The NFL Scheduling Scheme Is A Mess

I’ve gotten a bit of criticism for whining about the New England Patriots schedule, and rightly so. I didn’t completely do my home work, and never realized the NFL changed the way it makes team schedules. I will admit I rushed into the post, but it doesn’t take away from the point I was trying to make, which is: The Patriots got the easiest schedule in the NFL and it’s strong evidence that the scheme the NFL uses doesn’t work.

Here is how the NFL makes team schedules: The NFL changed the schedule in 2002 with the new expansion teams to ensure all teams play one another at least once every four years. Teams in the same division play twice, accounting for six games of the 16-game schedule. All teams also play all the teams from one division in its own conference, and all the teams from one division in the other conference.

This leaves two games that the NFL determines based on records from the prior season. So, the Patriots get the San Diego Chargers and the Pittsburgh Steelers, which is apparently the best the NFL could do for a 18-1 team. The Patriots should be facing the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants or the Jacksonville Jaguars. The NFL was kind enough to schedule the Giants in for a preseason game against the Cheatriots. How special is that!?

It’s bad enough that the Patriots play in the NFL’s worst division, with challenges from the likes of the woeful Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets, whom the Cowboys beat by something like 30 points last Thanksgiving (thanks for that one, NFL). There is some hope that the Jets and Bills improve this year so they may not lose by 21 points.

Other than a few tweaks, the scheduling has always been like this, which was news to me.

Fine, I made an error in judgment. But the problem still exists.

No team that finished 18-1 last year should get a schedule like this. It’s just completely ridiculous. I am writing the NFL tonight expressing my dissatisfaction with the current scheduling, and I think you all should do the same. We can sign a petition. Who cares if every team plays every four years? It seems as if the NFL is using this archaic methodology because it is a simple way to ensure teams play each other. But what it fails to do is protect the integrity and fairness of the game.

I could care less about seeing the Patriots play the Kansas City Chiefs!!

I would like to see a rematch of the Cowboys and Patriots, however.

Instead, we get the Patriots for the St. Louis Rams? Are they serious?

It’s prime time for the NFL to recall its scheduling methodology immediately.

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