Last night, the NFL released the regular season schedules for each team. Overall, relative to last season’s results, the Jets strength of schedule is ranked 20th in the league. Without further delay, here is the 2012 Jet schedule and some analysis:

After looking at this schedule, one thing is pretty clear–early on, we’ll find out if this team is ready to bounce back or flounder into mediocrity. The Jets first five games (vs. BUF, at PIT, at MIA, vs. SF, and vs. HOU) all present really tough challenges. Specifically, Mark Sanchez will need a hot start to keep Tebowmania off of his tail. If the Jets start 2-3 or even 1-4, the Tebow backers will be out in full force. Plus, the Jet locker room isn’t the most cohesive one in the league. Tensions may boil over with a slow start. 

A quarter of the Jet games will be played in front of a national audience. Week 5 against the Texans and Week 15 against the Titans will be featured on ESPN’s Monday Night Football while a Week 12, Thursday night match-up in New England and a Week 16, Sunday night match-up against San Diego, loom large. 

After their bye week in Week 9, the Jet schedule gets considerably easier. However, it may be too late if this team gets off to a slow start. 

Ultimately, the Jets must play each week with reckless abandon. Their Week 1 match-up against Buffalo will be their first real test. Mario Williams has joined the Bills Mafia and Stevie Johnson gives Darrelle Revis fits. If the Jets lose this game, things may turn very ugly, very quickly.