The 2007-2008 season is officially over (Pro Bowl is merely for entertainment's sake).
For those of you that are Cleveland Indians fans, perhaps you've taken some joy in the sudden downfall of Boston teams the past few days. On Sunday, the Patriots lost the Super Bowl to the New York Giants. Last night, the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Boston Celtics at The Q, improving to 2-1 against them on the season. One thing stands out about the Boston teams still though: they are in the spotlight. Cleveland teams have approached that spotlight over the past year, but have come up short.
-The Indians barely missed making the World Series.
-The Cavs were a disappointment in the NBA Finals.
-The Browns undeservedly missed the postseason.
With all of that promise comes recognition. We've already seen part of that displayed with six Browns being named to the Pro Bowl. Next year, the recognition should progress into at least two prime time games. Could one of those games be against one of the NFC's finest?
By virtue of the New York Giants winning last night, the Cleveland Browns will be guaranteed a home game against the defending Super Bowl Champions this season. When Derek Anderson took over the starting role last season, the Browns went undefeated at home. On the same note, the Giants were a miraculous 12-0 on the road last season. The league seems to be in love with broadcasting the Giants, Colts, Cowboys, and Patriots in prime time. The maximum amount of prime time games a team can have in a season is six. The Giants had five prime time games last season when they weren't even considered Super Bowl contenders.
Therefore, there's potentially already a 37.5% chance that the Browns will face the Giants in prime time (including flex games potential). Last season, 25% of the Giants' AFC games were shown in prime time. The team they faced, the Patriots, had a winning record (so do the Browns). The Colts, the defending Super Bowl champions last season, had two of their games against NFC teams in prime time (one against a winner, one against a loser).
I would've suggested the slight chance of the Browns facing the Giants in the first game of the NFL season, but that's not going to happen. Every year the past several seasons, the Super Bowl champions have opened up the season at home. Although technically, you can make a case that their advantage does come on the road.
So, here's the big question: let's assume the Browns have a maximum of two prime time games this season. Who would you like to see those games come against? And, do you think the Browns would be too humbled to face the Giants in prime time, and may perform better in the daytime?
(For reference, here are the Browns' opponents this season):
HOME: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants
AWAY: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins