When the NFL goes to 18 games (it seems inevitable) the schedule should include a regular interconference rivalry game for each team. Currently, the Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens, separated by a mere 35 miles of pavement on Interstate 95, only have quadrennial matchups in the regular season. Sure, there is preseason, but no reasonable fan its that counts for regional bragging rights. Well, maybe Ravens fans do, because after Saturday night’s performance, the Redskins fans certainly can’t (The Post). Burgundy and Gold fans may dislike the Ravens a little more now. Too bad they can’t have a rematch that counts. If it were up to me, they’d play each other every season, alternating venues.
We know the battle of New York/New Jersey between the Giants and Jets is well-received. I am sure that the state of Texas would be on board with annual Dallas Cowboys vs. Houston Texans matchups, just as Pennsylvania would be for the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers playing each other. There is also potential for some neutral site games — Eagles and Steelers in State College; Cowboys vs. Texans in Austin, etc.
Here is a list I created several years ago with some natural interconference rivalries and ones that admittedly are a little forced.
Washington Redskins vs. Baltimore Ravens
New York Giants vs. New York Jets
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
San Francisco 49ers vs. Oakland Raiders
Dallas Cowboys vs. Houston Texans
St. Louis Rams vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Miami Dolphins vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cleveland Browns vs. Detroit Lions
Chicago Bears vs. Indianapolis Colts
Arizona Cardinals vs. Denver Broncos (shared corner might have to do)
Beyond those teams there are some other rivals that are kind a little forced, but commonality can be found between some of them.
Opposite ends of the coast
San Diego Chargers vs. Seattle Seahawks
Green Bay Packers vs. Buffalo Bills
Carolina Panthers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jazz vs. Country
New Orleans Saints vs. Tennessee Titans
Um, I-75, I guess
Atlanta Falcons vs. Cincinnati Bengals
New England Patriots vs. Minnesota Vikings
Okay, what’s your take on this idea and these pairings?