Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

19 Apr 2011

NFL Releases 2011 Schedule ... We Hope!

Yes, indeed, folks -- it's time to get all geeked up about the 2011 schedule, featuring a bunch of games that ... well, may not be played. Or maybe they will! Or maybe some of them! Or maybe different games in some sort of compromise schedu ... ah, to hell with it. Click on the link above to find out what the hypothetical schedule looks like.

Posted by: Doug Farrar on 19 Apr 2011

60 comments, Last at 25 Apr 2011, 11:48am by Dr. Mooch


by jimmo :: Tue, 04/19/2011 - 7:21pm

Lions on Monday night! At home!

by zlionsfan :: Sun, 04/24/2011 - 2:44pm

Perhaps it's a throwback to the first NFC game in Monday Night Football history ... if only the result could be the same. (Assuming it gets played.)

by andrew :: Tue, 04/19/2011 - 7:49pm

I'm fascinated by the artwork the NFL put around the schedule.

It appears to be some kind of commissioned art, with one player from each team in the image.

The numbers are very specific, so its interesting to see who they chose...

WIth one exception ("00" on the cardinals) every other jersey is single digits. Its probably for the sake of the artist, easier to do one number than two.

The Vikings are shown with a #8. #8 is Ryan Longwell. But the #8 Viking shown is african american, Ryan Longwell is not.

I'm sure others can break down that image. Beats breaking down the hypothetical schedule.

Maybe they're trying to introduce us to faceless, nameless players (scabs?)

by Vincent Verhei :: Tue, 04/19/2011 - 8:16pm

I looked at it a long time too. Partly because football uniforms, in comic book style artwork, look really cool. But also at which teams are not there. I don't see the Vikings. No Bills. No Bengals. No Browns. No 49ers. No Redskins. And ... no Cowboys.

by Aaron Brook's Good Twin (not verified) :: Tue, 04/19/2011 - 8:34pm

Is there a big version of it somewhere?

by fyo :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 8:45am

A quick look at the page source yielded the URL of the image:


by Nevic (not verified) :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 1:13pm

Wait, is that a #4 in the GB jersey? Say it ain't so!

by andrew :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 2:38pm

I love how the Titans player is just standing there watching the action. Did Moss change his number to "8"?

by Theo :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 4:14pm

The patriots couldn't make it, so the colt player is carrying a helmet for them.

by DisplacedPackerFan :: Tue, 04/19/2011 - 9:45pm

Those teams are there you just need to make the browser window at least 1920 wide to see them. All 32 teams are there.

by dbostedo :: Tue, 04/19/2011 - 10:07pm

... and split by conference - AFC on the left, NFC on the right

by Floyd (not verified) :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 12:24pm

The Buc player looks like he's knifing the Lion player. The Giant looks like he got a 2 x 4 to the lower back. Many personal fouls being committed here.

Cool touch in that proximity to the trophy is based on last year's results.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 12:29pm

The Buc must be Aqib Talib.

by Spielman :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 2:47pm

Maybe the Bucs punter went to Northern Colorado.

/Obscure reference to five-year-old story

by graywh :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 1:43pm

And sorted by the final standings, including playoffs.

by Dr. Mooch :: Mon, 04/25/2011 - 11:46am

Nope. I count 16 NFC teams on the right, but only 15 AFC teams on the left. No Bills.

by Dr. Mooch :: Mon, 04/25/2011 - 11:48am

Ah, nevermind. They're hidden so far up in the dark corner that 10 degrees of vertical viewing angle on this LCD monitor is enough to obscure them completely.

by JasonK :: Tue, 04/19/2011 - 7:59pm

Looks like the League is trying to reinforce the perception of Tom Coughlin as a coach whose teams start hot and fade down the stretch. The Giants get a nice slate fat with NFCW opponents in the early going, then face the final 7 weeks of PHI, @NO, GB, @DAL, WAS, @NYJ, DAL. They could finish with a 6-2/2-6 1st/2nd half season split without varying their level of play in the slightest.

by panthersnbraves :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 10:09am

I bet they are praying for no missed games.

by JasonK :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 12:21pm

It actually gets worse-- see those consecutive games against the last 2 Super Bowl champs? The Saints game is a Monday nighter that comes immediately after NO's Bye week, and then the Giants get the short week to prepare for GB, who are coming off a 10-day mini-Bye after having played on Thanksgiving.

And those are the two "strength of schedule" opponents that the rest of the Giants' divisional rivals won't have to play. (The 2nd place schedule that both the Giants and Rams have this season is rough. They get GB and NO, while the first-place teams in their divisions get the considerably-less-intimidating pairing of CHI and ATL.)

