August 20, 2011; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois (95) tackles Oakland Raiders running back Michael Bush (29) during the second quarter at Candlestick Park. The 49ers defeated the Raiders 17-3. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

What do NFL fans want to see happen?

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)

 

Dec 24, 2011; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan greets New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs (27) after the game at Met Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE

Matchup 1: New York Jets vs New York Giants

 

August 20, 2011; San Francisco, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders safety Michael Huff (24) tackles San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Braylon Edwards (81) during the first quarter at Candlestick Park. The 49ers defeated the Raiders 17-3. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Matchup 2: San Francisco 49ers vs Oakland Raiders

 

Aug 25, 2011; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Lee Evans (83) makes a catch ion front of Washington Redskins defensive back Reggie Jones (29) during the second half at M

Matchup 3: Washington Redskins vs Baltimore Ravens

 

Aug 26, 2011; Kansas City, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback A.J. Feeley (4) throws a pass as Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Amon Gordon (64) defends in the first half of the game at Arrowhead Stadium. The Rams won 14-10. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

Matchup 4: St. Louis Rams vs Kansas City Chiefs

 

Sept 26, 2010; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans linebacker Zac Diles (54) tackles Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) during the second quarter at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

Matchup 5: Houston Texans vs Dallas Cowboys

 

Aug 18, 2011; Pittsburgh , PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers center Colin Miller (54) blocks against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half of the game at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-US PRESSWIRE

Matchup 6: Pittsburgh Steelers vs Philadelphia Eagles

 

Aug 27, 2011; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive lineman Michael Bennett (71) hits Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush (22) during a preseason game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Fernando Medina-US PRESSWIRE

Matchup 7: Tampa Bay Bucs vs Miami Dolphins

 

Nov 27, 2011; Cincinnati, OH, USA; A general view down the line of scrimmage as the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns line up during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

Matchup 8: Cincinnati Bengals vs Cleveland Browns (Yes, I know they already play yearly)

 

Dec. 25, 2011; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) greets Chicago Bears corner back Tim Jennings (26) after the Packers beat the Bears at Lambeau Field. The Packers defeated the Bears 35-21. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-US PRESSWIRE

Matchup 9: Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears (Again, I know)

 

January 1, 2012; Foxboro, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington (24) is tackled by Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller (28) after an interception during the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

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

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