NFL Realign That Would Never Happen, Scenario 2

… or would it? Now that there are teams moving all over the place, maybe it’s time to blow it all up. I propose FOUR conferences, with each containing two divisions.

Just as it exists now, every team would play each divisional opponent twice (accounting for six games of its 16-game schedule). However, I’d also mandate that each team plays every other team in its conference once (four games per season, making up a total of 10 games of the 16-game schedule).

Here are the conferences & divisions:

NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE

NFC CENTRAL DIVISION


NFC EASTERN DIVISION


AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE

AFC CENTRAL DIVISION


AFC EASTERN DIVISION


SOUTHEASTERN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE

SEFC CENTRAL DIVISION


SEFC ATLANTIC DIVISION

Dolphins


WESTERN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE

WFC PACIFIC DIVISION

chargers_la


WFC PLAINS DIVISION

 


Within each division, there will be a designated primary rivalry. Aside from their first showdown earlier in the season, the second contest between primary rivals will always make up the final game of the regular season schedule:

NFC CENTRAL:
Chicago Bears – Green Bay Packers
Detroit Lions – Cleveland Browns

NFC EAST:
New York Giants – Philadelphia Eagles
Washington Redskins – Pittsburgh Steelers

AFC CENTRAL:
Minnesota Vikings – Kansas City Chiefs
Indianapolis Colts – Cincinnati Bengals

AFC EAST:
New England Patriots – New York Jets
Buffalo Bills – Baltimore Ravens

SEFC CENTRAL:
Atlanta Falcons – Tennessee Titans
New Orleans Saints – Houston Texans

SEFC ATLANTIC:
Miami Dolphins – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Carolina Panthers – Jacksonville Jaguars

WFC PACIFIC:
San Francisco 49ers – Seattle Seahawks
Los Angeles Rams – Los Angeles Chargers

WFC PLAINS:
Dallas Cowboys – Arizona Cardinals
Denver Broncos – Las Vegas Raiders

And to preserve some past rivalries (sorry, but we can’t preserve them all), each set will be paired with a set of rivals outside of its conference to make up for two more games of each team’s annual schedule (12 games total), thus leaving four flex games per year that allows for fresh matchups.

For example, let’s say we pair the Giants – Eagles rivalry with the out-of-conference Cowboys – Cardinals. That way, the Giants play both the Cowboys and Cardinals once each season, as do the Eagles.

The out-of conference rivalry groupings:

Chicago Bears – Green Bay Packers – Minnesota Vikings – Kansas City Chiefs

Detroit Lions – Cleveland Browns – Los Angeles Rams – Los Angeles Chargers

New York Giants – Philadelphia Eagles – Dallas Cowboys – Arizona Cardinals

Pittsburgh Steelers – Washington Redskins – Buffalo Bills – Baltimore Ravens

Indianapolis Colts – Cincinnati Bengals – Atlanta Falcons – Tennessee Titans

New England Patriots – New York Jets – Miami Dolphins – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Seattle Seahawks – San Francisco 49ers – Carolina Panthers – Jacksonville Jaguars

Houston Texans – New Orleans Saints – Denver Broncos – Las Vegas Raiders

Annual schedules:

Chicago Bears:
v. Green Bay (x2)
v. Detroit (x2)
v. Cleveland (x2)
v. New York Giants
v. Philadelphia
v. Washington
v. Pittsburgh
v. Minnesota
v. Kansas City
v. Indianapolis
+3 flex games

Green Bay Packers:
v. Chicago (x2)
v. Detroit (x2)
v. Cleveland (x2)
v. New York Giants
v. Philadelphia
v. Washington
v. Pittsburgh
v. Minnesota
v. Kansas City
+4 flex games

Detroit Lions:
v. Cleveland (x2)
v. Chicago (x2)
v. Green Bay (x2)
v. New York Giants
v. Philadelphia
v. Washington
v. Pittsburgh
v. LA Rams
v. LA Chargers
+4 flex games

Cleveland Browns:
v. Detroit (x2)
v. Chicago (x2)
v. Green Bay (x2)
v. New York Giants
v. Philadelphia
v. Washington
v. Pittsburgh
v. LA Rams
v. LA Chargers
+4 flex games

New York Giants:
v. Philadelphia (x2)
v. Washington (x2)
v. Pittsburgh (x2)
v. Chicago
v. Green Bay
v. Detroit
v. Cleveland
v. Dallas
v. Arizona
v. New York Jets
+3 flex games

Philadelphia Eagles:
v. New York Giants (x2)
v. Washington (x2)
v. Pittsburgh (x2)
v. Chicago
v. Green Bay
v. Detroit
v. Cleveland
v. Dallas
v. Arizona
+4 flex games

Washington Redskins:
v. Pittsburgh (x2)
v. New York Giants (x2)
v. Philadelphia (x2)
v. Chicago
v. Green Bay
v. Detroit
v. Cleveland
v. Buffalo
v. Baltimore
+4 flex games

Pittsburgh Steelers:
v. Washington (x2)
v. New York Giants (x2)
v. Philadelphia (x2)
v. Chicago
v. Green Bay
v. Detroit
v. Cleveland
v. Buffalo
v. Baltimore
v. Cincinnati
+3 flex games

Minnesota Vikings:
v. Kansas City (x2)
v. Indianapolis (x2)
v. Cincinnati (x2)
v. New England
v. New York Jets
v. Buffalo
v. Baltimore
v. Chicago
v. Green Bay
+4 flex games

Kansas City Chiefs:
v. Minnesota (x2)
v. Indianapolis (x2)
v. Cincinnati (x2)
v. New England
v. New York Jets
v. Buffalo
v. Baltimore
v. Chicago
v. Green Bay
v. Denver
+3 flex games

