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All 32 teams will have one short-week game

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The proliferation of Thursday games, which start in Week Two and continue through Week 15, creates a variety of issues and challenges in 2012.

The good news is that, with 16 total Thursday games this season, every team will have one short week.  Every NFL franchise plays once on a Thursday, and none have a bye on the Sunday preceding the game.

One potentially awkward tweak is that, for 10 of the teams that will host the 16 Thursday games, their stadiums will present a pair of games only five days apart.  The Packers, Panthers, Ravens, Rams, 49ers, Vikings, Jaguars, Lions, Cowboys, and Raiders each will see 25 percent of their entire home schedule played 96 hours apart.

The good news for those teams is that they won’t have to travel home on the Sunday preceding the short week, giving them extra time to get ready to play a second game in five days.  And the good news for the 16 visiting teams is that each will have a home game on the Sunday before going on the road for the Thursday game, creating only one travel obligation.

Also, none of the teams playing on Thursday will be required to make a cross-country flight on a short week, a fact about which 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh complained when having to go to Baltimore on Thanksgiving night last season.

The most fair approach would be to have the 16 teams hosting Thursday games to play on the road the preceding Sunday, which would require both teams to spend part of the limited prep time to traveling.

Still, the current approach — with all Thursday road teams playing at home the prior Sunday — is much more fair than it used to be, when some Thursday road teams had to travel home from a road game on Sunday before traveling again for a second game only four days later.

The full schedule of Thursday games appears after the jump.

Week Two:  Bears at Packers.

Week Three:  Giants at Panthers.

Week Four:  Browns at Ravens.

Week Five:  Cardinals at Rams.

Week Six:  Steelers at Titans.

Week Seven:  Seahawks at 49ers.

Week Eight:  Buccaneers at Vikings.

Week Nine:  Chiefs at Chargers.

Week 10:  Colts at Jaguars.

Week 11:  Dolphins at Bills.

Week 12:  Texans at Lions, Redskins at Cowboys, Patriots at Jets.

Week 13:  Saints at Falcons.

Week 14:  Broncos at Raiders.

Week 15:  Bengals at Eagles.

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35 Responses to “All 32 teams will have one short-week game”
  1. jrfrom508 says: Apr 17, 2012 7:39 PM

    19-0 New England

  2. trbowman says: Apr 17, 2012 7:39 PM

    I laughed at the Jets having four primetime games. Of course the NFL can’t wait to put that market and Inspector Gadget on primetime.

  3. mjbulls45 says: Apr 17, 2012 7:41 PM

    raiders are chillin at home the entire month of December,

    nice west coast weather,

    must wins.

  4. sickcuz says: Apr 17, 2012 7:42 PM

    They don’t know when to quit…i hate Thursday night games….fast forward to 18 game schedule…will they need 4 new teams so all 36 teams get a short week too?

  5. myleathasosoft says: Apr 17, 2012 7:43 PM

    Can’t wait for the season to begin!!!

  6. mannynh says: Apr 17, 2012 7:44 PM

    Trying to make the schedules work for everyone and making everyone happy (which is impossible) must be a very difficult task. Lets give the NFL some credit for putting together a schedule thats as fair as it can be for all teams..

  7. northernwisc says: Apr 17, 2012 7:45 PM

    Seriously? The Cowboys play 6 of their first 9 games on the road? Nothing like stacking the deck against them……

  8. skin94249 says: Apr 17, 2012 7:48 PM

    Still digesting it all !

  9. kremis says: Apr 17, 2012 7:56 PM

    How about getting the NFL Network on Time Warner Cable!!!!!!!

  10. therealjr says: Apr 17, 2012 7:56 PM

    And courtesy of byes and Thursday games, there are now several weeks with two 4pm games and the norm is probably about three.

    Does it really take a genius to realize that 10 games at 1pm and two or three at 4pm is NOT OPTIMAL?

  11. steelybills says: Apr 17, 2012 8:03 PM

    @northernwisc…What about the final 7 games?? seems like an ADVANTAGE to have a stretch run full of home games.

  12. genericuser8888 says: Apr 17, 2012 8:04 PM

    I’ve been looking at the Saints schedule… so, they have an early bye week, and two short weeks (both against division rivals near the end of the season), and the bye week is scheduled so that it extends Mickey Loomis and Joe Vitt’s suspension.

