One of the many areas for potential pissing and moaning about the perceived unfairness of the schedule comes from the bye weeks. Specifically, from the teams that have to play multiple other teams who had two weeks to prepare for the game.
This year, the bye week short straw goes to the Colts, who face three different teams after those teams had bye weeks.
Specifically, the Colts face the Giants after their Week Eight bye, the Patriots after their Week 10 bye, and the Jaguars after their Week 11 bye. The good news/bad news for the Colts is that they also have a Week 10 bye, which means that the Pats won’t have an advantage when it comes to preparation. Of course, this means that the Colts won’t get two weeks to prepare for a team that has only one week to get ready to face the Colts.
The Colts have a fourth situation in which an opponent has extra time to get ready. Ten days before their Week 17 game at Tennessee, the Titans play on a Thursday night.
Other teams with multiple post-bye opponents include the Patriots (Bengals and Colts), the Chargers (Chiefs and Raiders in consecutive weeks), the Packers (Dolphins and Bears), the Bears (Packers and Vikings in consecutive weeks), the Vikings (Panthers and Buccaneers), the Buccaneers (Redskins and Falcons), the Saints (Ravens and Steelers), and the Cardinals (Broncos and Eagles).
With eight teams facing two teams each after byes and the Colts facing three, that leaves 10 teams who’ll play the full season without facing a team that had two weeks to get ready. They are the Jets, Bengals, Steelers, Jaguars, Texans, Cowboys, Falcons, Panthers, Seahawks, and 49ers.
Yes, the Seahawks and the 49ers, regarded by many as the best two teams in the NFL, won’t have to face a team that had a week to prepare until, at the earliest, the divisional round of the playoffs. If/when (when) they both make it that far.