Eisen's Mailbag: 2013 Schedule explained

Posted Jul 1, 2013's Michael Eisen answers your questions!

Hi, I was wondering why the Giants are playing the Raiders at home this year? Four years ago when they played the AFC West they played the Chargers and Raiders at home and the Chiefs and Broncos on the road. The rotation should now be the Broncos and Chiefs at home. I was wondering if there was a reason or just an oversight in the schedule.

No oversight. The NFL changed travel partners in both the AFC West and NFC West to reduce the likelihood that teams would have to make four or more coast- to-coast flights in a season – as the Giants did in 2005. Oakland and San Diego was one pair of partners, and Kansas City and San Diego were the other. The league made a switch, so Oakland and Denver would have the same travel schedule. So this year, the Giants will host Oakland and travel to Kansas City, as they did in 2009. In the NFC West, San Francisco and Seattle and Arizona and St. Louis had the same travel schedules. The league made a switch to 49ers/Cardinals and Rams/Seahawks. In 2008, the Giants hosted San Francisco and Seattle and visited Arizona and St. Louis. Three years later, they hosted the Seahawks and Rams and traveled to San Francisco and Arizona. The changes were made in 2010 – ironically, a season when the two western divisions played each other.

The first NFL announcers (commentators to us Brits) I remember were Pat Summerall and John Madden. They made the game come alive. Lawrence Taylor and Joe Morris were in my living room. Al Michaels is very good, Cris Collinsworth is better than very good, but were Summerall and Madden the best ever?

I don’t know if they were the best ever, but they formed my favorite team of all time. Madden, to me, was the best analyst in sports television history. He was knowledgeable, excited and entertaining. Summerall was a perfectly understated and brilliant play-by-play announcer. None of the current broadcast teams can match their brilliance.

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