    Wow. NFL doing everything it can to make the club uncompetitive this year.

  13. sportsinhd says: Apr 17, 2012 8:07 PM

    Late(r) season Thursday Night Games were kind of special, the Thursday Night Theme was nearly a Christmas Carol in my house. Playing games on Thursdays all the way through takes away everything that made those games unique. Not a fan of this at all. Will I watch? Certainly, and it’s even easier to do so when you live on the West Coast (work be damned), but I’m not thrilled about it.

  14. AB in DC says: Apr 17, 2012 8:10 PM

    But two teams also have that Wednesday night game for week 1

  15. drumnw says: Apr 17, 2012 8:11 PM

    too bad i can’t watch any of them…thank you time warner

  16. gadgetdawg says: Apr 17, 2012 8:26 PM

    Now all they have to do is move the Thursday night games to a network that can do better than a couple million viewers and everything will be awesome.

  17. nineroutsider says: Apr 17, 2012 8:36 PM

    Nothing worse than the Thursday games; the players look sore and sloppy and the games aren’t crisp. Plus, they do us married NFL fans no favors, the wife can handle Sunday and Monday, but Thursday throws her into the red. I have to do my best Samuel L Jackson impersonation and say “b@tch be cool” which doesn’t work for me as well as it did for him.

  18. gcsuk says: Apr 17, 2012 8:36 PM

    In the interest of parity, the league should make the Patriots play all 16 games of their games in 16 days. With that cupcake of a schedule they have been handed AGAIN (yeah, I know it’s determined in advance), that’s the only way they might lose a game.

    Oh wait…I forgot. They’ll lose to the Giants in SB 47.

  19. gurudougiemac says: Apr 17, 2012 8:44 PM

    This is going to make fantasy waiver wire a nightmare.

  20. steelersaresuperiorineveryway6welookdownandlaugh says: Apr 17, 2012 8:50 PM

    The league is determined to stunt the Steelers’ greatness from reaching an even larger margin. While we understand this tactic, we have come to resent it. We have done well to overcome this adversity winning two SBs under this regime of manipulation. The threat the Steelers impose on the league grows annually, however.

    Nothing can keep the Steelers down. We prepare for wars while at peace, topple nations, and exterminate the populace. We’ve laid the groundwork for this game. We’ve taught lesser mortals what’s right and wrong. We will never tolerate authority over this game that is greater than our own. Rising from the sabotage attempts from the league, the Steeler Nation has decided that we will not ignore it any longer.

    After defeating the league (and the sabotage attempts in place) this one last time to earn Lombardi number seven we will cross our glory to its proper ascended path, the Steeler Football League. This league will arrive with just the Steelers in all its glory. The league will have eight teams to start. The current Steelers will be drafted to these teams equally. Players from the tainted NFL, once deemed pure and worthy, will be allowed to sign with teams via supplemental draft in order to fill roster spots. Coaches and personnel will follow the same procedures.

    There will be an overhaul of the rules that the tainted NFL uses. The idea is to bring back REAL football. Rules that make the run game relevant again. Rules that don’t overprotect the QB. Recent subtle rules will be eliminated as well. Refs will be required to have at least played football on the collegiate level.

    We provide this to the peasants because we are extremely gracious. We will be announcing our new sacrifice shrine sometime mid-august this year. We appreciate your patience. We respect that many fans want the Steelers gone because of our overwhelming dominance. We thank you for your feedback and we see your position. This is clearly the best propostion for all parties. You may all go back to river of tears, while we sail the 7 seas. Whoa.

  21. bigbillsfan says: Apr 17, 2012 9:14 PM

    The “HOMER” statement on this page New England 19 – 0. LOL!!

  22. musicman495 says: Apr 17, 2012 9:21 PM

    Player safety is Job One, Right Roger?

  23. bigbadal21 says: Apr 17, 2012 9:41 PM

    I am a Styeeler fan and I am embarrassed by>steelersaresuperiorineveryway6welookdownandlaugh posts

  24. akezmoh says: Apr 17, 2012 9:42 PM

    Dude, Im a Steeler Fan and you are WACKO

    steelersaresuperiorineveryway6welookdownandlaugh says: Apr 17, 2012 8:50 PM

    The league is determined to stunt the Steelers’ greatness from reaching an even larger margin. While we understand this tactic, we have come to resent it. We have done well to overcome this adversity winning two SBs under this regime of manipulation. The threat the Steelers impose on the league grows annually, however.

