For the 2012 New York Jets, the season could be summed up in one word: disaster.
Tim Tebow dominated the headlines early in the season but barely saw any time on the field, even in the Wildcat formation. Mark Sanchez's "butt fumble" on Thanksgiving against the New England Patriots had an epic run on SportsCenter's "Worst of the Worst" that lasted into the spring.
And despite somehow remaining in the wild-card hunt for most of the season, the team lost its last three games and finished 6-10.
But Rex Ryan and company will try to remedy last season's woes in 2013. Let's take a look at the schedule they will face as they attempt to right the ship.
|2013 New York Jets Schedule|
|1||Sept. 8 ||vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1:00 p.m.||FOX|
|2||Sept. 12 ||@ New England Patriots||8:25 p.m.||NFL|
|3||Sept. 22 ||vs. Buffalo Bills||4:25 p.m.||CBS|
|4||Sept. 29||@ Tennessee Titans||4:05 p.m.||CBS|
|5||Oct. 7||@ Atlanta Falcons||8:40 p.m.||ESPN|
|6||Oct. 13||vs. Pittsburgh Steelers||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|7||Oct. 20||vs. New England Patriots||4:05 p.m.||CBS|
|8||Oct. 27||@ Cincinnati Bengals||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|9||Nov. 3||vs. New Orleans Saints||1:00 p.m.||FOX|
|11||Nov. 17||@ Buffalo Bills||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|12||Nov. 24||@ Baltimore Ravens||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|13||Dec. 1||vs. Miami Dolphins||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|14||Dec. 8||vs. Oakland Raiders||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|15||Dec. 15||@ Carolina Panthers||4:05 p.m.||CBS|
|16||Dec. 22 ||vs. Cleveland Browns||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
|17||Dec. 29 ||@ Miami Dolphins||1:00 p.m.||CBS|
Note: For a complete look at New York's 2013 schedule, check out NFL.com.
The Jets' schedule has the potential to be quite friendly, as they only have five games against playoff teams from a year ago (Patriots twice, Ravens, Bengals and Falcons).
What is the toughest matchup for the Jets?
Meanwhile, New York has 10 games against teams with losing records from last season (Bills twice, Dolphins twice, Raiders, Saints, Buccaneers, Titans, Panthers and Browns).
Don't be fooled, though—this could actually be a tricky schedule. Of the five games against playoff teams from a year ago, four are on the road. Teams like the Steelers, Saints, Dolphins and Bucs should all be much better this year as well.
For a prospective playoff team, this would be a favorable schedule. For a rebuilding Jets team, this schedule presents its fair share of problems.
Most Pivotal Matchup
If the Jets have any hope of winning the AFC East this season—a long shot, I know—the team will have to go through the Patriots first. While it's probably too much to ask the Jets to beat New England twice, a split against the Patriots would bode well for the team.
New York has lost four straight to the Patriots since knocking them out of the 2010-11 playoffs, so ending that streak against New England will be huge for the Jets this year.
Sure, if they are to somehow sneak into the playoffs, the Jets will most likely have to feast on the weaker competition on the schedule. However, nothing would give the Jets more confidence than a win over their rivals and the division's top team, the Pats.