The NFL schedule, which most of you have known for months now, is officially laid out for you. Thanks to a host of corporate sponsors, over-excited TikTokkers and social media gurus, who are free to write checks to their content that players’ bodies need to cash in on Sundays, it’s already known We have the exact times and dates of every NFL game.
If I sound bad, it’s because it feels like a particularly vampiric process this year. There are a lot of teams that get a spotlight they don’t deserve and a lot of good teams built the right way that get completely hosed. For now, we’re focusing on the latter. Be it heavy travel, too much British television, too many games on short rest or, in the case of the Giants, every round of football hell, it feels like people tasked with appeasing executives of the network has become a bit of a sea in 2023. Here’s hoping that everyone. exploded in their faces. Join us, for a list of the most screwed teams of the year (so far).
1. New York Giants
This schedule is borderline criminal. While the entire theme of this year’s game ordering is “bare cash grabs,” forcing one of the NFL’s strongest franchises—a team out of a playoff spot with of the reigning Coach of the Year on the sideline-to go on the road for seven. in the first 10 games it was ridiculous. New York is also tied for the shortest rested games of any team in the NFL, with four according to ESPN analytics, which also noted that the Giants are tied for the shortest rested road games from any team. I’m not counting a two-game stretch where I would consider two games clearly winnable, and they’re tied for fourth-toughest in strength of schedule. While I can predict that coaches like Brian Daboll and DC Wink Martindale, who have been through the ringer, will use this as a collective battle cry, this is the kind of legitimate screw-job that changes the course of a promising season. Closing out the year with the Eagles twice in three weeks, including once on Christmas, is a middle finger at best. What on Earth did the Giants do to deserve this?
2. New York Jets
I know the Jets schedule is absurd, but one can also understand that they are doing this to themselves. Unlike the Giants, the Jets went big game hunting this offseason and landed one of the most dynamic and intriguing players of the 2000s. Aaron Rodgers plays for the Jets, which means six of their games this season (so far) take place without another football game. While that’s a lot for any franchise, it also means balancing the delicacy of a long, difficult season with media frenzy. While I predict the Jets will be one of the best teams in the NFL this season—certainly good enough to top the Bills and win the AFC East—one has to consider the possibility that their experiment will be lost in the railway and they have to mask the palace. intrigue over the course of a long year under the spotlight. Opening of Bills; traveled to Dallas for the Cowboys open house; facing their biggest foil, the Patriots; before hosting the Chiefs in another prime-time game is a particularly bad way to start the season. The Jets also close out the season on the road against the Browns before another date in New England.
3. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks are, once again, your United MileagePlus award winners for most miles traveled. However, this year, they traveled 2,000 more miles than in 2022, when they made a road trip to Germany. I think the back end of Seattle’s schedule is also more known for its brutality. From November 23, the team will face the 49ers, Cowboys, 49ers again and Eagles, before getting what you can imagine a break with the Steelers and Titans. However, the Titans game is at Tennessee at 10 a.m. Pacific time, which is not exactly a fun time to try to deal with Derrick Henry. Both the Titans and Steelers present a physical brand of football that no team wants to accept at the end of a year when they are inevitably hurt by injuries and fatigue.
4. San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers, according to ESPN analytics, are tied for the most games this season against clubs coming into a week. By the same metric, they own the NFL’s worst rest differential on a game-by-game basis. In addition, they are also the second most traveled team in the NFL, behind Seattle. While I think Kyle Shanahan is good enough to hold back a stat that is more problematic for young coaches prone to scouting one’s own mistakes, it’s still a quirk playing against a team which can be cycling quarterbacks as a strategic advantage (or should switch quarterbacks mid-stream) because their opponent has enough time to prepare for many passers. The 49ers also have five prime-time games this season, tied for second-most in the NFL. To be clear, I expect the 49ers to blow this schedule. They have a middle of the road strong schedule and will finish the season with the Commanders and Rams, neither team I expect to compete. Their “big” game of the year, on December 3 against the Eagles, is also nicely wrapped up with a long layoff game in the first and a comfortable layoff game against the Cardinals on the back end.
5. Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons
I’m sorry, but how can a team like the Browns, a club that the NFL actively buried at 1 p.m. every Sunday last year to avoid talking about the conditions in which they thrived as a club, have double the amount of prime-time. games as a team with Shane Steichen and Anthony Richardson (the Colts), a team with DeMeco Ryans and CJ Stroud (Texans) and a team with Bijan Robinson, Kyle Pitts and Drake London (the Falcons) . Similarly, we will only see Bryce Young, the No. 1 pick in the draft, twice in prime-time windows. That’s the same number as Baker Mayfield and the lifeless, half-tanking Buccaneers. It is a complete encapsulation and misunderstanding of what the audience might be interested in.
6. Jacksonville Jaguars
If I were the Jaguars, I wouldn’t want to be the first team to try anything in the middle of an NFL season. While playing back-to-back games in London seems fine, in theory, because they will spend two weeks in England and possibly have a powerful advantage over a jet-lagged Bills squad.. .their second opponent in the UK swing is the same the Buffalo Bills. Jacksonville is expected to rise to a level just below the elite this season, which means competing against the Bills shouldn’t be as daunting a prospect as it once was. However, playing Josh Allen while still possibly getting confused by the time-zone, and then not getting your bye week for almost a month. completion going home was a bit too much. All this to entertain a country that the NFL is willing to leave Germany, however.