Aaron Rodgers and Roger Goodell.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images (left), Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images (right)

Is the Jets' New Schedule Proof That the NFL Is Rigged?

The New York Jets may have some clear advantages over their opponents throughout the 2023 NFL season, according to some interesting "rest" data collected by Warren Sharp of SharpFootballAnalysis.com, The Ringer, and Fox Sports.

We've heard the rumors of the NFL being "scripted," "rigged" and whatever other kind of word you can think of to designate it as being predetermined in some way.

While that's mostly just memes and Twitter fodder, one thing that has sparked questions is the NFL schedule makers. After all, they have total control of that. 

Why would the NFL want to give advantages to the Jets?

Well, Aaron Rodgers was traded to the team just before the NFL Draft, and we could assume that the NFL wants the New York market to flourish for financial reasons, including its six prime-time games. The Jets play on Monday Night Football twice, Thursday Night Football once, Sunday Night Football twice, and Black Friday.

So, what kind of advantages do the Jets have based on their schedule? Let's dive in.

How the NFL is Setting the Jets Up For Success

Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers warms up prior to the start of the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field

Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

RELATED: How Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets Completely Upended the 2023 NFL Draft

Sharp's schedule analysis primarily focuses on team rest. As you can imagine, with the NFL being a gruesome contact sport, getting as much rest as possible between games would certainly help any team get back into as good of a shape as possible before its next game.

According to the findings. the Jets are +12 in "net rest," which is the extra number of rest days a team has over their opponent per game summed over the course of the season, according to Sharp.

Sharp also points out the following facts:

  • The Jets play outside of their stadium twice from Weeks 1-9.
  • From Oct. 5-Nov. 12, they don't leave New York (well, New Jersey, technically).
  • Only seven of their 17 regular season games are outside New York/New Jersey.

One of the Jets' road opponents this year is the New York Giants, with whom they share a stadium. They also have the best rest differential in games against their fellow AFC East teams. The AFC East division is gearing up to be hotly contested with the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and even the New England Patriots.

In Weeks 11 and 15, the Jets play the Bills and Dolphins, respectively, both of which play on Monday Night Football the week before, giving the Jets an extra day of rest. In Week 18, the Jets play the Patriots, but the Jets play on Thursday Night Football in Week 17, giving the Jets three extra days of rest in what could be a critical division game.

Speaking of the Dolphins, the Jets will also host the Dolphins on Black Friday (Week 12) — which is, of course, a Friday game. While they both have the same rest timeline, the Dolphins are on the road the week prior. The Jets are also on the road in Week 11, but they play in Buffalo, which is a much easier commute for the Jets coming back to New Jersey from Buffalo as opposed to the Dolphins going from Miami to New York.

Could this be a coincidence? After all, the Jets did finish in last place in the AFC East in 2022. The opponents the following season are based on the past season's results, such as playing fellow last-place teams in other divisions.

Is this something we'd be discussing if Zach Wilson was starting again this season? Likely not, since the +12 in net rest wouldn't make a difference.

Overall, we don't blame you if you think the NFL is trying to set up the Jets so they can excel. The schedule makers could undoubtedly move things around, as Sharp points out, even while knowing the opponents — but, again, the opponents are based on the prior season.

Predicting the 2023 Jets Regular Season Record

New York Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson (17) runs out of a tackle attempt by Cleveland Browns cornerback Greg Newsome II (20) during the first quarter

Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The data above is certainly fascinating and makes you view the Jets' schedule in a whole new light. When we look over schedules, we tend to look at who the opponents are only and overlook the rest of the details.

Thanks to Sharp, we can now look differently at the Jets' over/under line of 9.5, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.

Below, we'll list each of the Jets' opponents and predict whether that game will be a win or a loss:

  • vs. Bills*: Loss
  • at Cowboys: Win
  • vs. Patriots: Win
  • vs. Chiefs**: Loss
  • at Broncos: Win
  • vs. Eagles: Loss
  • Week 7: Bye
  • at Giants: Win
  • vs. Chargers: Win
  • at Raiders: Win
  • at Bills: Loss
  • vs. Dolphins***: Win
  • vs. Falcons: Win
  • vs. Texans: Win
  • at Dolphins: Loss
  • vs. Commanders: Win
  • at Browns: Win
  • vs. Patriots: Win
  • Final record: 12-5

*= MNF

**= TNF

*** = Black Friday

Don't be surprised if the Rodgers-led Jets win their division. They can thank the schedule makers for the help.

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