The Jets have one of the easier schedules in the league
The Jets played the league's third-hardest schedule in 2011. Collectively their opponents went 133-123 for a .520 winning percentage. Next year though, the Jets will play a much softer group of opponents.
First we'll look within their division. Buffalo started hot, but ended the season on a 10-game losing streak. Miami ended the season on a 6-3 stretch, but did so largely against below-average competition and will have a new head coach and perhaps a new quarterback going into next season. If the Jets play up to their potential they should be able to sweep the Dolphins and Bills. New England? Well, we can at least pray for a split.
Things look even brighter out of the division. The Jets play the NFC West and AFC South, two of the worst divisions in football. Only two teams out those eight (Houston and San Francisco) are expected to seriously contend for playoff spots next year, and both of them will play the Jets in New York.
Their two merit-based opponents (San Diego and Pittsburgh) would be very tough in normal years, but both seem to be getting older and aren't quite the juggernauts they once were.
The combined record of New York's 2012 opponents was 126-130, but taking a closer look we can expect many of their opponents to regress next year.
San Francisco won largely based off of turnovers, but as previously mentioned, turnovers statistically tend to regress to the mean, so while they were a 13-win team last season, statistically they are expected to drop to the 10-win range.
Tennessee went 9-7 last year, but will likely begin a youth movement by starting second-year pro Jake Locker at quarterback. While Locker has a bright future, it will be tough for him to replicate what Matt Hasselbeck did last year, so expect Tennessee to drop off by a few wins especially with their expected loss of Cortland Finnegan.
Finally, as previously mentioned, both cap and injury issues have caused the Steelers and Chargers to have to make some very tough roster decisions. The Chargers let go of Darren Sproles last offseason and will likely do the same with Vincent Jackson in the next month, and Pittsburgh recently released several veteran contributors including Hines Ward and Aaron Smith. While both teams will be competitive, they will certainly be beatable for the Jets.
While some opponents (mainly Indianapolis and St. Louis) look to improve, neither should reach playoff status next year, meaning the Jets will likely be favored in those matchups.
While the Jets schedule won't be a cakewalk, it is certainly not outside of the realm of possibility that they can win 11 or 12 games next year based on their opponents.