Many fans still are surprised to look at the NFL schedule and see the Giants and Jets playing simultaneously – as they will at 1 o’clock on Sunday – after decades in which the league avoided that at all costs.
It did not happen at all from 1984 until 2009, then only because a Titans-Jets game was moved to 1 p.m. to accommodate fans observing Yom Kippur.
Later that season, a Giants-Eagles game was moved to minimize parking congestion in Philadelphia before Game 1 of the World Series.
But it has become an annual occurrence this decade, primarily because of the NFL’s more flexible approach to scheduling, with an aim toward maximizing ratings for TV networks and viewership appeal for fans.
The idea is that in certain scenarios New York-area fans would rather be able to see an attractive late-afternoon matchup in exchange for a 1 p.m. conflict between Giants and Jets games.
This weekend, that means making Colts-Packers available in the New York area after the Jets and Giants are done with their games.