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Blog

Jets Schedule: A Few More Talking Points

Posted by Randy Lange on April 20, 2011 – 3:53 pm

NFL schedule announcement week is always an interesting time. Now we all get to weigh in on why the Jets’ schedule will be or won’t be good for business in the fall.

Before getting into one area of concern, I’d like to tip my cap to the league’s schedulemakers. They do a great job of wrestling this 17-week monster to the ground every year. There are always macro, league-wide issues that need to be addressed, as well as the micro desires that each team submits for consideration each year. The scheduling team does a neat job and its handiwork is on display every April at this time.

But of course not everything is perfect.

What’s bothering me? Actually, not the Jets’ three-game road trip to Oakland, Baltimore and New England in Weeks 3-5. That’s not ideal and the NFL tries to avoid those three-weeks-of-travel stretches. Yet every season since 2000 there has been at least one team with a three-game road trip. The eight trips scheduled in ’00 are the most in that span.

As we mentioned Tuesday, the Jets haven’t had a scheduled regular-season three-game trip since the end of the 1982 season. But they’re not the only team being told to hit the road this year — six other teams also received three-game trips in the just released schedule.

No, that one I can live with. But the schedule wrinkle I’m not fond of occurs in Weeks 10 and 11 in November. That’s the Sunday night home game against the Patriots followed by the Thursday night NFL Network game at Denver.

My complaint is not with second-half-of-the-season Thursday night games in general. They are what they are, as Laveranues Coles might say. They’ve been part of the NFL’s primetime landscape since 2006 and they appear to be here to stay.

It’s just that reducing a team’s prep time from the usual six days down to three days is tough enough on the mind and the body. And now the league has told the Jets, “You’re not even going to get Sunday night off before this year’s Thursday game. You’re going to play your archrivals the Patriots on Sunday night, then you’re going to get Monday and Tuesday to heal and prepare for the Broncos, then you’re going to get on a five-hour plane ride to Denver on Wednesday.”

This is not something that I recall ever being done to an NFL team since before the league did away with four-game road trips in the mid-Seventies. Since 2006, only one team has been scheduled at home on Sunday night and then on the road on Thursday night. That was Denver in 2006, which lost to San Diego, then lost at Kansas City. And only one team has been scheduled to fly west two time zones for a second-half Thursday night game. That was Chicago in 2009, which lost to Arizona, then lost at San Francisco.

Never before has a team been scheduled to play on Sunday night, then fly west two time zones to play on Thursday night.

The thing the Jets have going in this history-making stretch is Rex Ryan. The head coach and his staff of coaches, trainers and doctors have devised a detailed approach to faraway games. And when the Rex Jets have played a game six days or fewer after another game, they are 6-2 (including 2-0 on Thursday nights, in Toronto vs. the Bills in ’09 and home vs. the Bengals last Thanksgiving night).

Plus Ryan has the quintessential positive coach’s spin about these short weeks. As he told reporters yesterday: “Like I always say about those Thursday games, they’re great as long as you win, because you can almost treat it like a little mini-bye after that.”

View the 2011 Season Schedule

View the 2011 Interactive Schedule

Rex Ryan on 2011 Schedule

More Schedule Trivial Pursuit

The Jets open with a home game (vs. Dallas on Sept. 11) for the second consecutive season, the first time that’s happened since 1979-80. … With their three Sunday night games, that means the Jets will be shown on NBC three times. That’s the most times they’ve appeared on the Peacock Network in one season since it declined to renew its rights for the AFC games following the 1997 season. … The Jets are scheduled to play 10 primetime games in 2010 and ’11. That’s as many as in their previous six seasons combined. … The bunching of three of their four NFC East foes in December reminds us that this is the year the Jets must do something about their record against that division. Since the realignment in 2002, the Jets have gone 0-8 against the NFC East.

Pereira’s Winning Image

Here’s a big, exploding fist bump to New York Jets team photographer Al Pereira, who received honorable mention for one of his photos in the prestigious annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Photo Contest.

The contest winners were announced today and the only Jets photo of the 16 combined that were singled out in the “action” and “feature” categories was the shot snapped by Al P in the visitors’ locker room at Invesco Field at Mile High. The shot, titled “Pregame Prep,” shows James Ihedigbo alone in front of a bathroom mirror, wearing uniform, headphones and game face, and applying eyeblack.

The honored image will be a part of our Al-Cove photo slideshow that we’ll post on newyorkjets.com later this week.


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Posted in Randy Lange | 14 Comments »


14 Responses to “Jets Schedule: A Few More Talking Points”

  1. By IRA on Apr 20, 2011 | Reply

    Randy,
    Excellent story and i couldn’t agree with you more about making that trip out to Denver after a home Sunday Night Game. It makes no sense at all. Like you said Rex has a good Thursday Night record and he is the spin doctor so he will have them as ready as possible. I think the league should stop the Thursday Night Games but its all about the ratings and money. They don’t care about the players or the fans and please i don’t want to hear the league say well then you get 10 days off before your next game. But no reason to complain about it. Nobody is going to feel sorry for you anyway.
    Glad they have the Bills following those 2 games.
    Congrats to Big Al!

