2011 NFL Schedule Set Up For Divisional Rivalries To Decide Playoffs

After loading up latter end of the 2010 schedule with divisional rivalry games produced plenty of pre-playoffs drama, the NFL has decided to keep the practice going in its 2011 schedule. Every team plays a divisional opponent in Week 17, meaning we could get to enjoy another NFC West championship game between two sub-.500 teams. 

While some are likely to end up as duds (Bills-Patriots, Steelers-Browns, Lions-Packers) based on 2010 and common sense, there are still a few that any NFL fan should go ahead and circle.

The Atlanta Falcons may need a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to defend their 2010 NFC South crown. The Bucs, you'll recall, should've also made the playoffs last season, but were forced out due to that aforementioned NFC West.

The potentially wide-open AFC West could see its champ crowned in the game between the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders, while the equally unpredictable NFC East could come down to the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants.

Keep an eye on the Indianapolis Colts' game against the Jacksonville Jaguars as well. You'll recall that until late in the 2010 season, it looked like the Jags might be able to hang on and end the Colts reign of terror in the AFC South. 

Of course this is the NFL, so the biggest game will probably end up being Titans-Texans somehow.

For more NFL football, visit SB Nation's NFL hub. For a community devoted to your team, browse our list of 32 NFL team blogs. And for more analysis, check out SB Nation's team-by-team 2011 NFL schedule breakdown Wednesday at 8 am ET.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.