Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Stop Making NFL's Western Teams Play 1:00 Games

One of my pet peeves in the NFL scheduling is the fact that they keep scheduling western teams to play at eastern time zone teams in the 1:00 game.

Two years ago when I was working for AOL's FanHouse, I posted that NFL's western teams struggle when playing those games. In that post, those western teams were 0-12 (I'm not going back to see how it all ended up). Two years later, it is still the case.

This is the teams in the Pacific and Mountain time zones (Broncos, 49ers, Raiders, Cardinals, Seahawks and Chargers) playing teams in the Eastern time zone at 1:00pm ET. That means they are playing at 10am/11am local time. That's rough for a team that spends most of its season on the left coast.

There is less of a sample this year than in years past. The NFC West play the AFC West in the cross-conference scheduling format so any eastern games are limited to conference games. So far, there have been six that have been scheduled at 1pm:

Broncos at Jaguars
Broncos at Niners (in London)
Cardinals at Falcons
Raiders at Steelers
Niners at Falcons
Niners at Panthers

They are 0-6 in those games. Well, 1-6 if you count the fact that it was the Niners that beat the Broncos in London ... but then it isn't really a fair variable since both teams were western teams and one of them had to win.

So when a western team plays a 1pm ET game in the eastern time zone ... they are 0-5.

You could point to several reasons for this. Sure, the AFC and NFC West are probably the two worst divisions in the NFL ... and that doesn't factor in Central Time Zone teams like the Rams or Chiefs. You could say that most of the teams they have played were against teams among the league's elite (Steelers, Falcons). But how does that explain the Niners losing in Carolina to the Panthers? That one win could be the only one Carolina gets all year.

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