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Scheduling formula will remain for 2010 and beyond

Several of you recently have raised a great question regarding the NFL schedule for 2010.

Given that the league adopted an eight-year rotation from 2002 through 2009, which would ensure that every team plays in every other stadium and hosts every other team at least once during that period, will the same formula apply for 2010?

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello pointed out to us that, per page 16 of the 2009 NFL Record and Fact Book, the league decided after the 2008 season to apply the same formula in 2010.

Aiello tells us that the formula will continue to apply beyond 2010, too.

Presumably, the formula will remain in place unless and until the current alignment of eight four-team divisions changes.

The current format consists of each team playing two games against each division opponent, four games against all of the teams in another division in the same conference, two games against the teams from the other two divisions in the conference that finished in the same position (e.g., the first-place team in the AFC East plays the first-place teams from the other two divisions), and one game against each of the four teams from one division in the other conference.

For 2010, the AFC East teams play all teams of the AFC North and the NFC North.

The AFC North teams play the teams of the AFC East and the NFC South. 

The AFC South teams play the teams of the AFC West and the NFC East.

The AFC West teams play the teams of the AFC South and the NFC West.

The NFC East teams face the teams of the NFC North and the AFC South.

The NFC North teams play the teams of the NFC East and the AFC East.

The NFC South teams play the teams of the NFC West and the AFC North.

The NFC West teams play the teams of the NFC South and the AFC West.

The only unknowns at this point relate to those two games against the teams from the other two divisions in each conference.  By Monday, it’ll all be sorted out.  Then, in April, the league will announce the dates and times of the various games.

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38 Responses to “Scheduling formula will remain for 2010 and beyond”
  1. Cali says: Dec 28, 2009 7:17 PM

    At least we can be certain that the Patriots will play the Colts in sweeps period…but its only coincidence!

  2. patsSB44champs says: Dec 28, 2009 7:23 PM

    Patriots 2010 opponents:
    vs. NYJ
    @ NYJ
    vs. BUF
    @ BUF
    vs. MIA
    @ MIA
    vs. BAL
    @ CLE
    vs. CIN
    @ PIT
    vs. IND
    @ SD
    vs. GB
    @ CHI
    vs. MIN
    @ DET (probably on Thanksgiving)

  3. TFBuckFutter says: Dec 28, 2009 7:25 PM

    Yeah, I agree with Cali.
    There will obviously be another “quirk” that results in a Pats/Colts game.

  4. GoBrowns19 says: Dec 28, 2009 7:28 PM

    Bring on the Bucs and Bills!

  5. emeeler says: Dec 28, 2009 7:31 PM

    obviously this will get tweaked when they add an extra game or two to the schedule

  6. emeeler says: Dec 28, 2009 7:32 PM

    its not a “quirk” that the pats and colts keep playing each other if they both keep winning their divisions like MOST years…

  7. JIM says: Dec 28, 2009 7:33 PM

    http://www.johnnyroadtrip.com/schedules/nfl_future_afce.htm
    at this point Pats will have colts home and in SD
    Jets Houston home and in Denver

  8. TFBuckFutter says: Dec 28, 2009 7:34 PM

    “emeeler says:
    December 28, 2009 7:31 PM
    obviously this will get tweaked when they add an extra game or two to the schedule”
    Since there won’t be a 2011 season, they should extend the 2010 by 17 weeks.
    2 bye weeks for each team! Woohoo!

  9. TheProudLiberal says: Dec 28, 2009 7:35 PM

    Are YAll Complete Idiots
    In 04 and 07…The faced each other by rotation of the schedule itself…
    In 08′ both finished 2nd in thier division…Ergo the face each other in 09.
    In 07′ both finished 1st in thier division…Ergo the face each other in 08.
    In 05′ both finished 1st in thier division…Ergo the face each other in 06.
    In 04′ both finished 1st in thier division…Ergo the face each other in 05.
    In 02′ the pats finsihed 2nd in a three way tie and the colts finished 2nd ERGO…the face each other in 03….
    SO DUH!! Now the game taking place in sweeps is a totally different argument and is almost certainly scheduled that way…But as for the rest..Unless your an idiot..Its completely clear..

  10. Gautam says: Dec 28, 2009 7:36 PM

    ohhh time for Manning Bowl once again

  11. Mark0226 says: Dec 28, 2009 7:37 PM

    Pats/Colts lineup each year because they routinely finish with the same ranking in their respective divisions. Usually, that ranking is 1st, but in 2008, they both ranked 2nd. The only time (after realignment) that they were not ranked the same within their division was 2002, but of course 2003 was the year their divisions were on the schedule.
    Regarding the schedule format, I suspect something will need to change if/when they add additional games to the schedule. Surely, the 17th game will be played outside of the US, but how will they determine which team is played?

