Division Matchups To Enhance Late-Season Schedule

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 20, 2010 – 9:12 am

The NFL isn’t set to release its 2010 schedule until 6:00 p.m. CT this evening, but there’s already an interesting nugget that’s emerged from league commissioner Roger Goodell.

Appearing on ESPN’s “Mike & Mike In The Morning,” Goodell said the NFL wanted to push as many divisional games as possible into the last 3 weeks of the season and that every game in Week 17 of the 2010 season will be a division game.

“We actually have 28 divisional games in those last three weeks, as opposed to 15 for the 2009 season, and all 16 of the final Week 17 games will be divisional games,” Goodell said, per “We’ll see what the impact is as we go through the next season, but we think that’s a positive development in keeping the integrity of the game in those late-season games.”

The “integrity of the game” issue that Goodell mentioned is a reference to concerns the NFL has about teams who’ve already clinched playoff positioning resting their players in the final weeks of the regular season. With the philosophy of scheduling division games late in the season, there’s a higher probability that playoff spots won’t be determined until the last couple weeks of the season.

This seems like a good move for the NFL and yet another example of how this league continues to find ways to improve its product. Having division games late in the season will add intrigue to the playoff race and will intensify division rivalries.

Last season, the Vikings had just 1 division game in the final 5 weeks – against Chicago in Week 16 – and they were done playing the Packers before their Week 9 bye. With the emphasis of division games late in the season, one might expect a couple more Vikings-Bears or Vikings-Packers matchups in the season’s final month.

Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 6 Comments »

6 Responses to “Division Matchups To Enhance Late-Season Schedule”

  1. By arlene gutierrez on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    Last 3 weeks of the season
    all divion games? We’ll
    have the division won by
    then. Our last 3 games
    should be against teams like
    the cardinals, saints and
    eagles. Since those are the
    teams we will be fighting
    for a 1st round bye. Just 1
    woman’s humble opinion on
    this topic.

  2. By mikewobschall on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    Goodell hasn’t said that each of the last 3 games will be division games, just that every game in Week 17 will be a division game and that having division matchups last in the season is a priority.

  3. By John on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    I hate goodell so much. With him, something’s got to be different every year.

  4. By Douglas Q on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    They’re trying to make it more interesting. Last season they were so many teams in the NFC fighting for the no. 2 seed and division titles so I assume in the final weeks there won’t be no resting players

  5. By Joe on Apr 20, 2010 | Reply

    Ya I agree. The game is doing better than ever, just leave it alone!

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