With the new NFL collective bargaining agreement ratified, there will be a 17th game added in the 2021 season. Why not make this extra game a little interesting? The league should take advantage of that extra game and make a rivalry week. Play teams once every year against their geographical rival. This is something that would generate tons of interest from across the league. Let’s take a look at what this might look like:
These are the easy ones. Natural rivals in close proximity…
Steelers vs Eagles
This matchup would give Pennsylvania bragging rights
Giants vs Jets
Who wouldn’t want to watch this New York clash every year?
Chargers vs Rams
The two newly relocated Los Angles franchises could battle it out for the hearts of the city.
Dolphins vs Buccaneers
Battle for the kings of south Florida.
Falcons vs Jaguars
Natural rivals only 350 miles apart.
Ravens vs Redskins
Baltimore and DC are so close they have to play each other every year.
Texans vs Cowboys
The Cowboys own Texas…..unless Houston can take control of this series.
Raiders vs 49ers
The former Bay Area rivals can finally play every season.
Broncos vs Seahawks
Time to bring back an old AFC West blood feud.
Panthers vs Titans
A matchup with a southern flair.
Division rivals too good to change:
This next tier would be great division rivals without a geographic partner. In this case the league would just schedule a random game to avoid having teams play each other three times…..
Patriots vs Bills
Patriots have had the upper hand for some time in this heated rivalry.
Bengals vs Browns
Can’t have rivalry week without Bengals versus Browns.
Packers vs Bears
THE oldest rivalry in the NFL.
Vikings vs Lions
Battle of the North between the Lions and Vikings.
Best of the rest:
Unfortunately this leaves us with four teams without either geographical or division opponents for rivalry week. Over time these games should develop into rivalries just like division games…
Colts vs Chiefs
Two AFC teams that are actually not that far apart on the map.
Saints vs Cardinals
For now, we get Brees versus Murray to kick off this new matchup.
So there you have it. This would be the slate of games for our newly formed “rivalry week”. The NFL could really sell this as a mid-season celebration of sorts. Since every team will now have an odd game on its schedule starting in 2021, why not make it fun. Let’s hope the NFL runs with idea.