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Schedule contains no hint that the league plans to miss games


As the date for the release of the 2011 NFL schedule approached, I began to wonder whether the league would load up the first two or three weeks of the season with stinkers, in the event the lockout lasts into the regular season.

Now that the schedule is out, one thing is clear.  The possibility of missed games didn’t cause the NFL to miss a step when laying out the games.

The bad news, of course, is that we now can see what we stand to lose if they can’t get this done.

And it starts right away.  Saints-Packers to start the season.  Steelers-Ravens, Colts-Texans, Falcons-Bears, Giants-Redskins, Cowboys-Jets on the first Sunday.  All gone, if the lockout isn’t resolved.

Losing the second week of the season wouldn’t be as bad, with Eagles-Falcons clearly the marquee game and, frankly, no others that cry out as must-see TV.  (OK, maybe Chargers-Patriots.  But the Chargers typically don’t wake up until October.)

If the lockout lasts into Week Three, we’d lose Giants-Eagles, Steelers-Colts, and Redskins-Cowboys.

A fourth week would wipe out Jets-Ravens.  There’s no other game that strikes a national chord.  (Of course, there could be several games with a pair of 3-0 teams, which would make them a lot more relevant.)

A lockout that eats up five weeks would result in a Packers-Falcons rematch going away — and in the Lions losing their first Monday night game since the first year of the Millen era.

Bottom line?  Intentionally or not, the league has loaded up Week One, and that should give both sides every incentive to get something done sooner rather than later.

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22 Responses to “Schedule contains no hint that the league plans to miss games”
  1. waitingguilty says: Apr 19, 2011 8:25 PM

    I was surprised to hear your take on this on PFT live.

    As complex as it is to do this schedule it would be insane to even consider alterations based on missing games.

    Not to mention bad karma.

  2. FinFan68 says: Apr 19, 2011 8:33 PM

    The impact will not be “marquis games” it will be divisional games. The tie-breakers for the playoffs will be a nightmare if a “bubble” team has more or less division games. They may have to have a play a week at the end of the season just to sort out playoff variables between division rivals.

  3. thefiesty1 says: Apr 19, 2011 8:35 PM

    Pretty good ploy to get the players off the spot so they can lift the lockout. Looks like the leave is going to do it with or without the players waking up.

  4. lasher1650 says: Apr 19, 2011 8:35 PM

    I find it a bit odd that the Rams do not have a divisional game until week 9 – this has to be a rare scheduling anomaly.

  5. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Apr 19, 2011 8:36 PM

    Didn’t the league already say moving the super bowl back was a possibility. i.e. the games might get shoved back?

  6. bf53 says: Apr 19, 2011 8:47 PM

    Because they didn’t have enough reasons to deal already.

  7. mringhof says: Apr 19, 2011 8:54 PM

    Here’s the schedule as I see it…I hope I’m wrong:

    Week 1: bye
    Week 2: bye
    Week 3: bye
    Week 4: bye
    Week 5: bye
    Week 6: bye
    Week 7: bye
    Week 8: bye
    Week 9: bye
    Week 10: bye
    Week 11: bye
    Week 12: bye
    Week 13: bye
    Week 14: bye
    Week 15: bye
    Week 16: bye
    Week 17: bye

  8. realitypolice says: Apr 19, 2011 9:03 PM

    That’s because the league knows what anyone with the common sense of a gnat knows- that there aren’t going to be any games missed.

    Even though there is no way to convince all of the chicken littles in the world of this- the truth is that this entire process has played out exactly as both sides had planned. This has all been a well choreographed dance.

    As soon as Judge Nelson releases her ruling, whichever side loses will adjust their strategy and their demands and a deal will be reached which will settle the suit and become the new CBA.

    Yes, the side that loses the ruling will appeal, but that will just be an exercise designed to keep some leverage, but the deal will still go down as I describe above.

    Just as both sides had intended all along.

  9. Kave Krew says: Apr 19, 2011 9:27 PM

    A strong start to the schedule was done on purpose – it’s a signal and incentive to the player’s competive nature to get on the field for battle.

