offense to score a lot. This was the formula in 2009 and 2010.

  • Gary

    Schiano is a bad coach so there’s no reason to fear the Bucs. He won’t be there very long…

  • David

    The entire schedule and how the Jets do is going to be predicated on whether or not the Jets offense shows up and can score points. I mean look at some of these offensive point totals from last year:

    San Francisco– 0
    Houston– 10
    Miami– 9
    Seattle– 0
    Tennessee– 10
    Arizona– 7
    Buffalo– 9

    In today’s NFL, with the way the rules are set up toward the offenses, for ANY team to have half of it’s performances at 10 points or less is an utterly, deplorable JOKE! If that is the best product you can put on the field, then you need a lot of help. If the Jets offense shows up like that again this year, be prepared for a VERY LONG season.

    If the Jets offense resembles ANY kind of offense this year, the Jets have a chance to be solid.