Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

20 Apr 2010

Mike Tanier Live-Blogs the 2010 Schedule

No, seriously. Mike Tanier is actually live-blogging the unveiling of the 2010 NFL schedule for the New York Times website. Be sure to tune in at 7 p.m. Eastern for jokes-a-plenty. Consider this to also be your thread to discuss the 2010 schedule once they announce it; you'll find the full schedule here.

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 20 Apr 2010

29 comments, Last at 27 Apr 2010, 2:28pm by Charger Jeff


by Adam B. :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 7:47pm

Manning-Brady is not in prime time for the first time in how many years? Also, as an Eagles fan, delaying the Dallas games to weeks 14 and 17 strikes me as cruel.

by chemical burn :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 8:16pm

Yeah, I'm so sick of the week 17 match-up - 3 years in a row is too much. Hopefully, the Eagles will be resting starters by then...

by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 9:54pm

Manning-Brady was also a standard CBS game in 2007, when it was probably the biggest regular season game in NFL history. My guess is that CBS demands that they get the game at least once every three years.

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 10:16pm

Probanly right about that. Surprised Fox didnt get viks-Saints game. Would have thought Fox could have securted that one.

by Adam B. :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 9:14am

No Favre, not that interesting. NBC took a risk.

by Thok :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 11:16am

I'd argue 1990 49ers-Giants was a bigger regular season game at the time. But those are probably the top 2.

by i.am.brian.dawkins :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 8:23pm

How reliable is the NFL's strength of schedule stat: the combined 2009 records of 2010 opponents?

by Brendan Scolari :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 10:16am

It's completely useless basically.

by mm (not verified) :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 12:40pm

Everyone in a division plays each other head to head and then plays 8 identical out of division games. So when comparing 2 teams in the same division there are only really 2 different games.

When they say something like "Houston has the hardest schedule this year", they're being silly. Indianapolis plays the same schedule except for 2 teams, and those 2 teams did better last year than the equivalent teams on Houston's schedule. The only reason Houston is calculated as 'harder' is because when Indianapolis plays Houston, Houston get's credit for a 'hard' game, but Indianapolis gets credit for an 'average' game. It's silly to say Indy has any advantage from the schedule.

by Joseph :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 12:49pm

It is esp. useless for the outlier teams, which when factoring them in to their own opponents in someone else's sched, takes care of them all. The Saints have the "easiest" sched of the NFC South teams--because THEY DON'T HAVE TO PLAY THEMSELVES! For example--Bucs went 3-13, Saints went 13-3. So for their two matchups, there is a 20!! game difference right there. Both teams play two games against the Falcons & Panthers, and 8 other games are also the same. So if the Bucs two games against the other 4th place teams (compared to the Saints against the 1st place teams) don't "gain" 20 wins, it appears that the Bucs have a harder schedule than the Saints.
At least, if you were to compare the team's LAST YEAR schedules, you should take the aggregate record of the 16 teams you played, THEN remove your record against them--this shows your true strength of sched. A winning team's sched will appear easier than it was, whereas a losing team's sched will appear harder.
IIRC, in 08, after the Pats were "perfect", the other 3 AFCE teams appeared to have a HARD sched, and the Pats was like the easiest in the NFL--because THEY DIDN'T HAVE A 16-0 TEAM ON THEIR SCHEDULE!!

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 9:25pm

Happy steeles plau Raiders not in fist month. Raiders goin to teach rortlisberger lesson once again. Raiders going to tell him No, slap him all over fueld and no police bodyguard going to help him. Raiders 30 steelees 10. Jusr one game on toad to playooffs for Raiders

by Kevin from Philly :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 9:59am

An Irish blessing for you RaiderJoe:

May the toad rise up to meet you.

by dedkrikit (not verified) :: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 11:40pm

Titans get a crazy finish to their season with 5 (of 6 total) division games in the last 6.

by ammek :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 6:57am

I don't understand why the NFL has decided teams are likelier to play their starters in week 17 if the games are against divisional opponents. Last season, the Saints didn't try any harder against Carolina than the Bengals or Cardinals did against out-of-division opponents.

On the contrary, I think it deprives the mid-to-late season of some interesting divisional matchups — which is when those divisions are still competitive. Last year only one division title was still up for grabs in week 17.

NFL over-reacting?

by Vincent Verhei :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 7:24am

If the divisional games are saved till the end of the year, then division titles are likely to still be up for grabs late in the year.

If you're two games out of first, but you still have two games left against the leaders, you can still beat them twice and get right back into things. But if you've already played them twice, even if you got one or two wins against them, they can still win out and then you're screwed.

by ammek :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 11:26am

Oh, I see. It's a tiebreaker thing.

Your "two games left" example makes sense, but there are only four divisional games in Week 16 — three of them involving the Rams, Browns and Bills. I hesitate to make NFL predictions in April, but I'll stick my neck out and say at least two of those teams will be more than two games out of first place by late December.