  10. iamthorny says: Apr 19, 2011 9:27 PM

    The lockout is actually a smart move for both parties…they can return in 2012 with an 18 game schedule.

    The players will save 8 years of wear and tear by missing this season, and they’ll all benefit for the next 8 years due to the two extra games.

    Money? Covered. Safety? Covered.

  11. terrellochouno says: Apr 19, 2011 9:52 PM

    Wait, wait… the Jets vs the Ravens “strikes a national chord”? How?

  12. thelmt82 says: Apr 19, 2011 10:22 PM

    Schedule Makers hate the Browns this year. They don’t play the Ravens or Steelers until week 13!!! And then play them 4 out of the last 5 games!!! How is this logical for any team, not just the Browns, to go through this.

    On top of that, the week 14 matchup against Pittsburgh is on a short week (Thursday) after they play Baltimore.

    I hope the season doesn’t miss games, but these schedule makers should be fired.

  13. Deb says: Apr 19, 2011 10:32 PM

    It’s difficult to believe the league would risk losing a Steelers/Ravens game. Then again the opening national game is a non-conference game that includes a non-playoff team, so who knows what those nuts would do?

  14. Deb says: Apr 19, 2011 11:19 PM

    @thelm82 …

    Still working, haven’t had time to check the schedule myself, but if what you’re posting is true, the Browns have been seriously screwed and the schedulemakers have lost their minds. And that’s coming from a Steelers fan.

    An article on this, Mike?

  15. zn0rseman says: Apr 19, 2011 11:55 PM

    NFC North Outcome With This Schedule…

    Bears (Win NFC with cupcake schedule.)

    Packers (Tricky scheduling will cost them just enough games to finish behind the Bears, even though the Pack is the better team.)

    Lions (The second best team in the NFC North finishes behind the lowly Bears because they play Detriot, a very small NFL market, and Bears are from Chicago, one of the NFL’s most profitable markets.)

    Vikings (No QB + no offseason + all new coordinators + bad head = no hope. Maybe when they move to LA the NFL will screw them less often.)

  16. NoHomeTeam says: Apr 20, 2011 12:55 AM

    Saints-Packers Good start — I’d tune in
    Steelers-Ravens Personally — kind of meh, but if you’re an AFC Central fan . . .
    Colts-Texans Yawn
    Falcons-Bears Double yawn
    Giants-Redskins “What’s that, honey? We’ve got to visit your parents today? Well, at least there’s nothing on TV . . . ”
    Cowboys-Jets Will consider watching if the NFL sends me an envelope of unmarked bills — not greedy; it can be singles, as long as there are enough of them to purchase sufficient Tasty Adult Beverages to get through this game

    Suddenly, this lockout doesn’t seem so bad . . .

  17. cornellsteelers says: Apr 20, 2011 1:43 AM

    I can’t even begin to imagine the snit fit the Ravens would throw if their home game against the Steelers got nixed, leaving them with only the SNF game at Pittsburgh. XD

  18. jcupach says: Apr 20, 2011 4:36 AM

    When I look at the Browns schedule they play two games against the Steelers and two against the Ravens in the last five games. I have never seen a schedule like this. To me it looks like they expect to lose early games and they put the more meaningful division games at the end.

  19. blackcatnfl says: Apr 20, 2011 5:55 AM


  20. blackcatnfl says: Apr 20, 2011 5:58 AM

    Did you really think they were going to schedule a kick off the NFL season with Carolina-Cincinnati this year?

  21. alewatcher says: Apr 20, 2011 6:55 AM

    Until the CBA is settled, Schedule should be referred to as Schedule*.

  22. richheddleson says: Apr 20, 2011 4:13 PM

    Here is what I’m thinking. If Week 1 is cancelled, they will simply add it to the end of the schedule on January 8, 2012, which will then be the new week 17. Then they will move the Super Bowl back 1 week, which is already planned for. If week 2 is also cancelled, they could do the same thing on January 15, eliminating the 2 week period between the championship games and the Super Bowl, which they have done in the past. The Pro Bowl could be moved to the week after the Super Bowl. If the lockout cancels more than the dirst 2 weeks, then they will have a shortened season.

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