SAN DIEGO CA - DECEMBER 5: A fan of the Oakland Raiders looks on during their NFL game at Qualcomm Stadium on December 5 2010 in San Diego California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
The Jets have played at Oakland quite frequently in recent seasons. They played out there in both 2008 and 2009. They also played a string of games out there early in the last decade. Gang Green will head out to the black hole again in 2011. Randy Lange explains why.
Then came ’08 and the perfect schedule storm: Since the NFC West’s pairings were Arizona/St. Louis and San Francisco/Seattle, the Jets and Patriots lost the continental lottery and got four West Coast trips that year. We and many others said at the time that that just was not fair scheduling.
The league realized that as well, and in 2010 it tweaked its Western pairings. Now the AFC West’s twins are Denver/Oakland and Kansas City/San Diego (and the NFC West’s are Arizona/San Francisco and St. Louis/Seattle). Never again will an East team have two West Coast trips against one division (and vice versa) in a given year.
There are a number of subtle quirks in the schedule. Everything happens for a reason, though. It might take quite a bit of space to explain why a team hosts a given game, but there is a good explanation. Nothing happens at random.