As the NFL’s Thursday night schedule continues to grow in popularity and scope, so does the edge for the home teams in those games.
That’s why Seattle’s late fade last night shouldn’t necessarily be a surprise, as road teams are at a decided disadvantage in midweek.
According to Mike Garafolo of USA Today, road teams are winning just 36.4 percent of the time on Thursday Night Football.
The Giants’ Week Three victory at Carolina is the only Thursday road win this year, and road teams are 20-35 since the league began Thursday broadcasts in 2006. That includes Thanksgiving games, but doesn’t count season openers so as to keep the short-week numbers consistent.
Overall, road teams win at a 43.2 percent clip over the past six seasons.
The biggest concern is for players coming off injuries. Giants wideout Hakeem Nicks said he’d have likely played against his hometown team if the game had been on Sunday, but he didn’t make the trip. Similarly, Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley didn’t play last Thursday with what was believed to be a minor hamstring strain.
Is it a hassle? Yes. But until the league expands the year to include extra bye weeks, or expands rosters it’s a problem teams are going to have to learn to live with.