NFL should avoid matching teams that played on Thursday and Monday

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Last week, the Rams and 49ers played on Thursday, and the Cowboys and Cardinals played on Monday. Today, each of the teams that had 10 days between games played one of the teams that had only six.

The Rams, who had extra rest, beat the short-week Cowboys in Dallas. The 49ers, who had extra week, pushed the short-week Cardinals to the limit in overtime.

It’s an odd quirk in the schedule that played out earlier this year, when the Patriots opened the season on a Thursday, the Saints played on Monday night, and the two teams got together on Sunday.

Yes, there are plenty of actual and perceived inequities in the scheduling process. Sure, it’s difficult if not impossible to account for all of the various permutations when picking the proper spots for 256 regular-season games. But this seems like a factor that could be, or at least should be, avoided.

There will always be teams who played on a Sunday facing a team who played on a Thursday; the Cowboys do it again next week, with the Packers on extra rest. And there will always be teams who face a team coming off a bye. But a Sunday game between Thursday-Monday teams seems like something that should be preventable.

19 responses to “NFL should avoid matching teams that played on Thursday and Monday

  1. Simple. Get rid of Thursday games except for Thanksgiving. I enjoy them as a fan, but player safety and scheduling problems should be looked at first. But, we know all the NFL is interested in is ratings and exposure.

  2. Teams that play on Thursaday should be the teams coming off a bye week. Thursday night games can start when the bye week starts.

  3. I love Thursday Night Football! Keep it! They are usually some of the more unpredictable games throughout the year.

  4. It’s so simple, only the NFL could screw it up. Here it is: except for opening thursday night, no thursday night football until week 5. Every thursday matchup features 2 teams coming off a bye. You extend the season to 18 weeks (still play 16 games), giving each team TWO bye weeks. How does the NFL make up lost ad revenue from no thursday football in weeks 2-4?A new tradition begins with Saturday Night Football the last 3 weekends of the season. No college ball to compete with in December, and who wouldn’t watch a potentially great primetime matchup the night before football Sunday? Just make me commissioner and I’ll get to work on implementing this.

  5. Interestingly, the Cowboys had to face this same thing with the Packers two years ago as well. Twice in three years, plus getting the extra-rested Packers the very next week after this sort of matchup this season? It’s almost like the league is getting on Dallas for something…

  6. No kidding 3 extra days of preparation, rest & healing is an advantage. I’m curious to know winning percentage of teams coming off that extra rest playing a team with 7 days versus regular winning percentage. You could compare that over the whole NFL or how often a team wins with extra days against the rest of their fixtures.

    Some coaches, like Andy Reid, are incredible after Bye weeks. 10 days isn’t quite the same, but I think it’s the extra prep the coaches do that makes a huge difference. If there’s any sort of discrepancy, then the NFL needs to seriously figure out a way to marginalize that advantage. I know as a Bills fan it seems like they always get several teams coming off bye weeks every year. Maybe other teams do to and it’s an obvious disadvantage.

  7. Give me a break. What’s next? Teams coming off a bye must only play other teams coming off a bye? I understand that it’s a physical game, but that doesn’t stop NHL players. I wish that this was all we had to moan about in today’s world. They’re paid millions, most of us are not. I won’t be worrying for them.

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