Warning: Explicit NFL content to follow.
It is schedule release day for the NFL, which has grown to be a bigger and bigger deal as the NFL has slowly shown it’s smarter, better run and better marketed than the rest of sports. However, I have to question what the folks in the league office are up to. Granted, they adopted the fantastic, being-implemented-five-years-too-late plan of shuffling around the Sunday night games in the second half of the season so we don’t have to watch a meaningless 49ers/Cardinals game when the majority of the nation has Falcons/Buccaneers blacked out.
Some of the Monday night games are, um…not so hot. Did you know the Raiders and Packers have twice as many games on Monday night as your defending Super Bowl champions? Also, where are the basically-guaranteed awesome games, such as Dolphins/Patriots (I’d much rather have that then Dolphins/Jets, for obvious reasons), Steelers/Bengals and Panthers/Falcons/Buccaneers? Why isn’t TO returning to Philly in primetime?
I think the NFL screwed up when they made it Dolphins vs. Steelers on Opening Night instead of Broncos vs. Steelers, their other best bet. They could have billed this as an AFC Championship Rematch, which certainly has more cache at the beginning of the season than later in it. Granted, I’m going to be just as excited to see the Dolphins drop forty on the champs as anyone else, but come on.
I’ll give the NFL credit for gambling. Games like Bears/Rams and Bears/Cardinals look “Ehhh” right now, other than getting to show off the new
Disclaimer: Remember, it’s really hard to prognosticate NFL seasons because there are always a few teams that fall on their face and there’s always a few teams that rise up and should be on Monday night late in the season. I’m going with some of the more consistent teams from the last few years – Steelers, Colts, Patriots, Broncos, AFC West, NFC South, Seahawks, Philly – although it’s very possible they all could suck this year.
Should Be: I have no problem with this, as these two teams always provide hard-hitting, close games. (Look at the Sunday nighter in 04 and the Tommy Gun game in 05) There really isn’t another game that blows your socks off, although Tampa Bay/Atlanta and Kansas City/Denver would be suitable replacements. Good work, NFL, although you do have the Steelers in consecutive primetime games.
Should Be: This is a pretty cool game, too, despite the fact we’ve lost the cousins angle. Drew Brees might make the Saints respectab…naw, just kidding, but you’ll have division rivals playing in the much bally-hooed return to N’awlins. Your other option here would be
Should Be: Anything else. Brett Favre isn’t that good anymore, people, just let it go. New England at
Should Be: Again, rolling the dice with
Should Be: Eli vs. Mike Be Nimble?
Current Game: NY Giants at
Should Be: A good game, not too much to complain about. If you wanted another Steelers or Vick game in primetime, they play each other this week. Redskins/Colts would be fun, with that offense against that defense, and San Diego/Kansas City would also fall into the shootout column. It must be World Series time, because there’s no Sunday Night game scheduled that week.
Current Game: New England at
Should Be: Why do the Vikings get to host a Monday night game? Do they show signs of promise, having slowly bottomed out over the last two seasons? Indy at
Should Be: Are the Raiders really that big of a draw? Aaron Brooks to Randy Moss should be exciting, but for the completely wrong reasons. Here’s your
Should Be: This works just fine. Nothing really jumps out on the rest of the schedule, the NFC South has been solid for a few years now and it’ll al least be hard-hitting and chippy if nothing else.
Should Be: I really like this game, so I won’t complain too much.
Should Be: I’m surprised they just don’t schedule Raiders vs. Packers for one of these things. I don’t know, how about Steelers/Ravens in primetime, Philly at Indy in the Coulda-Been Bowl of 2003 and 2004,
Should Be: This works fine for me. Nothing really jumps out on the schedule, save for perhaps
Should Be: Very risky. Baltimore/KC, New England/Miami, Atlanta/Tampa Bay, Indy/Jacksonville…
Should Be: Awesome. If you wanted to take this shootout off of primetime,
Should Be: Maybe your Baltimore/Pittsburgh game here, or San Diego at