The Giants 2015 schedule was released today and before you start complaining, keep in mind, their opponents were determined immediately upon conclusion of the 2014 regular season last December 28th. The NFL runs thousands of scheduling iterations before coming up with the one that was released tonight. Why does it take so long? There are a number of factors that must be considered.
The Giants share a stadium with the New York Jets. Both teams can’t be home on the same date. It’s possible for one team to be home for a Sunday game and the other for a Monday night, but a Giants/Jets double header simply won’t work. That’s one of the quirks that the NFL scheduling computer considers.
Each team makes requests based on certain needs and venue availability. Last season, for example, One Direction has a concert tour that stopped at several NFL stadiums. They were a major disruption to the scheduling process. Having a baseball team in with their ballpark in close proximity to the NFL stadium is also taken into account. If that baseball team is in contention for the post season regularly, it can create scheduling conflicts as well. Several NFL games have had to be moved or rescheduled due to the Major League Baseball playoffs in recent years.
The most relevant factor considered in setting up the NFL schedule, and this should shock no one, are their broadcasting partners. The Thursday Night, Sunday Night, and Monday Night packages all want marquee match-ups, and the the NFL tries to provide them weekly, while not depriving Fox and CBS of strong games for their Sunday afternoon lineups. The variability in team strength makes predicting what games will have the meaning in December most difficult, and this has been adjusted for by flexing kickoff times on the Sunday night games. If a clunker is scheduled on Thursday or Monday night, we suffer through it.
Keep this in mind when reviewing the NFL schedule in general and this you flip through the 2015 Giants schedule. All these factors were considered in producing the order that the 256 NFL games will be played.
Tom Coughlin divides the season into quarters, and so will we…