NFL Re-Alignment: The Division the Teams SHOULD Be In

Nick SignorelliSenior Writer IDecember 25, 2009

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 03: National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell testifies on Capitol Hill on November 3, 2009 in Washington, DC. The hearing focused on doping in professional sports.(Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

While my daughter is playing with the gifts Santa brought her, and my wife is getting ready for our son to visit from Florida by cooking and cleaning, I have a chance to sneak down to the Man Cave and write an article for everyone.

I recently wrote an article about how the Colts will not be the team of the decade, regardless of having a perfect season, and in the comments, the discussion of re-alignment came up.

The Colts play in the AFC South, even though the Dolphins, who is the team located farthest South, is in the East. The reason being is that the NFL, when they did the last re-alignment, chose to keep the rivalry aspect of the game as the most important.

In doing so, there became an unnecessary advantage to the Colts, who were put in a division with the expansion Houston Texans; one of the most recent expansion teams, the Jacksonville Jaguars; and a team that was in serious salary cap issues, the Tennessee Titans.

Some people believe that this is the reason the Colts have been able to win 10+ games every year, but that is not what this article is about.

As a Steelers fan, I live close enough to Cleveland, Baltimore, and Cincinnati that if I wanted to travel and go to an away game, I could do so with ease. That is not the case for a lot of teams.

Indianapolis, Dallas and Miami really would have to either fly, or make it a weekly road trip if they wanted to see an away game in their division. Add to that, teams out West, who constantly complain (justifiably so) that having to travel to the East, creates an unfair advantage for the home team, because of jet lag, as opposed to teams who fly West.

I am going to realign the divisions, so that all of the teams are as close as possible to their division rivals. Yes, some of the rivalries that the NFL currently has will suffer, but I will also, later in this article, explain how we can keep those rivalries alive.


Miami Dolphins

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Atlanta Falcons

Jacksonville Jaguars


New England Patriots

Buffalo Bills

New York Jets

New York Giants


Pittsburgh Steelers

Philadelphia Eagles

Baltimore Ravens

Washington Redskins


Tennessee Titans

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Cincinnati Bengals


Green Bay Packers

Chicago Bears

Indianapolis Colts

Detroit Lions


New Orleans Saints

Dallas Cowboys

Houston Texans

Seattle Seahawks  (Let's be honest, unless they relocate, no team is going to be close to them anyway)

North Central

Minnesota Vikings

Kansas City Chiefs

St. Louis Rams

Denver Broncos


Oakland Raiders

San Diego Chargers

San Francisco 49ers

Arizona Cardinals

Every team will still play their division foes twice each year, home/away. That would count for six games per year.

Each team would play one other division which would be four more games, bringing the total to 10 games.

Each team would play the team that finished in the same standings position from the previous year. If you finished first in your division, you would play the other division winners. That would bring the total to 16 games.

With the NFL adding two additional games, that would leave two games left. Each team would then play the teams from their old division one more time.

Indianapolis would be in a different division than any of the teams they would be in under this format. In those three extra games, they would play the Titans, Jaguars and Texans once every year.

For teams like Pittsburgh and Baltimore, that already play each other twice each year, being in the same division, they would be able to add another team to play, but they would still be playing the Browns and Bengals once each year. The Cowboys would still be able to play the Redskins, Eagles, and Giants once each year.

The new rivalries that would be created, would be as good as the old ones. Pittsburgh/Philadelphia would be a battle, as would Baltimore/Washington. Miami/Tampa Bay would be fun to watch, as the Jets/Giants would be. Cowboys/Texans, Colts/Bears, Chiefs/Rams, 49ers/Raiders, Chargers/Cardinals and that is just to name a few.


Currently, every year there are 12 playoff teams. Four teams get bye weeks, but recent history has shown that the bye week has done more harm than good. The bye week will be eliminated, and four additional teams will be added to the playoffs.

With 16 playoff teams, each division will send the division winner, and the next eight best records will go to the playoffs. Instead of being seated by division, the seeding will be based on record.

In the first round, it would be 1 vs 16, 2 vs 15, etc, etc. Unlike the current playoff scenario, the playoffs will be bracketed, so in the second round, the winner of the 1 vs 16 game, will not play the weakest remaining team, but the team that is next in their bracket.

The Super Bowl will then be played between the final two teams remaining from the playoffs.

Change to the Super Bowl format

Currently, the Super Bowl is chosen two to three years prior to being played. Each city that hosts the Super Bowl makes tons of money, which is not fair to the cities that never get to host it.

I do not believe that it would be fair to have a home field advantage to the Super Bowl so there is a format that will change to make the playing field even. All 32 teams will be put into a hat, and each one will get picked out one at a time, and the order that they are picked out, will be the order in which the Super Bowl will be hosted by that city. This way, each of the NFL's 32 teams will get to host the Super Bowl once every 32 years.

To those of you that say it is not a fair advantage for the cold weather teams to be playing in the Super Bowl in a cold climate, is it really fair for a team like the Packers who play most of their games in the cold, to have to travel to a dome to play the Colts, who play in one for over half of their games? Would it be fair to have to play the Dolphins in Miami, or the Saints in New Orleans?

This would level the playing field, and if a team made it to the Super Bowl in the year that they host it, at least the odds are against it. The way it currently is, there are less than 10 venues that host the Super Bowl, and the other 22 teams have a 0% chance of playing at home for the big game, as to the 10 teams that do host it, have a 10% chance. Do you really see that as fair?

In my opinion, this would make the NFL a lot more interesting. Not only that, with first place teams having to play the other seven first place teams, would bring a new level to the parody that the NFL prides itself on.

Well, what do you think Bleacher Creatures? Do you think this is a real possibility? Do you think it is a waste of time? Do you think this is a good idea?

Let me know what you think below.

And I would like to take this chance to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and may God bless you all and keep you safe!


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