The Jets and Giants playing simultaneously — as they will do at 1 p.m. Sunday — has gone from an extreme rarity to commonplace.
It did not happen at all between 1985 and 2008 but now will occur for the eighth time in seven seasons, including the past four consecutive Week 17s.
The two times it happened in 2009 were unplanned, first to accommodate Jets fans observing Yom Kippur, then to avoid parking complications in Philadelphia before Game 4 of the World Series.
But in more recent years the philosophy of NFL scheduling has changed late in the season to maximize viewership — both for the sake of the fans’ experience and the league’s TV ratings — and no longer is there as much concern about Jets/Giants conflicts.
That is particularly true in Week 17, when normal TV schedule rules do not apply, and both CBS and Fox bring doubleheaders to markets around the country.
It also has helped justify the overlap that in none of the past four Week 17s have both the Jets and Giants been in postseason contention. This year the Jets have everything at stake and the Giants nothing.
The other recent two conflicts came in Week 14 last year, when the Giants were 3-9 and the Jets 2-10, and in Week 12 this year, when by having the Jets and Giants both play at 1 p.m., New York-area fans were able to see what turned out to be an entertaining Steelers-Seahawks game later in the afternoon.