Re: The Pats Have The Third Toughest Schedule In The NFL
posted at 4/15/2009 5:10 PM EDT
[QUOTE]bronson, I remember reading that what we consider "rivalry" games -- i.e.: teams we seem to play every year are scheduled on a three-year rotating basis. The Pats play the Colts every year because these teams have been perennial division winners. Luck would have it that both are second-place finishers this year. We get them at Foxboro a few times, and then they get us in Indy a few times. I'll bet if you research this (I'm way too lazy) you'll see the pattern. Count me as one who likes playing the Colts every year. I hate the Dolphins and Jets as much as the next guy, and you should too, but that team in Indianapolis is the one who has played Simon Barr Sinister to our Underdog during most of the Pats' success in the last decade. Even last year, as well as Cassel did -- and what a wonderful surprise that was -- you could make the case that it was the Colts, and not the Jets laying down in week 17 ("Let's just go out there and have some fun and whatever happens, happens" -- tell the truth, if you could punch just one guy in the face with no consequences, you'd say Peyton Manning . . . but you'd think about Brett Favre . . . yes you would . . . don't lie) that cost the Pats their playoff spot last season. But I'm rambling . . . I promise you this, bronson: If we get the Colts next year (and we might not, if you can believe that) it will be at Foxboro.
Posted by prairiemike[/QUOTE]
The Pats actually play the Colts this year because they have the AFC South, not because they were both #2 in their divisions. The Pats have the Ravens and the Broncos as their the 2 games they play based on previous years' standing.
In looking at the past year's schedules, it looks like the NFL simply alternates the venue. They do this for the division versus division play - in 2006, the Pats played IND, HOU, @JAC, @TEN. This year they play TEN, @IND, JAC, @HOU.
They also do it for the 2 extra games based on division standing. In 2004 and 2007, they played these games against the AFC West and South team with the same divisional standing the previous year. They played the South opponent (IND) at home and the West (KC) away. In 2007, they played the South opponent (again IND) away and the West (this time San Diego) at home. This pattern repeats for 2005 and 2008 where they played the AFC North and South teams of the same standing and in 2006 and 2009 where they played (will play) the North and West teams of the same standing.