Schedule rotation gives NFC East teams a real edge in 2022

NFL: OCT 30 Steelers at Eagles
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In the AFC, the chase for the seven playoff spots — including all three wild-card berths — remains wide open. In the NFC, three playoff berths (including two wild-card positions) seem to be locked up.

By three teams in the same division.

In the NFC East, the 7-0 Eagles, the 6-2 Cowboys, and the 6-2 Giants have separated from the pack. Other than the 6-1 Vikings, no other team in the entire conference has two or fewer losses.

It likely will continue, for one very important reason. The scheduling formula.

It consists of a pair of rotations, in each conference. This year, all teams from the NFC East play all teams from the NFC North and the AFC South. That’s eight games, nearly half the schedule, devoted to a predetermined turning of the dial from one division to the next, year after year.

Look at the schedules of the four teams of the NFC East. The teams they’ve faced, the opponents to come. Beyond a Week 13 visit from the 5-2 Titans, the toughest games for the Eagles will be two against the Giants and one more against the Cowboys. Dallas has more games it should win than games it shouldn’t. The Giants emerge from a Week Nine bye with the Texans and Lions at home. The Giants also have two games against the Commanders, and a New Year’s Day visit from the Colts.

Despite the NFL’s preference for parity, each team plays only three of 17 games based on performance in the prior season. Fourteen of the games are predetermined. More specifically, eight of them come from the rotation through divisions, a rotation that has worked out very well for the teams of the NFC East in 2022.

Every year, it changes for every team. It has a huge influence on the outcome of a given season, even if it has nothing to do with balancing out the competition and everything to do with clicking to the next stop on the predetermined tour of one division to the next and the next and the next.

9 responses to “Schedule rotation gives NFC East teams a real edge in 2022

  1. Until the 17th game was added, every team play four games against a team that finished 1st in their division, four games against a team that finished 2nd, so on and so forth.

    You can argue strength of each team all day long, but without basing a schedule against arbitrary rankings that’s about as fair as it can get.

  2. This is why division winners get home games. Happens almost every year when one division has all good records. NFL doesn’t have equal scheduling so a 6-2 team isn’t always better than a 4-4 or even 3-5 team at this point. A 11-6 team might could be 7-10 had they played another division. Big reason we see such turnover in the playoffs.

  3. But it does balance out the competition: Each team in a division plays the same teams for 14 of the 17 games. While two teams may have a common opponent at different times in the season when the fortunes of the opponent may have changed, playing the majority of the season against common opponents provides a very balanced competition scheme.

    In the end, there’s reason why they actually play the games instead of just selecting the Lombardi winner based on the pre-season power rankings.

  4. Just think how much weak competition NFC E has faced. Giants are not for real. Seattle just showed that. Eagles have been feasting on weak competition and Dallas is calling its defense as doomsday when they dismantle the woeful bears, only to get crushed in playoffs. Lol

  5. Florio is on top of it again. This is something that has to be reviewed. Anyone betting on games, especially bets on total record have to wonder how the NFC East gets such cupcakes, while teams like KC have to run the gauntlet against playoff team week-after-week. This also means lesser teams have better chances at getting an undeserved bye. Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady have spent their entire careers getting these cupcake schedules and the resulting byes.

  6. Dallas has played a harder schedule as has the Vikes. Giants and Philly both have played an easy schedule. Giants lost the only two games they played against decent teams. Philly has played nobody with a pulse other than Dallas who had Cooper at QB and gave them a 20 point spot in the 1st, which was because of the backup QB. Dallas still outplayed them the rest of the game even with Cooper. Point is. Philly is a paper tiger and will be one and done in the playoffs. They will also lose to the first good team they play. This is this years Arizona. You can bank on it.

  7. Giants have had an easy schedule ? Wins over titans , packers , ravens . . Guess titans and ravens aren’t “ decent “ teams

  8. What’s your point? The patriots had the easiest road to the playoffs for 15 years because they played the bills, jets and dolphins twice each year. 5 or 6 wins right there. Only needed to be .500 during the other games for a first round bye. They didn’t change it then they shouldn’t change it now.

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