NFL sheds light on bye-week scheduling quirks


Every year, a small handful of teams has legitimate complaints about the number of games played against teams emerging from a bye week.

This year, the Eagles face four teams who had two weeks to prepare to face Philly.  Including this week, as the Eagles and Falcons square off a week after their respective byes.

The NFL has addressed the situation, providing and explanation to regarding the overall approach to factoring bye weeks into the entire 256-game schedule.

“Beginning in 2010, we began to focus specifically on ROAD games vs teams coming off their byes as that had proven to be a competitive disadvantage (.388 win pct in 2003-2009 as opposed to .426 for all road teams in those years), and have limited each team to a maximum of 2 road games per season vs a team coming off their bye,” the league said.

Of the Eagles’ four games against teams emerging from the bye week, the Eagles are on the road for two of them — Week Five at Pittsburgh and Week 11 at Washington.  This year, two other teams have two road games each against teams emerging from their bye week:  the Packers and the Bills.

The league also considers recent history.  While acknowledging that the Eagles received the “short straw” in 2012, the NFL pointed out to that the Eagles faced only two teams after a bye in 2011, one team after a bye in 2010, and none in 2009.

Of course, none of that helps the Eagles in 2012, especially with coach Andy Reid coaching for his job.  And with the Eagles having lost to the first two post-bye teams they’ve faced (the Steelers and the Lions), losses to the Falcons this week and the Redskins next month would result in half of the eight losses needed to get Reid fired coming from the four games played against teams who had extra time to get ready to face Reid’s team.

24 responses to “NFL sheds light on bye-week scheduling quirks

  1. Would this be an issue if the Ealges had a better record? The Falcons a few other teams had the same issue last year. The only way around this issue is to give all teams a BYE the same week.

  2. What’s worse is the Falcon’s schedule this year. They play home and away throughout the year.One week home, the next away doesn’t give the team a normal break of a couple of games at home.This is a serious disadvantage.

  3. Lets pretend you’re a businessman. Any business will do. Now, to make it “fair” for all your employees, close your business for a full week so your employees can have a vacation. Just close up shop! Seem ridiculous? Then stop saying the NFL should shut down for a week. It’s stupid. The bye week was created so the owners can have another week of revenue. Every decision is made based upon revenue. And it is working just fine.

  4. Aside from the 4 bye’s, there are two other games where the opponent is coming off a Thursday game, so there’s extra rest there. In addition, they have a stretch where they play 4 games in 17 days or something.

    Baltimore went through that earlier in the season and it’s possible they paid the price physically. The last thing Philly needs is to excuse away their play but its a tough sched nonetheless.

  5. With the home team now at 6-1 in Thursday Night Football (and the one loss coming in the season opener, so it wasn’t played on three days of rest) you have to wonder if the league will apply the same “winning percentage is lower, we need to change something” type of logic to Thursday night scheduling.

  6. With Vick at QB and Reid calling plays, the Eagles are pretty much screwed no matter if opponents are coming off a bye or not.
    I think the bigger issue is teams are at a disadvantage if they have an early bye. As the season goes on, more and more players get banged up. So teams that have a bye later are able to get their players healthy for the second half of the season. I think the league should give every team a bye in week 8. But this will NEVER happen, because the NFL would have a bye week from making money.

  7. Make Bye teams play eachother on the week after the Bye. I’m sure that can be done. They can also be scheduled to play On Thursday night just after their Bye. This will give them two mini Byes instead of one, and will eliminate the issues with short week that Thursday match brings.

  8. 4 of the Eagles 6 division games include
    Giants on 10 days rest
    Redskins off bye
    Cowboys both games the Eagles are coming off Monday night games and 1 the Cowboys are on 10 days rest
    That’s brutal for 2/3 of division games
    Good Luck Andy

  9. 2 bye weeks total fixes the problem. 1 for week 8 and the other week 9. All AFC one week and all NFC the other. swap weeks each year. no more advantage for anybody, especially division rivals with byes in week 5 and week 9. thursday games add a wrinkle but it is doable without any impact other than tv rights for those two weeks. I’m sure fox and cbs can share games those two sundays

  10. Heres a thought, why wont the nfl give every team a bye week mid season that way everybody take their byes at the same time. I don’t think one week of no football will hurt anything. The thing I don’t like is when teams have byes in week 4, so early in the season then their stuck playing 12 straight weeks.

  11. I like the idea of all teams having a bye the same week. Maybe the week there is a Sunday World Series game.

    What I hate are the Thursday night games. Get rid of those. Talk about an unfair advantage. This season all the Thursday night road teams have lost. Remember Dallas beat the Giants but that was the first game of the season and on a Wednesday.

  12. oh no…dont give the eagles any excuses! We’ll never hear the end of it! What goes around comes around…its just your turn…move on!

  13. To appease the business side of football, and to make it as fair for all teams as possible. spread the byes over 4 weeks (8-11, for example). 8 teams off each week. That way, no one has a real huge disadvantage of having a bye after just 3 or 4 games played, and the NFL still has 12 games each week to put on TV during that stretch. 1 Thursday game, 1 Sunday night game, 1 Monday Night game, and still 9 left for Sunday.

  14. But what about the “recent history” when it comes to getting second meetings vs. division rivals at home? The Eagles have not had at least two out of three second meetings within the NFC East at home in any season since 2005 – and had all three of them on the road in 2006!

    And why does this matter? Because since 1997, teams losing a first meeting to a division rival at home have won the rematch on the road only 33.4% of the time. All other road teams over the same period have won at a 42.3% rate.

  15. Fly Eagles Fly! Sing your song when winning, cry about everything when losing. That whole organization as well as the fans are horrible. You loved mcnabb then hated him, loved Cobb then hated him, love Vick and after this week will hate him. It’s like the great play calling from Reid, nobody has a clue. Love seeing them eagle Vick jerseys on fans. Always brings a smile knowing your QB is worse than mine and didn’t waste 100 mil looking stupid in the process. Empty trophy case with the turnover machine!! Hahahahaha

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