Okay, we're 62.5% of the way through the regular season, so now is a good time to reflect on the schedule. The schedule, if you didn't already know, is set up thusly:
1. a home & away against each division rival (6)
2. a full AFC division on a 4 year rotation (4) [AFC West in '11]
3. a full NFC division on a 3 year rotation (4) [NFC South in '11]
4. a game against a team that finished in the same position in the other NFC divisions (2) [NFC East & West in '11]
This means that divisional opponents' schedules only differ by two games per year.
Each grid tells the week & result of game:
A is away/H is home
Read vertically, green is a win/red is a loss
Read horizontally, the first four home field entries, red is a win for the home team/green is a loss for the home team
The Packers are the only team to be undefeated in the division matchups. After the Thanksgiving game, all teams will have played 4 of 6 division games. The Lions & Packers each have 2 home games remaining, and the Bears must face both the Vikings & Packers on the road. If the Packers win all three division games, they will have clinched the division, regardless of the outcome of the other three games.
Carolina's the big loser in the NFC "civil war", getting swept. The Bucs narrowly avoided the same demise. This is looking like a repeat of the 1860s. New Orleans still has the best chance to defend the Confederacy. Too bad the Battle of New Orleans was in the war of 1812. Nice try, the South!
Minnesota's looking to avoid getting swept by the AFC West, hoping Tebow will find mercy upon them. Aside from the Vikings, no one else in the NFCN has lost to an AFCW team yet. The Bears bizarre 4 game AFC West trips started off nicely, with a win over the Chargers. Oakland has a similar 4 out of 5 stretch against the NFCN. They, too, began the span with a win over the Vikings.
Detroit had probably the toughest intra-conference match-ups, drawing the surprisingly competent Cowboys & 49ers, and going 1-1. The Bears & Vikings get cakewalks, and the Packers are facing the Giants & Rams.
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