The NFL undoubtedly hears plenty of complaints from plenty of teams on plenty of issues. Most of those complaints are communicated privately to the league office.
The Bills have opted to take one specific gripe public, via the team’s official website.
The concern arises from one of the apparently unavoidable scheduling quirks — the number of games a given team plays against opponents who have had extra rest, whether from a full-blown bye week or the mini-bye that comes from playing on a Thursday.
As Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com points out, the Bills in 2012 faced four opponents in a five-week span who had extra time to prepare. Buffalo lost three of the four games.
This year, according to an analysis performed by BuffaloBills.com, the Bills lead the league with five games coming against opponents who will have extra rest. It happens twice against the Jets, once against the Dolphins, and against the Bengals and Jaguars.
Brown also points out that the Buffalo bye week has been “compromised” by the fact that the Bills return to play the Falcons, who will be operating on 10 days rest after playing on a Thursday night.
“Compromised” may not be the right word here. The purpose of the bye isn’t to give every team a crack at playing another team that has had only one week to get ready. It’s to give each team one week of extra rest. (Actually, some would say it’s to give the networks one more week of regular-season programming.)
The Bills also have broken down the number of games every other team plays against opponents who receive extra rest. Fourteen teams only have one game against an opponent who gets extra rest. Three, including the Patriots, have zero.
“It’s very difficult to call the NFL a league of parity when there’s one team with half of their division games against clubs with extra time to rest and prepare, while another in the same division has none,” Brown writes. “The league simply has to do better.”
We doubt that doing better is doable, given the various other balls Howard Katz juggles when trying to lay out a plan for 256 regular-season games over a 17-week period. But we’re nevertheless intrigued by the decision of one of the 32 franchises to use its website as the platform for shooting an arrow at the NFL scheduling process.