    Nothing can keep the Steelers down. We prepare for wars while at peace, topple nations, and exterminate the populace. We’ve laid the groundwork for this game. We’ve taught lesser mortals what’s right and wrong. We will never tolerate authority over this game that is greater than our own. Rising from the sabotage attempts from the league, the Steeler Nation has decided that we will not ignore it any longer.

    After defeating the league (and the sabotage attempts in place) this one last time to earn Lombardi number seven we will cross our glory to its proper ascended path, the Steeler Football League. This league will arrive with just the Steelers in all its glory. The league will have eight teams to start. The current Steelers will be drafted to these teams equally. Players from the tainted NFL, once deemed pure and worthy, will be allowed to sign with teams via supplemental draft in order to fill roster spots. Coaches and personnel will follow the same procedures.

    There will be an overhaul of the rules that the tainted NFL uses. The idea is to bring back REAL football. Rules that make the run game relevant again. Rules that don’t overprotect the QB. Recent subtle rules will be eliminated as well. Refs will be required to have at least played football on the collegiate level.

    We provide this to the peasants because we are extremely gracious. We will be announcing our new sacrifice shrine sometime mid-august this year. We appreciate your patience. We respect that many fans want the Steelers gone because of our overwhelming dominance. We thank you for your feedback and we see your position. This is clearly the best propostion for all parties. You may all go back to river of tears, while we sail the 7 seas. Whoa.

  25. b3nz0z says: Apr 17, 2012 9:46 PM

    another step towards pay per view

  26. cooklynn17 says: Apr 17, 2012 9:53 PM

    jrfrom508 says: Apr 17, 2012 7:39 PM

    19-0 New England
    ——————————————————-
    That’s because their not playing the Giants.

    New England is the Giants Bitch, now bend over and take it twice Bitches.

  27. mcjon22 says: Apr 17, 2012 10:20 PM

    GARBAGE THURSDAY NIGHT SCHEDULE! Why is it one decent team vs. one horrible team half the time? And who’s really going to watch INDY vs. Jacksonville besides Indy and Jacksonville? Plus, those announcers are God awful. It’s the equivalent of finger nails down a chalk board. It’s horrible.

  28. skleech22 says: Apr 17, 2012 10:31 PM

    Wow! The Patriots schedule is set up nicely again for them this year!! Bobby must be paying the big bucks to these schedule makers!! What The Patriots Cheat???? NEVER!!!!

  29. illad3lph1a says: Apr 17, 2012 11:12 PM

    Eagles schedule is away home away for every single week but 1. That hasmt happens in a long time that’s for sure

  30. hound32 says: Apr 17, 2012 11:40 PM

    i have sorry as Time Warner cable as well which means no Thursday night football here either ..they didn’t do the Browns any favours having the third hardest schedule in the league . the football Gods hate us !

  31. randallflagg52 says: Apr 18, 2012 12:12 AM

    You know even as a Raven fan I kinda agree with that idiot steeler fan’s idea for a true football league. Get the game back to it’s true roots and all.

    Except he is of course an idiot steeler fan…

  32. axtionsaxon says: Apr 18, 2012 12:26 AM

    Hey, steelersaresuperiorineveryway6welookdownandlaugh…

    Elway called. Said: “It took all of 13 seconds and 80 yards to send the Steelers home crying. Look for the same in week one.”

  33. xx4zu1 says: Apr 18, 2012 12:45 AM

    Why not give both teams a bye the week before instead of having them have to travel install a game plan and recover in 96 hours?

  34. zaggs says: Apr 18, 2012 8:41 AM

    So the Giants get the hardest schedule, but the Patriots and Packers get two of the easiest. Yeah, thats fair.

  35. nyc187 says: Apr 18, 2012 9:26 PM

    TIME WARNER CABLE CUSTOMERS, we need to do something about not having the NFL Network on!! it’s ridiculous. Everyone should write a “nice” letter to their corporate office everyday for the next 5 months.

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