The Jets and Giants went a quarter of a century, from 1984 to 2009, without playing at the same time in the regular season – other than against each other. But Sunday they will do so for the fourth time in five seasons.
It occurred twice in 2009, the first time to avoid a conflict for Jets fans observing Yom Kippur, the second to avoid having the Giants visit the Eagles too close to the start of Game 4 of the World Series across the street that night.
It happened again in Week 17 just last season, when for reasons of both scheduling fairness and television impact, the NFL did not flex either New York team into late afternoon or prime time.
The thinking is similar this time. With the Giants playing a meaningless game against the Redskins, keeping it at 1 o’clock will allow fans here to see Packers-Bears in late afternoon.
And having the Jets take on the still-in-contention Dolphins at 1 helps the NFL achieve its goal of having teams whose games impact each other’s postseason chances play at the same time.
The Dolphins have a tangled playoff scenario that involves other teams, including the Ravens, who also play at 1 Sunday.