What’s wrong with Thursday Night Football?

Four short-week games have been played this season, and not a single one has been very good to watch.

The Ravens beat the Steelers, 26-6.  The Falcons blasted the Bucs, 56-14.  The Giants won in Washington, 45-14.  And last night the Packers pummeled the Purple Paste Eaters, 42-10.

So what’s wrong with Thursday Night Football?  It’s still possible that it’s simply the luck of the draw, and that these games would have been snoozers on a Sunday, too.  With anywhere from 10 to 13 other games played on every given Sunday, bad games don’t stand out the same way they do when there’s only one game to watch, to discuss, to debate, and ultimately to criticize.

If the blowouts continue, however, it will be time to look more carefully at the potential causes.  It could be that any gaps in talent become more pronounced when the two teams have less time to prepare.  It also could be that injuries that otherwise would have healed by Sunday result in something other than the best players being available, like last night when Teddy Bridgewater wasn’t able to suit up for the Vikings.

It ultimately could be that consistently expecting teams to play with only three days off between games isn’t the best way to get the most competitive contests.

Regardless of whether it’s the start of a trend or a fart in the wind, Thursday Night Football is going nowhere.  With the NFL now the only property capable of delivering a live eight-figure audience on a consistent basis, the short-week games will continue — and the networks will continue to throw money at the NFL for the privilege of televising the games.

CBS secured the right to do so for this year.  Next year and beyond, the games could be on NBC.  The quality of the games won’t matter, as long as the games continue to deliver the eyeballs.

But if the short-week games still stink, this is one stooge who won’t stay silent and/or gripe about how people from networks who didn’t win the contract are making snarky remarks about the poor quality of play.  Absent honest complaints about the problems with Thursday Night Football, the product could deteriorate to the point that the eyeballs find something else to eyeball.

212 responses to “What’s wrong with Thursday Night Football?

  1. Why is it that I could pick games that will be great matchups but people that do this for a living cannot? Did anyone think the Vikings were going to play the Packers tough on the road?

    If you *had* to pick this matchup, at least pick the Minnesota home game.

  2. Colts v Texans should be solid next week, but the problem is somewhere between scheduling bad matchups and the short week, where squads aren’t at 100%.

  3. I haven’t looked at the conference schedules or anything close enough to be sure that this is even a logical suggestion, but the first thing that pops into my mind is to make sure the matchups involve teams that are both coming off of their bye weeks.

  4. I hate Thursday night games… The ratings would be so much better if these bad games were mixed in with Sundays where I am in football watching mode. I would still flip back and forth between all the games even if they were bad.

  5. The problem with Thursday games is that every NFL team has to play one. This sets up poor divisional match-ups to watch.

    The NFL is also too chicken to sacrifice one of the better games on the schedule for a Thursday game as well (I.E. Broncos vs. Patriots)

  6. Yup, I usually plan my Thursdays around watching the game, but last night I watched about 20 minutes, then switched to baseball. In this case I think this game game would have been terrible no matter what, but the other games all should have been good. Next weeks game should be good. So we will see

  7. Detroit sucked for YEARS on Thanksgiving, but nobody blamed it on the short week. Everybody just knew that the team was horrible.

    Same problem with the Vikings last night, and the Redskins last week, and the Bucs the week before.

  8. What’s wrong? They try to put division games on, so teams don’t have to travel far. The problem? Poor teams, like the Bucs, Skins, Steelers, & Vikings can’t keep up with the better teams in their division.

  9. Both teams have the same time to prepare, so it’s not like one team recovers more quickly than the other. And all 4 games have been division rivals, which are generally competitive. So the league has thought about it, they just have had some bad luck.

    But also, the widest audiences have access to the Sunday and Monday night games, which is where the priority lies for the league.

  10. What’s wrong with thursday night football is that it happens. Abnormal prep, abnormal injury recovery. It’ s a a home team cakewalk every time, AND I don’t have thursday nights off so I don’t get to watch the games. Get rid of it!!!

  11. I think the blowouts are more a combination of bad luck and bad scheduling. Wash-NY game and GB-Minn featured first year head coaches with backup QBs (on teams that were awful last year) going against established teams with Super Bowl pedigree QBs…so they got blown out.

    Falcons-Bucs, again a first year head coach with a first time in his 10 year career as a regular starter year QB against an established team.

    ravens-Steelers. Well, the Steelers just lost to the Bucs and Mike Glennon so, they aren’t so good right now.

    Anyway, it still baffles me that they don’t schedule the Thurs games to follow team’s bye week and just have multiple games that night.

  12. Cbs is killing the ratings. I love how you make out as if Thursday night football is a bust.

    Yes the games have been one sided, but there has been a lot of lopsided games this year in the league overall.

  13. Watching blowouts is better than no football to me.

    Football season is short, I want to watch as much as I can!

  14. I haven’t watched a single minute of Thursday football this year and I likely won’t for the season. They’re bad games. It’s the wrong night of the week with too much going on.

    If you want another non-Sunday game, make it Friday Night Football. Has a better ring to it and is the official start of the weekend, which is when God intended football to be played.

