Another divisional round, another Saturday home game for the Patriots

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It’s an NFL tradition unlike any other.

For the sixth time in seven years, the Patriots will be hosting a divisional-round playoff game on a Saturday. The only time they haven’t since 2011 happened in 2012, when the Texans visited New England in the late-afternoon Sunday game.

Most of the games (2011 vs. Broncos, 2013 vs. Colts, 2016 vs. Texans, 2017 vs. Titans) have landed in the Saturday night slot. Two of them (2014 vs. Ravens and 2015 vs. Chiefs) started late Saturday afternoon.

With the conference championship games always landing on a Sunday, the AFC team that wins on Saturday has a one-day advantage over the AFC team that wins on Sunday. Last year, the advantage became even more pronounced when weather nudged Pittsburgh’s game at Kansas City from 1:00 p.m. ET to Sunday night.

We spotted those a–holes a day and a half,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said of the Patriots in the infamous Facebook Live video shot in the locker room after the win over the Chiefs. “They played yesterday, our game got moved to tonight. We’re going to touch down at 4 o’clock in the f–king morning. So be it. We’ll be ready for their ass.”

The Steelers may have been ready, but the Patriots won when the game was played the following Sunday.

The league schedules playoff games based on a variety of factors, and everyone with a stake in the situation lobbies for the day and time they want. Sometimes they get it, sometimes they don’t.

Regardless, playing on Saturday always provides a potential advantage in advance of the conference title game, since it provides more time for preparation, recovery, and travel.

27 responses to “Another divisional round, another Saturday home game for the Patriots

  1. “Regardless, playing on Saturday always provides a potential advantage in advance of the conference title game, since it provides more time for preparation, recovery, and travel.”

    The only thing it provides for a top seed is more recovery time. Neither one or two seeds travel for divisional games and there’s no jump on preparation since the opponent is unknown.

  2. Maybe there is a mathematical equation behind it I’m it aware of but I always thought the overall #1 seed gets the earlier (Saturday) game as opposed to Sunday.

  3. I’d love to see the New England Cheaters go down this round, but there is no way that the worst team in the playoffs beats a team that has perfected cheating.

    I seriously don’t know how the Titans made it to the playoffs, but there are seriously flawed and have NO QB.

  4. Isn’t it as simple as the the two top seeds (AFC and NFC) get the advantage of the Saturday games? I don’t know what the current criteria are, but it would make sense.

    Or maybe Tomlin knows more about this than I do. Maybe.

  5. The Steelers weren’t ready last year, they were laughed out of Gillette Stadium b/c they forgot to cover Chris Hogan. Plus, Bell took most of the game off b/c he realized he was only making $49,000 for the game and if he got injured there goes his unrestricted FA payday. He ran to the phone in the locker room, called his agent and forced him to yell, “Show Me The Money”!

  6. If anything the team that plays on Sunday has the preparation advantage. You would think you would have grasped that concept by now since you started beating this dead horse a few years ago.

  7. There it is in black and white. NE lobbying places its team in advantageous position to win the AFC. Where is fairness in competition if NE has the upper hand 6 out of 7 times? And the NFL wonders why fans are walking away from the game?

  8. This whole Patriots chronology would already be incredibly impressive, unprecedented..if it weren’t still unfolding.

    I grew up with Grogan. I suffered through 46-10. I saw the Patriots have a lead in SB XXXI. I thought that might be as close as we ever got. And then….

  9. This has nothing to do with seeding. It is the NFL’s call with the strong suggestion of the networks.

    It is certainly an advantage to have an extra day, particularly when the team with the extra day does not have to travel and the team with one less day does have to travel.

    It does give the Pats the ability to actually watch their opponent’s game on Sun and then immediately start working on gameplans.

    You can debate how big of an advantage it is, but it is an advantage. One that should not be given out on such a regular basis.

  10. If it isn’t based on seeding, then it’s probably based on television network ratings. (a good journalist could probably find this out for us easily, just saying) Either way, if a team wants to play on Saturday in prime time, all they have to do is be better and more popular.

  11. Ok. If NE wins they get an extra day to prepare for the AFC championship.
    But then Pitt and Jax have an extra day to prepare for their divisional game compared to NE and TN.

    It’s whining about nothing.
    Why are we so soft that we whine about little things?

  12. Just read a little piece in the Boston Globe called “Except for Chiefs, coast is pretty clear for Patriots in AFC playoffs.” So there it is, New England’s answer to the Steelers making those New Orleans Super Bowl reservations back in 2001 which chowderheads mocked so much. And look, 17 years later here YOU are doing it!

    Yep, Chiefs lost, so now there’s nobody left to stop the Patriots. Might as well book your tickets to Minnesota now. The Patriots are a lock, why even play the games? Just hand the Lombardi to Brady and let’s be done with it.

  13. screamingyellowzonkers says:
    January 13, 2018 at 7:56 am

    Ok. If NE wins they get an extra day to prepare for the AFC championship.
    But then Pitt and Jax have an extra day to prepare for their divisional game compared to NE and TN.

    It’s whining about nothing.
    Why are we so soft that we whine about little things?
    —————————–

    I don’t think you get this. The division winners already had the entire bye week to rest, so one more day off isn’t much of an advantage to either the Steelers or Patriots.

    But the extra day off IS a nice advantage for the division winner if they win Saturday Night. Again, why do you think the Patriots would bother lobbying for that Saturday game? So once again we have the darling Patriots getting a cheap cheesy gift from the NFL.

  14. Ultraviolet Thunder says:
    January 12, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    I’d love to see the New England Cheaters go down this round, but there is no way that the worst team in the playoffs beats a team that has perfected cheating.

    —————————————————————————
    When someone has zero understanding of the game of football…they always seem to believe that “cheating” determines who wins footballs games. The other stuff is just too complicated to consider.

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