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Thursday, April 14, 2005 

Scheduling Quirks

One of things I like to do is to find quirks in the NFL schedule. I wrote a short perl script to help with this, and it always yields some interesting tidbits:

1. Philadelphia is the only team who will play 3 consecutive weeks at home (weeks 12-14). It's a fairly tough stretch, with Green Bay, Seattle, and the Giants traveling to the city of brotherly love.

2. On the flip side, Jacksonville, San Francisco, and Tampa Bay will all face 3 game road trips during the final 6 weeks of the season (I wonder if the schedule-makers got tired?).

3. Carolina is the only team that opens the season with back-to-back home games, while only St. Louis has to wait until week 3 for their home opener. The NFL obviously wants to schedule all home openers during the first two weeks if possible. By comparison, 10 teams will end the season with back-to-back games at home or on the road.

4. Bye week scheduling can also be peculiar. Normally, a team's bye week will be sandwiched between a home game and a road game - this applies to 25 of the 32 teams this year. But four teams will play on the road the week before and after their bye (Jacksonville, Indy, Detroit, and Minnesota), while three others (KC, Oakland, and Arizona) play both games at home. Coincidentally, Oakland and Arizona will spend the first four weeks of October at home - each has three home games and a bye during that time.

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