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You make travel plans.

You start to dream, or in some cases, have nightmares.

We give the NFL credit for not making us suffer through five Browns games in prime time like they did a year ago. This year's prime time schedule is outstanding.

Yet, somehow "Schedule Tuesday" managed to start an international incident, anger religious groups and still give us too much of the Cleveland Browns. And the October NFL schedule has me scratching my head.

For the latest "Schein's Nine," we give you the good, bad and ugly on the 2009 NFL schedule.

1. Prime time in the cards for Arizona

4. Cutler trade ramifications

The league loves to put the Bears in prime time. And once they got Jay Cutler, the NFL reacted to the likely shift of the Bears as division favorites.

Chicago got a whopping five games on national television. FOX gets the short end on that one, with the league picking five Bears games that involve NFC teams (Green Bay on NBC in Week 1, Atlanta on NBC in Week 6, San Francisco on the NFLN in Week 10, Philly on SNF in Week 11, and a MNF game on ESPN in the final week of the season).

Obviously, the NFL didn't think about the porous offensive line ... or Chicago's lack of wide receivers ... or if Lovie Smith's defense had lost a step. And I don't blame them.

Denver, smartly, received only one prime time game, against the Steelers. That's what happens when you ship out a franchise quarterback for Kyle Orton and swap Mike Shanahan for Josh McDaniels: The Broncos go from prime time staple to afterthought.

5. Start-up Vikings

I've called the Vikings the domino-effect losers of the Jay Cutler deal.

Well, the Vikes have a golden opportunity to prove me wrong.

Minnesota gets Cleveland, Detroit, San Francisco and Green Bay at home, plus St. Louis to start the season. You might recognize these teams — they are all picking in the top 10 in the NFL draft. The Vikings have "4-1 start" written all over them. Or at least they better.

6. Pats and Colts ... must-see TV

It's Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. And it doesn't get any better.

Simply put: Whenever Bill Belichick and the Patriots face the Colts, it needs to be in prime time. It's bar none the most anticipated regular-season game of the year. Congrats to the NFL for making it under the lights on Sunday night in Week 10. It's already on my calendar.

7. Losing my religion

Does the NFL really need to play on Christmas on a Friday night when there are never games scheduled on Fridays? I feel for the Titans and Chargers and their fans.

How in the world does the NFL schedule two Jets home games on Jewish holidays in back-to-back weeks against the Patriots and Titans in Weeks 2 and 3? That affects tons of season ticket holders in the New York area. The league should have at least made things easier with a 1 p.m. ET kickoff against Tennessee instead of 4:15 (Yom Kippur starts at sundown).

8. Baseball madness

October belongs to baseball. You must account for it when picking October prime time games.

Pittsburgh and San Diego (sorry, Pirates and Padres fans, but let's just be real here) and Tennessee and Indy are perfect picks.

But the Jets (in Miami) and the Giants (hosting Arizona) when we could have two New York baseball teams in the playoffs? Washington is a great play, but a game against the Eagles on a late October MNF game? And you are playing with fire by scheduling the Bears and Vikings.

Schedule Green Bay more than once in October. And Dallas, Carolina, Baltimore (the MLB's Orioles are a current non-factor) and New Orleans should always play in October on prime time.

9. Raider Nation

Coaches don't love starting the season solely against division foes. You are still figuring out who you are.

Well, Tom Cable's Oakland Raiders don't get to ease into anything.

They play the Chargers in prime time on MNF to start the season. Then they visit Kansas City and host the Broncos.

Cable was tickled with how the Raiders finished strong last season. It's not hyperbole to say we will learn everything about a potential carryover in the first month of the season.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 15, 2009

Baltimore Ravens News

News » Schein's Nine: Ranting on the '09 NFL schedule

Schein's Nine: Ranting on the '09 NFL schedule

Schein's Nine: Ranting on the '09 NFL schedule
I absolutely live for "Schedule Tuesday" in the NFL.

You play with wins and losses in your head.


We've got the full week-by-week listings for all the big NFL games on FOX this season. Click here to take a scroll through Weeks 1 through 17.

Also see:
• MARVEZ: Best games of every week
• SCHEIN: Schedule kudos and rants
• Titans and Steelers kick off season
• Check your favorite team's games

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