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Rex Ryan: 'Huge challenge' facing Pats on short week

In the wake of Wednesday's schedule release, we empathized with a host of teams that, frankly, got the short end of the stick.

The Bengals and Buccaneers made our list, as did the Rams, Titans, Jaguars and Vikings. But how about the Jets?

As Dan Hanzus pointed out on the latest podcast, New York was handed a particularly brutal task in the season's first half. After a West Coast trip to play the San Diego Chargers in Week 5, the Jets fly home to host the Denver Broncos in Week 6. From there, Gang Green has mere hours to prepare for a Thursday night game in New England against Tom Brady and the Patriots.

"Obviously that's a huge challenge," coach Rex Ryan said Wednesday, per ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini. "It's another year where we go on the road on a Thursday night to play New England, (which) isn't ideal. But again, we'll be up for it.

"It is a challenge. You're facing the two best teams in the AFC last year, who played in the (AFC) Championship Game, back-to-back. ... But, we'll have a lot of football to play up until that and hopefully we're hitting our stride when we play those two teams."

The Jets hosted Tampa Bay in the opener last season before traveling to Foxborough to play the Pats on Thursday night in Week 2. New England didn't even practice for the game, while New York followed suit, managing just a brief walkthrough before taking the field. The result was one of the sloppiest affairs of the entire campaign, with New York losing in a 13-10 squeaker.

Ryan might not be fond of the schedule, but if there's one advantage, it's this: Giving Bill Belichick less time to prepare is never a bad thing if you're the Jets.

The "Around The League Podcast" NFL Schedule Extravaganza will change the way you look at everything.

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