John Clayton of ESPN.com reports that one of the developments possibly emerging from the league meetings could be an alteration to the current scheduling formula.
Per Clayton, the NFL will consider a change that would prevent non-West Coast teams playing the four AFC West teams from having to travel both to Oakland and to San Diego in the same season.
Last year, the Jets and the Patriots were required to play in both of these AFC West cities.  Clayton specifically points to a late-season upset of the Jets at Oakland, which supposedly was influenced by the fact that the New York team spent excessive time last season riding in the thing for which it is named.
We’ve previously been told that scheduling falls squarely within the purview of the Commissioner.  However, the Commissioner realizes the importance of seeking input on matters of this nature from the 32 people who employ him.
That said, why should East Coast teams get special consideration?  West Coast teams routinely have to travel from the Pacific time zone to the Eastern time zone.
Last year, the Raiders had to go to Buffalo, New Orleans, Baltimore, Miami, and Tampa.  The Chargers had to do the same, with Pittsburgh in place of Baltimore and London in place of New Orleans.
Are the Raiders or Chargers whining about it?
The move, if it happens, smacks of the East Coast bias that we always claim doesn’t exist.  Since we live on the East Coast.
UPDATE:  As a reader points out, Clayton’s contention that the Jets lost in Oakland as part of a late-season swoon is flat wrong.  Unless October 19 is part of the “late season.”


  1. More shoddy journalism by Clayton. The Jets were upset by the Raiders on October 19th. Not late in the season during their post Thanksgiving Day swoon.

  2. West coast teams do have a disadvantage coming east, but only when they have to play the early (1:00 EST) games.
    BTW, West Virginia is NOT east coast. It is, however, smack in the middle of my bracket debacle.

  3. Florio, this isn’t as complicated an issue as you think.
    When the NFL admitted Houston in 2002, they developed the round-robin scheduling format that enabled each team to play each team in the other conference home and away over an eight-year period that ends in 2009.
    The teams in each division were sorted alphabetically and the schedule was built from there. This solution seems to suggest breaking up OAK and SD in this formula(since DEN and KC were also paired). End of problem.
    The same problem doesn’t exist in the NFC West because that division has three teams (of 4, duh) in the Pacific time zone.

  4. The Jets lost because they suck and the REF’s got tired of helping out the old man.
    Wait till this year and they have to play a real schedule – there toast no matter where they play.

  5. Packers have announced 2 of their games as well…
    Opening Sunday on NBC vs Bears
    Thanksgiving on FOX vs Lions…
    Go Pack Go

  6. They should then make the same rule for Pittsburgh and Baltimore and teams from the West Coast.

  7. Yeah so let’s expand the league to London Mexico City Frankfurt and Timbuktu with an 18 game schedule so we can REALLY piss off the West coast and the European teams at the same time!!

  8. seriously, Florio?
    West Virginia is NOT the east coast. Give me a break you hillbilly mountain dweller.

  9. Hehe, AFC off-shore: Tokyo, London, Capetown and Honolulu, now that would really f–k with some teams.

  10. The Chargers or Raiders shouldn’t be complaining about anything, because at least they get to live on the west coast where it’s so freaking nice. California rules!!

  11. As a frequent traveler, it is much more difficult to adjust when going west from the east coast. You lose 3 hours and flight times are longer. Heading east from the west coast, you pickup time in both clock hours and short flight durations.
    That said, suck it up like the rest of us.

  12. NCEaglesFan: If you leave at 3pm in New York and go to Cali, wouldn’ you arrive in Cali at 3pm??? I think you would actually gain time and daylight going east to west. West to east sucks more. Leave Cali at 3pm and arrive in New York at 8pm or 9pm.

  13. I personally don’t care about that aspect of the east coast thing I just wish that all of the night games would start earlier for us east coasters. games ending at 11:30 or midnight just sucks, that’s past my bedtime.

  14. yes, because the bucs only lost to the raiders the ast game of the season because of the time east-west coast time difference. oh! the bucs were at home?

