Schein's Nine: Ranting on the '09 NFL schedule
I absolutely live for "Schedule Tuesday" in the NFL.
You play with wins and losses in your head.
NFL on FOX
• MARVEZ: Best games of every week
• SCHEIN: Schedule kudos and rants
• Titans and Steelers kick off season
• Check your favorite team's games
The league loves to put the Bears in prime time. And once they got Jay Cutler, the NFL reacted to the likely shift of the Bears as division favorites.
Chicago got a whopping five games on national television. FOX gets the short end on that one, with the league picking five Bears games that involve NFC teams (Green Bay on NBC in Week 1, Atlanta on NBC in Week 6, San Francisco on the NFLN in Week 10, Philly on SNF in Week 11, and a MNF game on ESPN in the final week of the season).
Obviously, the NFL didn't think about the porous offensive line ... or Chicago's lack of wide receivers ... or if Lovie Smith's defense had lost a step. And I don't blame them.
Denver, smartly, received only one prime time game, against the Steelers. That's what happens when you ship out a franchise quarterback for Kyle Orton and swap Mike Shanahan for Josh McDaniels: The Broncos go from prime time staple to afterthought.
5. Start-up Vikings
I've called the Vikings the domino-effect losers of the Jay Cutler deal.
Well, the Vikes have a golden opportunity to prove me wrong.
Minnesota gets Cleveland, Detroit, San Francisco and Green Bay at home, plus St. Louis to start the season. You might recognize these teams — they are all picking in the top 10 in the NFL draft. The Vikings have "4-1 start" written all over them. Or at least they better.
6. Pats and Colts ... must-see TV
Does the NFL really need to play on Christmas on a Friday night when there are never games scheduled on Fridays? I feel for the Titans and Chargers and their fans.
How in the world does the NFL schedule two Jets home games on Jewish holidays in back-to-back weeks against the Patriots and Titans in Weeks 2 and 3? That affects tons of season ticket holders in the New York area. The league should have at least made things easier with a 1 p.m. ET kickoff against Tennessee instead of 4:15 (Yom Kippur starts at sundown).
8. Baseball madness
Coaches don't love starting the season solely against division foes. You are still figuring out who you are.
Well, Tom Cable's Oakland Raiders don't get to ease into anything.
They play the Chargers in prime time on MNF to start the season. Then they visit Kansas City and host the Broncos.
Cable was tickled with how the Raiders finished strong last season. It's not hyperbole to say we will learn everything about a potential carryover in the first month of the season.