Seven observations ahead of Jets' schedule release

The 2018 NFL regular-season schedule will be announced Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. A few thoughts on what could be ahead for the New York Jets:

1. Quick refresher: Their non-divisional schedule consists of the Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts and Minnesota Vikings at home, with the Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans on the road.

2. For openers: The Jets opened on the road last season (Buffalo Bills) after seven consecutive openers at home. This is just a hunch, but I'm thinking they'll be on the road again. Prediction: Jets at Cleveland, which will lug a 17-game losing streak into the season.

3. Best potential matchup: Coach Todd Bowles probably wouldn't mind facing the Bills in Week 1 or early in the season. The Bills have a new offensive system and will have a new quarterback, AJ McCarron (three career starts with the Cincinnati Bengals) or a rookie. Either way, there will be growing pains.

4. Growing pains II: The Jets could be in the same situation as the Bills. They have a new playcaller (Jeremy Bates), a new system and, possibly, a new quarterback -- if Teddy Bridgewater or a rookie emerges as the opening-day starter. For that reason, the Jets probably want to face the Vikings and Jaguars -- arguably the two best defensive teams -- as late as possible, giving them a chance to develop continuity.

5. Gobble, gobble: I'm hearing rumblings the Jets could face the Lions on Thanksgiving Day in Detroit. The Jets haven't played on Thanksgiving since 2012 in the infamous BFF game -- Butt Fumble Forever.

6. Rehabbing QBs: Two of the four starting quarterbacks in the AFC South are coming off major injuries: the Colts' Andrew Luck (shoulder) and the Texans' Deshaun Watson (knee). The Jets would catch a break if they could face them early in the season.

7. Strength of schedule: Their opponents' winning percentage last season was .477, giving them the 25th (tied)-toughest schedule on paper.