  12. TFBuckFutter says: Dec 28, 2009 7:39 PM

    “TheProudLiberal says:
    December 28, 2009 7:35 PM
    But as for the rest..Unless your an idiot..Its completely clear..”
    Yeah. The same kind of goes for when people say something tongue-in-cheek and others don’t realize that and come close to a nervous breakdown.

  13. Viper21 says: Dec 28, 2009 7:39 PM

    yeah, the “other” two games are relative to where your team finishes in regards to their division. Meaning… If you finish 1st in your division your other two games will be against teams that finished first in their divisions. Someone like the Redskins, will have their other two games against teams that finished last in their divisions. It aint that complicated.

  14. Gautam says: Dec 28, 2009 7:40 PM

    Cali and TFBuckFutter need to attend a class of simple logic … it will be expensive but definitely worth it
    possible Colts primetime games for next season -
    games against Eagles, Cowboys
    game against Pats
    game against Chargers
    and finally the Manning Bowl

  15. Patriots51 says: Dec 28, 2009 7:42 PM

    oh man you mean the pats will get indy in foxboro??? OH THE HUMANITY……..

  16. bigrig says: Dec 28, 2009 7:53 PM

    I would like to see one change to make scheduling more balanced.
    Instead of having the AFC East play the NFC North, have the AFC East winner play the winner of each NFC division instead. Then AFC East second place team could play each NFC second place team and so forth.
    I realize this would require some change to the tie-breaker procedures and that teams would not visit each venue on a regular basis [the league didn't seem to mind having New England miss Tampa Bay by sending them to London].
    Under these rules the Steelers would have played the Giants, Panthers, and a SB rematch with the Cardinals instead of the Bears, Packers and Lions.
    First place teams should play other first place teams unless they are playing divisional games.

  17. Cali says: Dec 28, 2009 7:57 PM

    or just maybe….MAYBE…it was just a joke that you might be taking a little to seriously…easy folks, have an enema. I dont care that much about the Pats?Colts

  18. edgy says: Dec 28, 2009 8:12 PM

    One of the reasons why I don’t want an expansion of the schedule is because of how great the current rotation is. Every team plays at least one home and away against every team during that 8 year period and you know 14 of the 16 opponents years in advance.

  19. 1mge says: Dec 28, 2009 8:14 PM

    At least this pre-decided schedule takes Jerry Jones influence out of the equation.

  20. RaiderChile says: Dec 28, 2009 8:25 PM

    Raiders could lose to all these team except the Whiners and I would be happy. I think this time they’ll play at the Coliseum. But I don’t see play offs again and a 7-9 record would be the best possibility. Oh, well.

  21. THEpackersAREwhere? says: Dec 28, 2009 8:28 PM

    NFC North plays the NFC East every year it seems like. This will be at least the third year in a row.

  22. DJSlyBri says: Dec 28, 2009 8:35 PM

    I already have my plans in place for the 2017 Eagles-Chargers game in San Diego. However, I got a refundable ticket in case the Chargers are in L.A. by then.

  23. keepnitreal says: Dec 28, 2009 8:41 PM

    Funny. A Browns fan making fun of Bucs and Bills. You suck too.

  24. bigrig says: Dec 28, 2009 9:11 PM

    To thepackersareeverywhere?,
    Pull your head out of your rectum.
    The NFL has a formula for determining it’s schedules for the upcoming year. There is no conspiracy [sorry conspiracy theorists].
    More appealing games are scheduled for sweeps weeks [smart business move] and primetime.
    Nobody is trying to screeeeeeeew your small market bunch.

  25. Viper21 says: Dec 28, 2009 9:26 PM

    THEpackersAREwhere? says:
    December 28, 2009 8:28 PM
    NFC North plays the NFC East every year it seems like. This will be at least the third year in a row.
    Huh…?! NFC east didnt play the NFC north this year….. what games you been watchin…?@!

  26. Observer1 says: Dec 28, 2009 9:28 PM

    How is home team determined in games like the Colts vs Pats?

