With the NFL lockout lingering on and on and no end in sight a picture of a make or break date for the 2011 season is coming into focus. Hopefully, it never comes to fruition. According to Daniel Kaplan of the Business Sports Journal the NFL is making preparations for a season as short as eight games.
If the 2011 season is shortened to eight games the NFL would likely push the Super Bowl back a week and eliminate the week off preceding the Super Bowl. That would push everything back two weeks, and mean that the first week would have to be played in the last weekend of November.
As ProFootballTalk tells us the absolute minimum for preparation is three weeks. By sheer speculation I say a new CBA would have to be in place by the end of the first week of November. That would make for one ugly and disjointed season. Jump over for a guess at what the Raiders schedule may look like....
There are no reports to the schedule adjustments that would take place if this retched scenario comes into play. But you have to think the league would make sure that three things happened:
- Every team had four home and four away games
- Every team played all the teams from their division
- Changed the existing schedule as little as possible
Given the fact that the league had already set up the first part of the schedule to allow for flexibility it would make sense that they would work off of the first half of the schedule. All matchups in the third week feature teams with the same bye week. That would allow any team to sub their third game to get in a needed division game. For the Raiders that would mean losing a game hosting the Jets and replacing it with a game at the Chargers.
This would give the Raiders at least one game against everyone in the division and an even split of home and away games.
The league also made sure that Weeks 2 and 4 didn't feature any divisional games. So, any additional tweaking would go on then.
Really, the guessing on the schedule tweaks could go on forever, and they may just scrap the whole thing and come up with one from scratch. Here is to hoping that none of this ever happens. If it does, here is what the schedule would likely look like:
@ San Diego
Three straight road games? Maybe they'd switch the locations of the two Denver games, and maybe they'd tweak it so they didn't play Denver twice at all. It would be okay with me if they did leave to games against the Broncos on the schedule.