Even so, if the 2010 schedule for Week 17 was transplanted onto Week 17 of last season, the Cards, Pats, Bengals, Colts and Saints could all still mail in their final game. I'm not sure how much you can play around with the schedule to fix that.

by Theo :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 10:23am

Nice end of the season for the steelers. 3 homegames and then @CLE for the season finale.

They'll be 8-4 when they go into that stretch and say they lose vs the Jets, they are 11-5 at the end of the season.

by bravehoptoad :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 11:27am

49ers schedule seems rough.

1) "Home" game in London,
2) 3 short weeks -- all away games,
3) Late pre-season start, so we get one week less of training camp than most teams,
4) Travelling 33,000 miles -- 10,000 miles more than the 2nd most-travelling team,
5) Outside of our scheduled divisions, (AFC & NFC West), we play New Orleans, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Carolina, Tampa Bay, and Green Bay. That seems like 5 tough games out of 6.


by Marko :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 11:56am

"5) Outside of our scheduled divisions, (AFC & NFC West), we play New Orleans, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Carolina, Tampa Bay, and Green Bay. That seems like 5 tough games out of 6."

But your other 10 games, which comprise the bulk of your schedule, are about as easy as it gets. The NFC and AFC West are the two weakest divisions in the league. Arizona with all of its changes, including Matt Leinart at QB, likely will regress, and the Rams and Seahawks stink. That should be 4 or 5 wins right there. And the AFC West is cupcake central outside of San Diego. So that should be 3 more wins. If they 49ers don't win at least 7 of those 10 games, then they just aren't very good.

by mm (not verified) :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 12:33pm

"5) Outside of our scheduled divisions, (AFC & NFC West), we play New Orleans, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Carolina, Tampa Bay, and Green Bay. That seems like 5 tough games out of 6."

Well, you play everyone in your division (NFC West) every year. Your 'scheduled divisions' are the AFC West and NFC South (NO, TB, Car, Atl). All the other teams in your division will play those teams too.

It's only Philadelphia and Green Bay that won't be on the schedules of Arizona, Seattle, and St. Louis.

by bravehoptoad :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 3:00pm

Oops, I misunderstood about the NFC South. Call me brain dead.

by Charger Jeff (not verified) :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 12:06pm

Chargers for the first time in forever don't have a true east coast game, with the furthest road games @CIN and @IND. After 4 of first 6 on the road, they hit a stretch of 8 games where they play 6 at home. This on top of playing in a cupcake division - they don't even have to get better in the offseason to coast into the playoffs, barring injuries of course (and I would love to bar them).

by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 12:45pm

Chargerd dint play in cupcake division. Have to play 2 gamrs vs Raiders. Very tough games for chargers yo win. Best can hope for is split cause Raiders dwfinutely going to beat charhers at least once

by Charger Jeff (not verified) :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 2:45pm

Raiderjoe, tell me the last time the Raiders beat the Chargers.

by Marko :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 3:40pm

I think the Raiders are investing in a Hot Tub Time Machine this year, so they might be able to beat the Chargers if they go back in time far enough.

by Charger Jeff (not verified) :: Wed, 04/21/2010 - 3:59pm


Seriously, I understand that my metrics aren't exactly advanced, but I see a grand total of 4 teams on the Chargers' schedule who could reasonably be expected to win 10 games - IND, NE, CIN (very iffy) and whoever wins the I don't suck that bad sweepstakes between ARI and SF. The rest of the AFC South doesn't scare me, and the NFC West will be worse than the AFC West, which will be putrid. We can reasonably assume that the Chargers are (at minimum) a 10 win team. They should be favored to win in all but the IND and NE games.

Am I overly optimistic here, or does the SD schedule shape up for a repeat of last year's record?

by commissionerleaf :: Mon, 04/26/2010 - 1:21am

Well, I'm not that high on the Chargers, but picking them to win the AFCW isn't that hard either, because the only competition is the Raiders (Although the Raiders might be surprisingly good - Jason Campbell could be comically bad with the Raiders group of one dimensional speed receivers, though).

I assume Rivers will fall back to earth eventually, and Gates and Jackson are both coming off career years. But they're still way too talented to not win nine or ten games, which is all it takes in their division. The Seahawks turned that into a near-super-bowl-win.

by Charger Jeff (not verified) :: Tue, 04/27/2010 - 2:28pm

Why do you assume Rivers will fall back to earth? He's produced at the same level for 2 straight years now.

Gates and Jackson are in their prime, there's also no reason to believe they'll fall back to earth either.

The Chargers have the same team with some immediate improvements from the draft, and a much weaker schedule than last year. It might be a stretch, but I'd be disappointed with fewer than 12 wins.

by Michael LaRocca (not verified) :: Thu, 04/22/2010 - 8:29am

So we schedule when to schedule our discussion of the schedule. Damn, that sounds like something an algebra teacher would do.