  27. hotchick says: Dec 28, 2009 9:35 PM

    Can we also put an end to all this “They are playing a first place schedule this year nonsense”? This is too often used as an explanation as to why a team does well one year then stumbles the next. (See Falcons) Where you finish effects two games. The rotation of divisions effects 8.
    Last year the rotation had the Falcons playing a weak NFC North (Vikings with no QB, SoSo Bears and Packers, lousy Lions) and weak AFC West (poor KC, dreadful OAK,). This year the NFC East and AFC East were on tap.
    SF and Chicago were the match ups based on finish. Not exactly a murderous pair. But many will still claim “see what happens after you have a winning season and have to play the tougher schedule.”
    Rotation effects the scedule more the prior season record.

  28. TXBuckeye says: Dec 28, 2009 9:37 PM

    For the AFC North, the two other games will be the teams that finished in the same place from the AFC West (home) and AFC South (away) according to the Bengals and Browns website.
    So that means the Bengals will have San Diego at home and will play at Indianapolis.
    Browns will have KC at home and anybody’s guess with the AFC South Team

  29. Hooby says: Dec 28, 2009 9:37 PM

    adding 2 games is likely gonna happen but not until at least 2011, proably 2012 (if the world doesnt end first…jk im not retarded).
    0 preseason games, 20 reg season. then the patriots record means less, and wed all love to see that. to make up for the players bitching for more money, add in another bye. 21 weeks, 19 games.

  30. GBP says: Dec 28, 2009 9:41 PM

    Bigrig:
    if you had teams play their equal seed opponents then every week you have 4-8 games like st Louis va Detroit, or Tampa vs buffalo, or the like. It woul increase the number of “nobody cares” games and would hurt a lot of teams.

  31. epping16 says: Dec 28, 2009 9:51 PM

    @thepackersarewhere: They didn’t play the NFC east this year. The NFC north played the NFC west and the Easy played the south

  32. theTRUTHwillSETuFREE says: Dec 28, 2009 9:55 PM

    I really think the NFL needs to build on the Rivalries. I’m sick of waiting 4 years for the Raiders to play the 49ers. They should meet up every year. I know there’s gotta be some other teams fans out there that feel the same way.

  33. Hooby says: Dec 28, 2009 10:04 PM

    @GBP: just like panthers vs giants, 2 divisional leaders from last year. this year they were 2 3rd place teams. so thats a pretty bad argument against.

  34. ShawshankReception says: Dec 28, 2009 10:44 PM

    Get your oreos ready.

  35. EricTheClown says: Dec 29, 2009 9:34 AM

    BigRig:
    What you are describing is the way it was before 2002.
    HotChick:
    Thank you for that explanation.
    I hear people mention “first place sched” every day, including NFL announcers, talk radio hosts and dumbass corporate types trying to sound like they know something about sports.
    It makes me want to choke them!

  36. footballnut says: Dec 29, 2009 2:00 PM

    I’m glad this is out there for the layman football fan to understand now…I’ve been tired of hearing how the NFL fixes schedules so they are easy for teams like the Pats, Colts, Steelers, etc.
    What wasn’t explained above though is that even the home and away schedules are laid out ahead of time…One poster alluded to this…
    No rigging other than WHEN they play the games…You can make a case that stacking back to back west coast trips, or three away games in a row in different parts of the country, etc. can make it more or less difficult but everything else is laid out.

  37. edgy says: Dec 29, 2009 2:46 PM

    What gets me about people who whine about the schedules of teams as it pertains to the division is that they don’t seem to realize that it’s a matter of a two game difference and that the division winner has the advantage for the 14 common games. The 4 conference games and the 4 out of conference games cancel each other out while the 6 division games give the advantage to the division winner because the schedule gets harder the further down you go in the division standings. After that, you’ve got 2 games and the worst that can happen is that the division winner goes 0-2 while everyone else goes 2-0. Frankly, if you go 0-2 against your opponents and the rest of your division goes 2-0 and yet, you finish 5 games worse than the previous year, there’s more to your problems than the schedule itself.

  38. edgy says: Dec 29, 2009 2:58 PM

    footballnut,
    During an 8 year period, each team will play every other team in the league, at least twice, with one home and one road game against each other. This is achieved by the fact that each division plays every other division in their conference and every division in the other conferences 2 times during that 8 year period and they swap home games the next time that they play each other (Within your conference, your team will play two of the conferences 3 times during that 8 year period so it takes 16 years of the same schedule to even out the home and away games within your conference). The only wild card in the schedule is that you play the “same” team in your conference in the other divisions that aren’t in your conference rotation that year.
    In essence, there are 14 common games within each division and 2 “uncommon” games.

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