Open Rants by Brownsfan93

Who should NFL teams play in a 17th game?
Published at 2/11/2020
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NFL 17th game Who should they play?

So the NFL seems to want to add a 17th game to the season, and while I disagree with this for a variety of reasons to be mentioned later I though it would be interesting to see where and how this 17th game would be played.

I think it would be interesting and make sense to make the extra game a AFC vs NFC rivalry game if possible to be played at any time throughout the season, the teams would just simply switch off playing each other each year home and away to make up for the odd number of home games/away games the extra game would create.  These matchups would be similar to what baseball does with the interleague natural interleague rival games they currently have.  Here are my matchups.

Note: Yes I know this would result in teams playing eachother twice in a season every fourth year, the system is never perfect….

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Philadelphia Eagles

You could call this a variant of the turnpike rivalry with Cleveland; an interstate matchup between these two only makes sense as interstate games are good for attendance.

Miami Dolphins vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Another Interstate rivalry would put the battle of the east Florida coast vs the west, Florida teams don’t draw that well so this could potentially help.

Cleveland Browns vs Detroit Lions

The Great Lakes rivalry is already played most years in the preseason, there’s even a trophy for it, two cities only 2.5 hrs drive apart with similar backgrounds and settings makes for a decent natural rival game between conferences.

New York Jets vs New York Giants

A game between two teams sharing the same city and stadium obviously is a shoe in.

Houston Texans vs Dallas Cowboys

Two major TV markets battling it out regularly makes for good TV ratings, this was actually the first game in Texans franchise history in 2002, which the Texans surprisingly won.

New Orleans Saints vs Tennessee Titans

Not much significance in history or location between the two, but saves travel distance as the titans are closer than many teams to the relatively isolated New Orleans.

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Carolina Panthers

The distance between these two isn’t the worst, and it makes sense as both these two teams were expansion teams the same year in 1995.

LA Chargers vs LA Rams

Another battle between two teams that play in the same city/stadium, maybe this one would bode well for both teams’ struggles at the gate…

Denver Broncos vs Seattle Seahawks

These two both recently faced off in the Super Bowl which add a little bit to this matchup, but the similarity here is they both are teams of the mountainous western U.S. that aren’t as terribly far away from each other as some teams are from their respective cities.

Las Vegas Raiders vs SF 49ers

Obviously this one goes back to the battle of the bay days when the Raiders were in Oakland, it was tempting to have the raiders matchup against the Cardinals as it would be closer and a battle of the desert teams, however history wins here and not the worst of distances either.

Baltimore Ravens vs Washington Redskins

This one is easy as the two teams are only about an hour away from each other, one of the closer distances in the league.

New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons

Not the most distance friendly of these, but still two major markets in Boston and Atlanta which is good for TV and the recent Super Bowl matchup helps…

Minnesota Vikings vs Buffalo Bills

Not all of these will make complete sense, but this one could be marketed as a battle for the north kind of game, not the worst idea for a matchup…

Green Bay Packers vs KC Chiefs

No this is not because I want a State Farm bowl; matchups outlast players and shouldn’t be made because of individual players.  Two fairly large fan bases and two cities not terribly far from each other, both with rich history and the first Super Bowl matchup make for a decent natural interconference rivalry game…

Indianapolis Colts vs Chicago Bears

Two teams in two big cities, about 3 hours’ drive from each other in two neighboring similar states with a Super bowl matchup in recent memory to boot, this one is a fairly easy choice…

Arizona vs Cincinnati

Someone had to be left to be matched up to each other, maybe you could call it the Carson Palmer Bowl lol, this would probably be the worst of matchups as the distance isn’t favorable but the last two teams have to play someone…   


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