Throughout the history of the National Football League, there have been plenty of great rivalries. Most of these rivalries have been either Divisional (ex. Redskins vs Cowboys) or Conference (Ravens vs Steelers, Colts vs Patriots). But very few have been “Regional”.
Some NFL fans are fortunate to have multiple teams in close proximity to each other and their fans typically have a deep hatred for the opposing team (i.e. NY Giants & Jets). So why doesn’t the NFL scheduling reflect this?! Most of these teams in similar regions are in opposing Conferences so either have to meet in the Superbowl or wait 3+ years to play a meaningful regular season game (sometimes pre-season “scrimmages” are scheduled yearly but they don’t count).
My suggestion: The NFL should have 1 week in the Regular season where all the “Regional Rivalries” play against each other. Sounds good on paper but there are some distinct Pros and Cons.
Pro: The fans would love to see these grudge matches, in person and on TV, EVERY year!
Con: Besides being a scheduling nightmare, not every team has another NFL franchise anywhere near their city (ex. Seattle)
So here are some “Regional Rivalries: (Sidenote: I’m loosely using the term “regional”. Typically, the teams are either in the same state or relatively close to one another)
Matchup 1: New York Jets vs New York Giants
Matchup 2: San Francisco 49ers vs Oakland Raiders
Matchup 3: Washington Redskins vs Baltimore Ravens
Matchup 4: St. Louis Rams vs Kansas City Chiefs
Matchup 5: Houston Texans vs Dallas Cowboys
Matchup 6: Pittsburgh Steelers vs Philadelphia Eagles
Matchup 7: Tampa Bay Bucs vs Miami Dolphins
Matchup 8: Cincinnati Bengals vs Cleveland Browns (Yes, I know they already play yearly)
Matchup 9: Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears (Again, I know)
Matchup 10: Buffalo Bills vs New England Patriots (Again…)
Now, those would be the 10 “Regional Rivalries” I would enjoy seeing every year!
The remaining 6 matchups are where it gets tricky. The remaining teams are: Jacksonville, Atlanta, San Diego, Arizona, Seattle, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, New Orleans, and Minnesota. Not sure which teams match up but some of the teams are sort of close to each other, like Jacksonville and Atlanta, but I’m not sure how excited fans would be for that matchup. Maybe a 6-team bye week? (Just throwing that out there)
Nevertheless, the NFL should at least CONSIDER making these matchups a yearly ritual! Especially so Redskins fans can finally fight for bragging rights over the Ravens! So let’s spread the word and hopefully the League takes note!
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Post By ~Kareem Shakoor