Inconsistent chatter from a Sacramento-based 'Sconi attorney.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Annual NFL Rivalry Game

Peter King, from MMQB fame, posits that the NFL should have an annual rivalry game.  Instead of the current balanced/weighted schedule, remove at least one of those games for an annual rivalry game against an uncommon opponent.

This got me thinking - would they have 16 good rivalries to feature?  And the answer is unfortunately no.  For every Dallas Cowboys - natural rivalry with New Orleans Saints, Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs - there is a Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars.

However, in trying to accommodate the big puma, I came up with the following by limiting it to cross-conference rivalries (NFC v. AFC):

Good Rivalries

Dallas Cowboys v. Houston Texans
New York Giants v. New England Patriots
Washington R*dskins v. New York Jets
Philadelphia Eagles v. Pittsburgh Steelers
Chicago Bears v. Indianapolis Colts
Detroit Lions v. Cleveland Browns
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v. Miami Dolphins
Atlanta Falcons v. Jacksonville Jaguars
St. Louis Rams v. Kansas City Chiefs
San Francisco 49ers v. San Diego Chargers
Seattle Seahawks v. Oakland Raiders

I think all of these games work.  I know, I know I could have done Giants v. Jets, but I think the Giants v. Patriots draws more of the NYC v. Boston vibe.  I also think that the Eagles v. Jets would be compelling, but I really wanted to preserve the battle of Pennsylvania.  By doing the NYC v. DC rivalry, you also mess up the R*dskins v. Ravens game - but then where do the Jets go?

You also have the battle for Missouri (Rams-Chiefs) and Misery (Lions-Browns).  And the world's biggest cocktail party, writ NFL.

I also avoided the more obvious 49ers-Raiders match-up by incorporating the Seahawks and Chargers.  Granted, the Seahawks and Chargers were rivals in the AFC, however, I have more compelling memories of Seahawks-Raiders (i.e. Bo Jackson meeting Brian Bosworth).  And the 49ers-Raiders is kind of lame.  49ers-Chargers is a Super Bowl, too.

The rest are just geographic no-brainers.

Mediocre Rivalries

Carolina Panthers v. Baltimore Ravens
New Orleans Saints v. Tennessee Titans
Denver Broncos v. Arizona Cardinals

I am not upset by these.  They are just pretty tame.  But, all of these team's more obvious rivals had been taken.

Bad Rivalries

Green Bay Packers v. Buffalo Bills
Minnesota Vikings v. Cincinnati Bengals

Umm.  Hmm.  I mean.  Umm.  There is just nothing really compelling between the teams.  Basically, they are what is left.  The Bills more natural uncommon rivals would be the Giants, Eagles, or Lions.  The Bengals more natural uncommon rivals would be the Eagles, Lions, or Colts.  The Packers more natural uncommon rivals would be... the Colts?  Maybe, the Chiefs?  The Vikings more natural uncommon rivals would be... the Chiefs?  Maybe, the Broncos? Or even the Seahawks (the whole Percy Harvin and Steve Hutchinson deals, writ large).  Oh, scratch that, they are in the NFC.

Well, what do you think?

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