The NFL Schedule – First Impressions

With as much fanfare as the law allows, the full NFL schedule for the 2024 season is now available to more than the “insiders”; there are neither secrets nor mysteries.  [Aside:  I believe it was Henry Kissinger who said that the difference between a secret and a mystery is that somewhere, someone knew the truth behind a secret.]  In any event, I took time yesterday to look over the complete schedule and compiled some comments regarding things that jumped out at me.  Here is what I was looking for:

  • Stretches of games against teams that project to be very good or not-so-good.
  • Stretches of home games or road games
  • You get the idea …

For the purposes of this “schedule analysis” I do not worry about “revenge games” or “prodigal son returning home” games.  That is a finer-grained analysis.  So, here are some schedule observations based on a quick look at various team schedules.  I have listed them alphabetically so that no one tries to discern any sort of “hidden agenda” herein:

  • Bills:  The Bills have a 3-game road trip in the early part of the schedule and those are never easy things for teams to negotiate.  To make matters worse, those three games are against the Ravens, Texans and Jets.  Later in the season, the Bills have another 4-game stretch that should be no fun playing the Chiefs, Niners, Rams and Lions in succession.
  • Cards:  The Cards open up with a gauntlet of 8 games against 6 potentially very good teams – – Bills, Rams, Lions, Commanders, Niners, Packers, Dolphins, Chargers.  As the calendar turns to the first week in November, the Cards could be 2-6 – – or worse.
  • Chargers:  The tail end of the 2024 season looks to be pillow-soft with the final four games against the Bucs, Broncos, Pats and Raiders.  The Pats game is on the road likely in weather conditions unlike anything in LA and the final game is in Las Vegas.  Nonetheless, the Chargers might just be able to put together a 4-game win streak to end the season.
  • Colts:  In horse race handicapping terms, the Colts look like closers; they could be dominant starting around December 1 when the schedule has them playing the Pats, Broncos, Titans, Giants and Jags – – with a BYE Week thrown in there between the Pats game and the Broncos game.
  • Eagles:  The Eagles fell apart at the end of last season but this year they will finish the regular season with four of their last five games at home – – and the road game is against the Commanders – – not expected to be a great team in 2024.
  • Falcons:  Kirk Cousins and his new colleagues begin the season against the Steelers, Eagles and Chiefs before hitting a soft spot in the next month or so.  After a couple dicey games, the Falcons close out the season against potentially weak sisters such as Raiders, Giants, Commanders and Panthers.
  • Jets:  The Jets’ schedule looks relatively soft until Thanksgiving but then they close out 2024 with Dolphins, Jags, Rams, Bills, Dolphins in a five-game parade of teams that were good last year and project to be good this year.
  • Lions:  They have an early BYE Week this year in Week 5 and that is often earlier than ideal.  And once they return from that week off, they get to play the Cowboys, Vikes, Titans, Packers, Texans and Jags in the next 6 weeks.
  • Raiders:  Look out for the five-game stretch of game between October 13 and November 17.  The Raiders get to play the Steelers, Rams, Chiefs, Bengals and Dolphins in that time span.  The good scheduling news for Raiders’ fans is the end of the season, the Raiders are at home for three of their final four games and none of those final four opponents made the playoffs last season (Falcons, Saints, Jags, Chargers).
  • Ravens:  The Ravens’ early season schedule is challenging to say the least.  Their first five games are against the Chiefs, Raiders, Cowboys, Bills and Bengals.  So, you might suspect that the end-of-season would be soft – – but you would be wrong.  The final three opponents for the Ravens are the Steelers, Texans and Browns.
  • Seahawks:  From 22 September until 17 November, the Seahawks will face Dolphins, Lions, Giants, Niners (on a short week), Falcons, Bills, Rams, Niners (again).  Woof …!
  • Vikes:  In the month between November 17 and December 16, the Vikes have five very winnable games (Titans, Bears, Cards, Falcons, Bears again).  The bad news here is that the 9 games preceding this soft spot in the schedule are not going to be a walk in the park.

If I did not mention your favorite team here, please do not consider it a snub.  All that omission means is that when I looked at other teams’ schedules, I did not see things that jumped out at me.

And with the release of the full NFL schedule, fanboys all over the country can now commence their residence in fantastical worlds wherein their team goes undefeated in the regular season and then sweeps clean through the Super Bowl never having an opponent within a TD of their heroes.  It happens every year…

Finally, let me close today with this observation about schedules by humorist, Garrison Keeler:

“I’m not busy… a woman with three children under the age of 10 wouldn’t think my schedule looked so busy.

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



2 thoughts on “The NFL Schedule – First Impressions”

  1. Sorry, regardless your esteem concerning mental prowess, you don’t get to double-dip. You cannot say “the Chargers might just be able to put together a 4-game win streak to end the season” and then admit the Raiders play four games at season’s end against non-playoff teams. The real question: Is Jim Harbaugh a first-year coach?

    1. TenaciousP:

      I think the Chargers will be significantly better in 2024 than in 2023.

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