  15. Nobody says shit when Seattle has to cross the country several times in a season.
    Last season Seattle played at Buffalo, at NYG, at TB, and at Miami. That is 4 games going as far across the country as they could go losing time each trip.
    In 2007 they had to go to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Atlanta.
    Seattle always gets AT LEAST 2 games on the east coast.
    Boohoo for an east coast team to travel west more than one time a season.

  16. There are 4.5 teams that play on west coast time (AZ doesn’t observe DST so they are on Moutain time for 1/2 the season) and 15 teams that play on eastern time … obviously west coast teams are always going to have to travel east more often than east coast teams travel west if
    who know’s maybe thats why all the teams out there suck every year … and if they want to complain about playing in 1 o’clock games then maybe they need to realize if they didn’t suck and/or anybody cared about them then with the flexible schedule on the back half of the season they wouldn’t play so many 1 o’clock games!

  17. and aparantly to florio livng in the eastern time zone = living on the east “coast” despite the lack of an ocean.

  18. As a frequent business traveler to the east coast, I have found it much more difficult to travel east than it is to travel west. My sleep pattern is thrown off and my fatigue is greatly increased with a three hour jump foward than three hours behind.
    East coast teams definitely have the advantage on this one.

  19. he means WV is Eastern time zone fellas. then again, most WV”s can’t tell time so it doesn’t really matter

  20. It is common sense, not bias, to make this change. A decision to do things randomly (alphabetically) led to an unexpeded inequity. There is no reason not to correct it. It is completly unrelated to travel in the opposite direction, which is unavoidable. (There is no way for the AFC West to play the AFC East without SD and Oakland flying to the East coast twice). That being said, there should also be a rule that no team should have to start a game before it is noon in their home time zone.

  21. The jets lost in week 6 to theraiders. That’s not too late in the season by my standards…And they lost because of poor quarterback play! Not beacause of and excessive travel schedule.

  22. I think Clayton was talking about the Jets losing to the superior 49ers. I wouldn’t call it an upset.

  23. This IS an east-coast bias. Since 2002 there is only one season where Seattle traveled to the east coast less than 2 times. Last season Seattle traveled to the east 4 times. Yet some east coast team gets to bitching about it and suddenly people don’t think that it is fair for east coast teams to travel that far more than 1 time a season.

  24. Easy fix is to schedule teams travelling from West to East at 400pm EST… that would be the easy way to attempt to level the playing field.

  25. “bigbaldpapahawk says:
    March 23rd, 2009 at 4:09 pm
    Nobody says shit when Seattle has to cross the country several times in a season.”
    81% (26/32)of the league resides in either the eastern or central time zones…of the seasquawks 8 away games 2 of them will always be on the west coast (SF and AZ) and unless it is a year where you play the AFC West then they HAVE to travel east, at least as far as the central time zone, 6 times a year
    all you left coasters should just be thankful that the NFL holds off on its “prime time” games until after you get home from work while us east coasters have to stay up past midnight on a work night to watch the end of the game!

  26. Clayton didn’t mention that the Pats won both of thier games?
    With Cassel. The Jets lost, period.

  27. The Jets swooned all season, were one of the most unpredictable and inconsistant teams around. Hell, besides the Raiders they lost to the Niners too. Pretty nice work there Mr. Fah-vra.

  28. RE Chargers 2008 Schedule:
    “No team is going to travel as much as the San Diego Chargers, who play in London, Miami, Buffalo, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and Tampa Bay. All together, the Chargers are scheduled to travel a preposterous 33,516 miles. Fortunately, the schedule places them in Buffalo the week before their game in London. Now the Chargers can fly east, play in Buffalo and proceed straight to London.”

  29. I do not debate that traveling has to happen. I /boggle at the fact that teams on the eastern end of the country are bitching about having to come this way more than 1 time and that enough has been made of it that there is talk of fixing the schedule to accomodate the whining bitches.

  30. The late season loss on the west coast that Clayton is refering to is the week 16 loss to the HORRIBLE seahawks. If they would have one it would have created a week 17 win and in matchup with the dolphins. But alas the Jets reverted to old form.

