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Keep in mind the opponents and sites for next year's games have already been determined. So if you are wondering why can't they feature these two teams playing, they have to actually play each other. For example, you can forget a Super Bowl rematch next season; the Giants and Patriots don't play each other. The dates and times of these games are yet to be determined.
The first part of coming up with the national over the air broadcast schedule is the traditional Detroit and Dallas games on Thanksgiving. With the Thanksgiving night game appearing on NBC rather than the NFL Network, it may be possible that either Dallas or Detroit be offered a chance to move to the night slot. For this schedule, I did not move either game.
In addition, the defending Super Bowl champion plays in the Kickoff Game.
For the purposes of this schedule, I considered the following:
1) No NFL team gets more than three appearances on NBC. Teams can get a fourth NBC game if they are flexed in during the second half of the season or are chosen for the final SNF game of the year.
2) No NFL team should be scheduled for two NBC games within a three-week period.
3) Any matchup between two teams at a particular site from last year's NBC schedule is not included this year—for example, last year's Kickoff Game was New Orleans at Green Bay. Therefore, New Orleans at Green Bay will not appear on this year's schedule. On the other hand, had Green Bay been scheduled to play at New Orleans, that game may appear.
For the purposes of divisional opponents, if Team A hosted Team B in a SNF game, then the only way that matchup appears this year is if Team B hosts the game. Since both Dallas and the New York Giants appeared on NBC last season, neither will appear on NBC this season.
4) An effort was made for cities that have rarely made SNF appearances recently that have had recent success to appear (and host) SNF games.
5) All four September SNF games will be played in cities where the baseball team is away, avoiding a potential conflict of a baseball game and a football game in the same city.
6) An effort was made for cities who have popular and/or good baseball teams from appearing on NBC in October, especially as host.
You don't want a situation where an NFL game and a MLB playoff game are held within a mile or two of each other. You also don't want the Patriots playing on SNF in October at all in case the Red Sox are playing a playoff game that night. You don't want either New York team to possibly conflict with a Yankees playoff game.
Several games in October are divisional matchups that may be moved to the opposing site if there is a baseball conflict.
In addition, I am saving one weekend for the "Peyton Manning game." This will feature whatever team Peyton plays for next season. Should Peyton not play, take your pick as to which game goes in that slot.
So who do I think should play on NBC next year?