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 04/19/2011 - 8:38pm

Raiders swcgedule look sweet.

13-3 juist win baby

by Independent George :: Tue, 04/19/2011 - 10:49pm

And... he might be right. I don't know about 13-3, but I think 11-5 is within reach for the Raiders.

by Ravens Fan (not verified) :: Tue, 04/19/2011 - 9:25pm

Sweet! The Ravens get to extend the Steelers losing streak to two games!

by Jerry :: Tue, 04/19/2011 - 11:04pm

Or else the Ravens will have lost two in a row to Pittsburgh.

by Floyd (not verified) :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 12:25pm

Whatever the result, I hope it's a Gus Johnson game!

by Johnny Styz (not verified) :: Sun, 04/24/2011 - 10:53am

The Steelers OWN you W/Ben. No discussion-FACT!

by morganja :: Tue, 04/19/2011 - 9:37pm

Panthers only hope of a win is....first game, @ Arizona. There are only two other dicey games on their schedule, week 11 at Detroit and week 15 @ Houston. My guess is Andrew Luck is looking over the Panther's schedule and strongly considering taking up cricket.

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 04/19/2011 - 10:01pm

Detroit Loins solid tema in 2011. Not goign to be pushover. Very tough job Oanters have tyring to beat Loins

Best bet is getting win vs ARz Cards or against Bucca. Everyone thinks TB on right page now and R. Morris up and cominger head coach but dont kid yourself,. Tema still young. Let;s see what happenes with pressure now. Fans expect more, opponents not goign to take team lightly, schedule harder. A. Taliban in trouble with law again. Guy is nutcase. Wil Blount be good agbain? Vrey tough to say. 7-9 , 6-10 is Buccs area pribably. Certainly Panters could beat them at least one time.

by dbostedo :: Tue, 04/19/2011 - 10:08pm

"A. Taliban"? Intentional, or Freudian-slip?

by morganja :: Tue, 04/19/2011 - 10:31pm

There is no Freudian slip with RaiderJoe. He channels the Football Gods.

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 04/19/2011 - 10:35pm

9ntentional. guy might be shadiest guy in league. remonds of taliban whenebver see his name. Of course guy nowhre near as bad a s taliban. It's like comparing r. goodell to t. jefferson.

If SAT, would be
A. Talib: taliban :: goodell: jefferson

Dont know if did those :s right, but close enoguh

by dryheat :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 10:56am

And I don't know if I'm speechless....but close enough.

by Aaron Brooks' Good Twin (not verified) :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 11:20am

I think Tebow might have a harder time beating the Detroit Loins.

by DisplacedPackerFan :: Tue, 04/19/2011 - 9:41pm

So the Packers are scheduled to play on Thanksgiving Day (Lions), Christmas Day (Bears), and New Years Day (Lions). Has that ever happened before?

They also get a 3 games in 11 days in weeks 10, 11, and 12
Monday Nov 14th vs Vikings
Sunday Nov 20th vs Bucs
Thurs Nov 24th @ Lions

so tough but with 2 of them at home and the road trip being short not as bad as it could be.

I just hope the full slate gets played.

by MCS :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 11:33am

The Packers are touting that they are the first team to do that.

by mm (not verified) :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 11:37am

It wouldn't be unusual.

Christmas is always 7 days before New Years Day. So every time that Christmas is a Sunday, New Years will follow on a Sunday. In these years nearly every team will play on both Christmas and New Years (those are the Sunday games, after all). At least a couple of those teams will have been scheduled for the Thanksgiving game.

Look up the years Christmas & New Years are on Sunday and you'll find more teams.

by mm (not verified) :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 11:48am

Actually, looking back, the NFL has only moved the season back recently, so it wasn't possible before to play a regular season game on New Years.

by Marko :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 12:45pm

In addition, the NFL traditonally has moved most games to Saturday, December 24 when Christmas falls on a Sunday during the regular season. They did it in 2005 and they are doing it again this year. In 2005, there were only 2 games on Christmas (including Bears at Packers). Other than the Monday night game, the rest of the games that week were on December 24. This year, Bears at Packers is the only game on Christmas.

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 04/19/2011 - 10:39pm

"So the Packers are scheduled to play on Thanksgiving Day (Lions), Christmas Day (Bears), and New Years Day (Lions). Has that ever happened before?