  31. NCEaglesFan says:
    March 23rd, 2009 at 3:58 pm
    As a frequent traveler, it is much more difficult to adjust when going west from the east coast. You lose 3 hours and flight times are longer. Heading east from the west coast, you pickup time in both clock hours and short flight durations.
    That said, suck it up like the rest of us.
    What you say makes absolutely no sense. You leave at noon from the Least Coast and your flight is a 7 hour flight. Your time is 7:00pm, Best Coast time is 4:00pm. So you gain 3 hrs, you do the opposite you lose 3 hrs. When I go to that side of the country, an 8:00am start is 5:00am for me. Maybe you can sit down with a 5th grader and figure it out.

  32. Are you kidding me??? This isn’t East Coast bias, it’s the East Coast owners using their majority voting position to change the rules in their favor.
    The NFL needs to step in here and protect the West Coast teams.
    Did any West Coast team even win a single game on the East Coast? Chargers lost in Buffalo, Miami, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh (twice) and London. Interestingly, they crushed the Patriots and the Jets at home.
    The Chargers travel to the east coast at least 4 times a year, often in back-to-back road trips, and never complain. Now the east coast teams use their majority ownership position to make sure they don’t have to play TWICE in one season on the West Coast? This is blatantly unfair.
    You want to avoid wear and tear on the players? Then make all cold-weather teams play in domes. Talk about a disadvantage for west coast teams!!!
    Florio, as a lawyer, I hope you can use your power and influence to change this injustice.

  33. Again, all you left coast fans complaining that your team has to travel need a geography lesson…how exactly are you supposed to avoid a minimum of 4 cross country flights each year???
    Teams that choose to play in cities on the left coast new long travel was part of the plan when they signed their stadium leases…
    The point is that there is some degree of injustice when 1 east coast team makes 2 or even 3 trips out west and many others make 0…for all the left coast teams 3-4 trips a year is always going to be the status quo as long as 26 of the 32 teams continue to reside in the eastern half of the country!
    I have a solution…just excise the 6 left coast teams from the NFL…let them have their own league…nobody will even miss them.

  34. I didn’t like it much when the Pats had to stay out west back to back weeks, TWICE, during the same season. That is a bit much. But they did alright. Is there a disadvantage? Not if you have a competent coach. The danger is the first game, where you haven’t fully adjusted. The second week, if you have been smart and stayed out there, should be a non issue. The Jets problem was more Mangini and less Jet lag. You will see that when the Browns return to the bottom of the league this year.

  35. The impetus for this rule change was largely due to the fact that the Patriots played back-to-back games in CA, barely pulling away from the 49ers before being schooled by the Chargers 30-10 the following week. The Pats chose to stay in CA rather than make the return trip a week later. As we all know, the NFL can’t have their pet team experience such undue burden so let’s coddle them with a rule change so the Bill and Tom Show can reach the pinnacle of the AFC East again. Or was it because NYJ lost every west coast game last year? SD, OAK, SF and SEA all whipped them.
    The League nearly implemented another rule change to ensure that Peyton Manning gets to touch the ball in OT instead of watching the Chargers drive down the field for the win. Life is better in the NFL when Manning plays deep in the season, right? Well, that never saw the light of day, thankfully. I wonder what actions Archie is taking as we speak.
    And I believe they will address the draft order so that all playoff teams will draft after non-playoff teams. After all, we can’t have AFC West Division winner San Diego drafting ahead of Wild Card Indy and also-ran New England. That would give another team an advantage over the darlings of The League.
    Sounds to me like the Chargers are a thorn in the side of the NFL.

  36. Stanjam,
    You think your Pats did alright on the West Coast? You really think the second game after the 49ers was a non-issue? Did you somehow block the 30-10 shellacking by the Chargers out of your memory? It was 30-3 with 9 minutes left in the 4th quarter. Remember that? I assure you, the Pats and Jets have vivid memories of their trips to the West Coast and they made this rule change happen.

  37. Anyone look at the Cards last year? @ Was, @ Jets back to back weeks, @ Carolina, @ Philly & @ New England. At the Jets whine about SF & SD? PLEASE

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