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 PhillyMag.com 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 PhillyMag.com 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.