NFL hands Jets extra rest, while Giants get 'schedule pain'
The 2023 NFL schedule is out and while the opponents for the Jets and Giants have been known since the end of the regular season in January, the all-important order of the dates across the 18-week season has now been revealed. And with that revelation comes the confirmation of advantages and disadvantages for the two New York clubs.
Brian Burke, one of the leading voices in football analytics and a senior analytics specialist at ESPN, compiled some data about several of these edges the NFL’s schedule makers dealt to certain teams and the below details come from his work.
And while Gang Green appears to have feared quite well for their first season with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, Big Blue did not. Burke teased an unscientific “Schedule Pain” metric which pointed to a particularly painful schedule this year for Daniel Jones and company.
The Giants will travel the 11th most miles for their away games in 2023, around 22,600 miles in total. The Jets will travel the seventh fewest miles, more than 14,000 in total.
While the Jets do not have a distinct advantage in net travel distance compared to their opponents, that is not the case for Big Blue.
In addition to opening up the season with seven road games in their first 11 games, the G-Men have the second-worst net travel rating in the league, having to travel around 7,000 miles more than their opponents and almost 2,000 miles more than San Francisco at third-worst rating.
It isn't all good news for the Jets as two of their divisional foes, the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins, have the second and fourth-best net travel advantages, both traveling roughly 4,000 miles fewer than their 2023 opponents.
The Willie Nelson Giants will also have the privilege of making five back-to-back road trips in the season, the most in the NFL.
Sixteen other teams will have three back-to-back trips and the Jets will only have two such trips. The lucky Bills will avoid consecutive road games all year.
But, both teams based out of the Meadowlands will have to suffer through playing three road games on short weeks, tied with Minnesota, for most in the NFL.
Overall, both will play four games on an abbreviated week, tied for most with six other teams. This problem is a result of both teams having five primetime games on their docket.
Naturally, the Giants -- who will spend much of the season going down the highway making music with their friends -- will also have a disadvantage compared to their opponents when it comes to rest.
Big Blue has the fifth-worst net rest differential, with nine fewer rest days and they will play an opponent with more rest days in five weeks of the season, tied with six other teams for second-most in the NFL.
Meanwhile, Gang Green can enjoy a 12-day net rest advantage, tied for second-most in the league with the Washington Commanders and just one behind the Chicago Bears. And they will enter a game with fewer rest days than that week’s foes only twice this season, tied for third best.
The Jets' advantage in this category comes from having the privilege of being one of 11 lucky teams to not have to face a team coming off their bye week in 2023. The Giants will have to face a team coming off the bye twice.