The Success of the Jets and Giants Creates Logistical Problem for the NFL

This story comes to you from the department of don't count your chickens before they hatch. The New York Times reports that after the Jets beat the Patriots on Thursday night, the NFL's offices began to discuss how they'd deal with the Jets and Giants each holding home field advantage in their respective conference title games. Obviously there was no one to fine for celebrating a touchdown, because that's putting the cart well before the horse.

Not in the case of the Giants. Their 30-10 smackdown of the Ravens solidifies their spot on top of any reasonable person's power rankings. It's really hard to see how they won't be the NFC's top seed come playoff time, and almost as hard to see them losing before the NFC Championship tilt.

The Jets, on the other hand, aren't in quite so lofty a position. The Titans are 10-0 and the Steelers are 7-3, which makes them one of several teams that could be in position to host such a game. Should the Bills win against the Browns tonight, they'll be 6-4 and join the Patriots and Dolphins a game behind the Jets in the AFC East. Their playoff spot isn't even guaranteed, let alone a ranking worthy of seriously discussing contingency plans about the end of January. Given the Jets' history of turning lemonade into lemons, this is the football equivalent of talking about a no-hitter in the seventh inning.

Obviously it would be impossible to play both games the same day. 80,000 people in and out of the stadium and parking lots is hard enough to pull off once. The games would be played on different days, either Saturday night or Monday night. That actually seems like a better deal for the NFL and the networks. The Times says networks don't like Saturday night because ratings are lower, but would that really be the case for such a big game?

More likely, it would produce back-to-back nights of blockbuster ratings, tons of revenue and a further expansion of football's domination of the American sporting landscape. And that's whether or not the two games were played at the same stadium.

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