2006 dolphisn play gams on Thanksgiving Christmas and New Yera's eve, so were close to holiday hat trick

am not sure if Thanks/Xmas/New years triumvirate ever happended

watc hing a little nba aciton now. If had nickel for every time ever laughed when see deshawn stevenson abe lincoln tattoo would now have enough nickels to tunr into bank tomororow for a fiev dollar bill

by QQ (not verified) :: Tue, 04/19/2011 - 11:21pm

Quite interesting in that picture the GB player is wearing #4

by Marko :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 12:09am

If the Bears-Bucs game does take place in London as scheduled (the game will be moved to Tampa Bay if the labor situation is not resolved by August 1), then half of the Bears' road games will be played at night. The game in London would be at night there, and the Bears also play at Detroit on a Monday night, at Philadelphia on a Monday night and at Green Bay on Christmas at night.

Just as they did in 2005, the Bears end the regular season playing at Green Bay on Christmas and at Minnesota on New Year's Day.

by Jimmy :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 8:44am

I am really hoping that the lockout gets resolved in time for the London game to happen for two reasons; firstly I get to goo and watch the Bears without flying across the Atlantic which saves me a lot of time and money. Secondly the fact that I suspect that there will be way more Bears fans than Bucs fans (like ten times as many) sort of gives the Bears homefield advantage.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 10:48am

I hate the scheduling of that game; Minnesota schools close for a few days in late October for teacher education stuff, and last year I used that week to take my son to the Bucs-Rams game in Tampa. Those weeks, it looks like the Bucs are either (A) in London or (B) on bye. Arrrrrgh!

Then again, Tampa's at Minnesota in week 2, so at least I get to watch a game locally in the giant pit of suck known as the Metrodome.

by Jerry :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 6:17pm

Will the Metrodome be ready, or will it end up at the U?

by panthersnbraves :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 10:08am

need a standard rant for this too. "{Home team} got screwed by the schedulers! How come they have to play X, Y, and Z?"

It amazes me that there are rabid fans don't know the formula for how the opponents are picked.

WHEN you play makes a big difference - cold weather, long road trips, quick turn-arounds, bye week - but WHO you play is known months in advance.

by dryheat :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 10:58am

Looking over this thread, it looks like you're creating a complaint template for a complaint that doesn't exist.

by Anonymous (not verified) (not verified) :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 12:09pm

A complaint that doesn't exist...here, you mean

by Theo :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 4:18pm

14 of the 16 games where known since 2002 when the rotation began after they made the new conferences and added the Texans.

by MCS :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 11:25am

SF has to travel 29k miles. Meanwhile Tenn is at 7k

Slight discrepancy there.

edit: I think the distance is home and away. Not just travel.

by graywh :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 1:53pm

You make it sound like it's intentional. You think SF should get more home games to offset their distance from the rest of the NFL cities?

by CM (not verified) :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 3:00pm

Awesome! That means Seattle should have at least 12 or 13 home games!

by MCS :: Sat, 04/23/2011 - 8:00pm

It was merely an observation.

The cynicism of the internet is not my responsibility.

by SteveNC (not verified) :: Sun, 04/24/2011 - 7:40am

The cities should be moved.

by DA (not verified) :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 8:13pm

From: New England Patriots
To: NFL/Fate
Subject: Hasn't 3 consecutive seasons with one of the toughest schedules in the league make it up for that 2007 ride?

Thank you.

by dmstorm22 :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 11:08pm

To: DA
From: Reality

The schedule is set by a formula. Also, you had the easiest schedule in the league in 2008.

by DA (not verified) :: Sat, 04/23/2011 - 6:21pm

I know there's a formula, but it seems as though as every year the AFC division and NFC division we have to play become juggernauts the season before.

Also, the 2008 season wasn't so easy. I'd say average.

by tuluse :: Sat, 04/23/2011 - 6:39pm

28th most difficult schedule by DVOA, http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teameff2008

It isn't an accident when a Matt Cassel lead team wins 10+ games.

by morganja :: Wed, 04/20/2011 - 8:33pm

From: Panthers
To: New England Patriots
Subject: My deepest sympathies.

by ammek :: Sat, 04/23/2011 - 12:33pm

There'll be rematches of five of the last seven Superbowls in 2011 — has that ever happened before?

National TV has a crush on the NFC East (15 appearances, including four divisional games) and North (13, five) as well as the Jets. The annual 'WTF?' prime-time candidates include Jags-Falcons (targeting that Gainesville-to-Gainesville demographic), Giants-Rams ('Spags Bol I'?) and Cowboys-Redskins (as Western epics go, this one is Jesse James meets Frankenstein's daughter; at least ESPN has the good sense to program it for when neither team can have more than two losses).

by DavidL :: Sat, 04/23/2011 - 12:40pm

So what happens to this schedule if no games are played this year? Do they scratch out the "2011" and write in "2012", or would there be an entirely new schedule drawn up, with division-vs-division matchups rotated anew?