  2. By scjoe on Apr 20, 2011 | Reply

    Couldn’t agree more Randy, that Thursday night game would not be ideal even if they were home to Denver, but going out there after a Sunday night game is a disgrace, no matter how much time these schedule makers put in to it, that is not a good enough excuse, it should not have happened. It seems like the Jets get a tough opening day opponent every year now, something tells me the football Gods are not looking out for them, especially when you throw in the annual visit out to Oakland.

  3. By IRA on Apr 20, 2011 | Reply

    scjoe, Thats what happens when you have a target on your chest and are one of the league’s elite teams. I love the challenge of the schedule just am so annoyed about that Den trip for the team.
    Read that Rex likes to travel a day earlier then normal so the team can get settled. Well i think i would still rather them fly out Tues after they practice instead of Weds. This way it gives them that full Weds to still get acclimated to the thin air of Den the time difference even though i read they stay on EC time.Plus they get a another full day to get their legs fresh for that Thurs Night Game.
    I will give the league a little slack by giving the Jets the Bills both after the bye and this NE/Den week. Still you can’t sleep on any team.

  4. By Jimmer on Apr 20, 2011 | Reply

    I’m still upset about the annual trip to Oakland. This game was simply the Rex-appeal. He talks the talk, the players back him up. Now the NFL wants the players to walk the walk multiple times on a national stage. I love Rex, but nobody loves him more than Woody. I doubt any team has more national games than we do this year. Woody, at least, asked for this. To have a down year could have historical implications. Which is what I think the schedulers are looking for. I pray they’re wrong.

  5. By IRA on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    So I read this morning that some of the players are breaking away from the rest and want to be represented by their own lawyers. Thats exactly what the owners were banking on and by the end of July the heat will really be climbing as the so called lower pay scaled players will want to know they will soon be getting paychecks. I would really like to know how much workout bonus money throughout the league that the owners saved and didn’t have to pay to players that had that in their contracts.

  6. By dougmc on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    If we go 5-2 up till the bye week we should be looking at a 12-4 season, hopefully.Most likely one of the losses is at Denver if they are any good. 3 days rest and traveling to mile high altitude isn’t fair to anybody. They should try to move the Sunday night game against the Pats back to Saturday night…
    At Oakland again? Let’s hope it’s not J—E—T—L—A—G…Jetlag, Jetlag, Jetlag

  7. By gmany3k on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    Maybe we should be looking at which teams that are elite and see if they have to soft a schedule as compared to Us .

  8. By Frank on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    Stop whinning! Its the price you pay for success. Besides we should beat Denver with our JV squad this year. I am more worried about the CBA and were its headed than a few games that might not be played. Glad to hear the players grumble. The clueless D. Smith who walked away from the negotiations in DC and filed the lawsuit is the problem here and the players know it. Get this overmatched and unsophistciated lawyer out of the way and a deal will get done.

  9. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Frank, some basic arithmetic, inspired by the overwhelmingly negative reaction on this site to the Denver game: Greed + Goodell = Thursday night games. Get it now?

  10. By uncle joe on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    Read that too Ira, once these mid to low teir players realize that the way things were was not bad after all the Union will crumble. I think a few more Cromartie quotes should do it! Also read the Players lawyer wants No Rules,No Draft,he is just trying to scare the league. Seems like the players are starting to deplete their savings and are worried they won’t be able to replenish it anytime soon.

  11. By uncle joe on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    Just wondering, if the decertification is accepted and the lockout lifted,with NO UNION,would teams be allowed to have everyday,contact practices and be able to fine players whatever they want if they don’t participate.Are contracts voided? If I was an owner I would make them work SIX days a week during the offseason and their only day off would be like a Tuesday or something!

  12. By wayne on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    You guys are bleeping incredible…..You drool all over these players like teeny boopers at a bieber concert and yet you resent them getting paid….You think these guys not getting paid is going to cause your ticket prices to go down? Open your eyes. Look at you supermarket selves. You’re paying more for less. …You……………….

  13. By postman191 on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    I think it is horrible that the jets, giants game has to be played on satuday christmas eve. Christmas eve is a busy day and alot more people have to work on saturday. I for one have to work until 4:30 pm so now I have to miss this game. Of all games it had to be the Jets and Giants on Christmas Eve. I don’t know why the games could not be played on Christmas anyway. The NBA plays every Christmas.

  14. By uncle joe on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    Wayne,It’s Boppers not Boopers,why do you know about Bieber,the more the players get paid the higher the tickets will go,we want to stop the bleeding now,it’s supermarket SHELVES not selves and those prices have nothing to do with the NFL or CBA the price increases has probably more to do with oil prices.We are drooling because we miss our football and the upcoming draft is all we have right now. And finally the only incredible thing here is Randy and his Crew for the INCREDIBLE JOB they do day in and day out allowing us to vent!
    You…………………

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