NFC West gets pass on early kickoffs

SEATTLE -- NFC West teams play only late games Sunday or the prime-time game Monday, leaving those on the West Coast little reason to renew old complaints.

I'll reproduce an updated version of a chart I've been running periodically on the blog. The concept is becoming a little outdated in one sense: There's little reason to differentiate between 10 a.m. PT kickoffs at St. Louis or elsewhere because the Rams are competitive.

The Arizona Cardinals play an early game at Carolina in Week 15. The San Francisco 49ers face the Green Bay Packers (Week 13) and Rams (Week 16) in early games. The Seattle Seahawks play an early kickoff at Tampa Bay in Week 16, but they are six games into a nine-game stretch without a 10 a.m. PT kickoff.

Seattle won at Chicago in an early kickoff this season. The Cardinals and 49ers are a combined 0-6 as visitors in early kickoffs. Both teams have issues transcending time, of course, but teams based in the West have complained about having to play earlier than their body's internal clocks would prefer. An early kickoff can mean 5 a.m. PT wake up calls on game days.

2005-2010 Road Records for West Coast teams

A quick look at early kickoffs for Western teams this season:

  • San Francisco (5): Games against Kansas City (Week 3), Atlanta (Week 4), Carolina (Week 7), Green Bay (Week 13) and St. Louis (Week 16) were scheduled for 10 a.m. PT. The 49ers also had a 10 a.m. PT game at London in Week 8. I have excluded that one.

  • Arizona (4): Games against Atlanta (Week 2), Minnesota (Week 9), Kansas City (Week 11) and Carolina (Week 15) were scheduled for early kickoffs.

  • Oakland (4): Games against Tennessee (Week 1), Pittsburgh (Week 11), Jacksonville (Week 14) and Kansas City (17) begin at 10 a.m. PT.

  • Seattle (3): Games against St. Louis (Week 4), Chicago (Week 6) and Tampa Bay (Week 16) were schduled at 10 a.m. PT.

  • San Diego (2): Games against St. Louis (Week 6) and Houston (Week 9) featured early kickoffs.