While the late start on Sunday gives Pats fans extra time to get “lubed up,” it gives the Chargers extra time to do something far more important.
In 2011, the Chargers will play only one game that kicks off at 10:00 a.m. local time, as recently pointed out by the San Diego Union-Tribune. It’s the fewest early starts they’ve had in at least 15 years.
“Good, that’s how it should be,” safety Eric Weddle told the Union-Tribune. “[Games at] 10 a.m. are the worst. I don’t care what anyone says. Just your body, mentality, physically, you’re just not up. It takes you a quarter, and that’s a huge advantage whether you can get down or if you can maintain just staying even with team. You know the records . . . not just us. Everyone.”
In the past five years, teams based in the Pacific time zone have won 35 and lost 74 games that start at 1:00 p.m. ET.
This year, the other four West Coast teams play at least five 10:00 a.m. local time games, each.
That will definitely be an issue on Sunday for the Raiders, given that they had a short week after a road game in Denver, and that they’ll be playing at 1:00 p.m. ET in Buffalo.
Also this week, the Seahawks play the Steelers at 1:00 p.m. ET, and the Cardinals play the Redskins at 1:00 p.m. ET. Though we’re not advocating for an increase in 4:05/4:15 p.m. ET starts, at a minimum the West Coast team that has to play an early game on the other side of the country should at least play a home game the prior week — and not be required to play an early game after playing on a Monday night, either home or away.