Indianapolis Colts:
v. Cincinnati (x2)
v. Minnesota (x2)
v. Kansas City (x2)
v. New England
v. New York Jets
v. Buffalo
v. Baltimore
v. Atlanta
v. Tennessee
v. Chicago
+3 flex games

Cincinnati Bengals:
v. Indianapolis (x2)
v. Minnesota (x2)
v. Kansas City (x2)
v. New England
v. New York Jets
v. Buffalo
v. Baltimore
v. Atlanta
v. Tennessee
v. Pittsburgh
+3 flex games

New England Patriots:
v. New York Jets (x2)
v. Buffalo (x2)
v. Baltimore (x2)
v. Minnesota
v. Kansas City
v. Indianapolis
v. Cincinnati
v. Miami
v. Tampa Bay
+4 flex games

New York Jets:
v. New England (x2)
v. Buffalo (x2)
v. Baltimore (x2)
v. Minnesota
v. Kansas City
v. Indianapolis
v. Cincinnati
v. Miami
v. Tampa Bay
v. New York Giants
+3 flex games

Buffalo Bills:
v. Baltimore (x2)
v. New England (x2)
v. New York Jets (x2)
v. Minnesota
v. Kansas City
v. Indianapolis
v. Cincinnati
v. Washington
v. Pittsburgh
+4 flex games

Baltimore Ravens:
v. Buffalo (x2)
v. New England (x2)
v. New York Jets (x2)
v. Minnesota
v. Kansas City
v. Indianapolis
v. Cincinnati
v. Washington
v. Pittsburgh
v. Carolina
+3 flex games

Atlanta Falcons:
v. Tennessee (x2)
v. New Orleans (x2)
v. Houston (x2)
v. Miami
v. Tampa Bay
v. Carolina
v. Jacksonville
v. Indianapolis
v. Cincinnati
+4 flex games

Tennessee Titans:
v. Atlanta (x2)
v. New Orleans (x2)
v. Houston (x2)
v. Miami
v. Tampa Bay
v. Carolina
v. Jacksonville
v. Indianapolis
v. Cincinnati
+4 flex games

New Orleans Saints:
v. Houston (x2)
v. Atlanta (x2)
v. Tennessee (x2)
v. Miami
v. Tampa Bay
v. Carolina
v. Jacksonville
v. Denver
v. Las Vegas
+4 flex games

Houston Texans:
v. New Orleans (x2)
v. Atlanta (x2)
v. Tennessee (x2)
v. Miami
v. Tampa Bay
v. Carolina
v. Jacksonville
v. Denver
v. Las Vegas
v. Dallas
+3 flex games

Miami Dolphins:
v. Tampa Bay (x2)
v. Carolina (x2)
v. Jacksonville (x2)
v. Atlanta
v. Tennessee
v. New Orleans
v. Houston
v. New England
v. New York Jets
+4 flex games

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
v. Miami (x2)
v. Carolina (x2)
v. Jacksonville (x2)
v. Atlanta
v. Tennessee
v. New Orleans
v. Houston
v. New England
v. New York Jets
+4 flex games

Carolina Panthers:
v. Jacksonville (x2)
v. Miami (x2)
v. Tampa Bay (x2)
v. Atlanta
v. Tennessee
v. New Orleans
v. Houston
v. San Francisco
v. Seattle
v. Baltimore
+3 flex games

Jacksonville Jaguars:
v. Carolina (x2)
v. Miami (x2)
v. Tampa Bay (x2)
v. Atlanta
v. Tennessee
v. New Orleans
v. Houston
v. San Francisco
v. Seattle
+4 flex games

San Francisco 49ers:
v. Seattle (x2)
v. LA Rams (x2)
v. LA Chargers (x2)
v. Dallas
v. Arizona
v. Denver
v. Las Vegas
v. Carolina
v. Jacksonville
+4 flex games

Seattle Seahawks:
v. San Francisco (x2)
v. LA Rams (x2)
v. LA Chargers (x2)
v. Dallas
v. Arizona
v. Denver
v. Las Vegas
v. Carolina
v. Jacksonville
+4 flex games

Los Angeles Rams:
v. LA Chargers (x2)
v. San Francisco (x2)
v. Seattle (x2)
v. Dallas
v. Arizona
v. Denver
v. Las Vegas
v. Detroit
v. Cleveland
+4 flex games

Los Angeles Chargers:
v. LA Rams (x2)
v. San Francisco (x2)
v. Seattle (x2)
v. Dallas
v. Arizona
v. Denver
v. Las Vegas
v. Detroit
v. Cleveland
+4 flex games

Dallas Cowboys:
v. Arizona (x2)
v. Denver (x2)
v. Las Vegas (x2)
v. San Francisco
v. Seattle
v. LA Rams
v. LA Chargers
v. New York Giants
v. Philadelphia
v. Houston
+3 flex games

Arizona Cardinals:
v. Dallas (x2)
v. Denver (x2)
v. Las Vegas (x2)
v. San Francisco
v. Seattle
v. LA Rams
v. LA Chargers
v. New York Giants
v. Philadelphia
+4 flex games

Denver Broncos:
v. Las Vegas (x2)
v. Dallas (x2)
v. Arizona (x2)
v. San Francisco
v. Seattle
v. LA Rams
v. LA Chargers
v. New Orleans
v. Houston
v. Kansas City
+3 flex games

Las Vegas Raiders:
v. Denver (x2)
v. Dallas (x2)
v. Arizona (x2)
v. San Francisco
v. Seattle
v. LA Rams
v. LA Chargers
v. New Orleans
v. Houston
+4 flex games

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