NFL owners voted Monday to modify the schedule to ease the burden of cross-country road trips.
Last year, the Patriots and the Jets had to make West Coast trips to play AFC West opponents and NFC West teams. The Patriots chose to remain on the West Coast twice last season -- for back-to-back games against San Francisco and San Diego in October and Seattle and Oakland in December -- to minimize the wear-and-tear the schedule presented.
Under the new plan, teams wouldn't have to visit two West Coast teams, just one, along with a team closer to the Midwest. Specifically, Oakland will be paired with Denver, and San Diego will be paired with Denver. In the NFC, Arizona and San Francisco will be paired as will St. Louis and Seattle.
Teams that have road games against Denver and Oakland will get home games against Kansas City and San Diego. The opposite scenario will also be true. The same format of home-and-away games with the paired cities holds true for the NFC as well.
Currently, the AFC South and the NFC West are scheduled to play the AFC West in 2010, which is when the new plan would be starting.
Makes sense to me. Cross country trips can be grueling treks for any team on either coast ESPECIALLY back-to-back weeks. I'm not sure how this might effect KC, but I think that we'd be at a disadvantage at playing away games against stronger opponents than obviously at home.
Does this give a disadvatage to midwest teams? I can't see a scenario, but I'm sure something will pop-up once the scheduling is made in 2010.