Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The NFL Still Can't Get Scheduling Right

The Kansas City Chiefs 2015 schedule was released last night (the opponents have been known for some time, but not the dates). Some excitement awaits: a Thursday night home game against Denver (who has NFL Network and wants to let me use it?), Monday Night Football at Green Bay, and a Sunday night game at San Diego. Plus the London game against Detroit (which I still plan on making my first visit to Europe to see). Oh, and the Thursday night game against Denver is the home opener to boot.

Two issues. The first is that the bye (November 8) immediately follows the London trip, as it should. And it falls at an appropriate time - halfway through the season. That's fine, but it's still a load of bull that other teams have their bye in September. All byes should take place after a team has played 7-10 games. Does the NFL lose revenue because it has fewer games to show during these weeks? Possibly. But that's when teams need the time off before the playoff push, not after week four when injuries haven't had as much time to pile up. It just makes sense. From a team's perspective.

The second issue is that the final three games of the season are: at Baltimore, CLEVELAND, OAKLAND. The final game is fine. In fact, that's the way it should be - Kansas City/Oakland and San Diego/Denver to end every season. But where are the Bolts and Broncos? While very plausible that the Chiefs could be jockeying with the Ravens and Browns for a wildcard spot, I guarantee the greater intrigue would reside in a season-ending round robin against the other division opponents. Going into the last three games, the majority of divisions should have three (or even four) teams still in the playoff mix assuming they must still all play each other. That should be the goal for every division, and its disappointing the NFL doesn't make it a higher priority.

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