  15. If the NFL wants viewership, schedule NFL teams and the Vikings don’t qualify. Any team that has adopted a strategy of picking up released players from their division rival shouldn’t be taken seriously much less scheduled for a prime time game.

  16. @bucrightoff – You are 100% correct. The lack of preparation time hurts the quality of play, especially for the visitors. And the lack of recovery time for the players could be responsible for the blow outs as tired visiting teams struggle as the game goes along. I refuse to watch the games.

  17. Everybody knows this was a bad idea, but the NFL decided to grab the cash anyhow. Four days is simply not enough of a recovery period, but player saftey is clearly a back-seat issue. when do we start the 25 game season and 32 team playoffs featuring Tuesday nights in Tokyo with 22 minutes of football action and 4 hours of commercials? That seems to be the flight path.

  18. Nothing says player safety quite like three days of rest. Really, to make this work, you need to start later in the season with teams coming off their bye week. Would make much more sense.

  19. nothing. the vikings suck, the packers are great. the pack played a road game last sunday and the vikings played at home – therefore the “short week” excuse is a lame one at best.

    problem is the matchups have been garbage.

    id be happy if the nfl was on 7 days a week. im sure they could find a way to do it where the teamas that played sunday then played the follwing sunday or monday or tuesday, and it rotated out that way where the least days off youd have is 6.

  20. Short week exposes the weakness in the matchup. Less film work less of a game plan and less competive game is thurs football. How hard would it be to have teams comming off a bye week play on thurs?

  21. It’s Turrible…..not enough to heal up from the prior Sunday, they should start it when bye weeks begin and have teams on prior bye weeks play on the Thursday game

  22. The Thursday night schedule is below par for a single game.

    Have you seen the Thursday night lineup? Who picked these matchups to be on national TV?

  23. What’s wrong with Thursday Night Football??

    Jim Nantz (the Golf-capable-only announcer) is calling games.

    Plus, every team is getting a chance on TNF. Why give chances to the Vikes, Redskins, and teams that can only beat bad ones like the Giants???

    In April for 17 straight days, fans should be allowed to vote for the primetime games. Each week should be voted on each day and the NFL decides which games should be eligible so that no team has primetime games in the same timeslot for consecutive weeks and have more than 4 primetime games.

    Five primetime games is too many for individual teams. We know football better than TV executives and NFL Media TV executive Howard Katz does. TNF can work because Thanksgiving games seem to be fine and they don’t get these kind of complaints. TNF is only held to a quintuple standard because it’s the “unavailable, extra charge network” known as NFL Network running the games.

  24. The problem is that Money is winning out over common sense!

    These guys are human beings that have bodies playing a physically demanding sport. It’s ridiculous that the NFLPA has not put any demand that their players get a minimum of 5 days rest between games.

    Just lunacy!

  25. The problem is simple. Like these power rankings, nfl picks out these matchups that should be marquee when in reality they stink. If they would stop picking teams to be great based on previous season success and do a little homework this will stop. Pregame analyst tell you it will be a blowout. How can the NFL be ignorant to it

  26. Thursday games are garbage. The players aren’t fully healed from the previous Sunday’s game played and it shows. TNF games have NEVER been good. I just stopped watching.

  27. I don’t have stats to back this up, but it seems like there’s been a lot of blowouts in general, not just on Thursdays.

    I think it’s because of the rule changes. Everything is set up so that the offense can score 40 points. It’s exciting, but it allows teams to put points up quick and the games are more likely to get out of hand. When teams average less points, the chances of a close game are much greater.

  28. The only two Thursdays when football should be played are week one and Thanksgiving.

  29. Phil Simms sucks, so that’s probably a good place to start pointing fingers.

    And I wanted to be the first to say it. 😀

  30. Not good for good football games,{good $$$ for the “Ever Hungry NFL Money Machine”} *w/3 London games this year,too!Players are not getting enough rest and eventually the fans will stop watching these TNF -BLOW-OUTS,fans do like competitive games. as a pro football lover my whole life#GOBIGBLUE and as a fan,*fantasy football is only reason people are watching blow-out Thursday,just saying…

  31. Pick between teams that are on a bye week.They would be rested and ready to play.Pick two that would ( on any sunday ) give you a good game.

  32. short week games = bad football.

    I love the idea of primetime football more than anyone, but these Thursday night games are just hard to watch.

    Having 20% of your roster unable to play, that would’ve played if not for the short turnaround is just unfair and also harmful to all players.

  33. You put the Steelers on national TV, in primetime, in front of the Ravens?

    What else are they going to do… take it from the back. That’s the Steelers for you.

  34. San Diego Chargers vs the Denver Mules in three weeks, Oct. 23. This will be a good game. Philip vs Peyton. Supremacy in the AFC West at stake. Possible preview of the AFC Championship Game (though I tend to believe that game will be in Cincinnati). Looking forward to it Donkey fans.

  35. A little more thought into picking each week’s game would be helpful. I recall when Sunday Night Football was starting out. The match ups were not always glamorous, but they seemed to put some thought into getting two teams at the same level. I recall watching several good games that did not involve playoff-bound teams. A bit more difficult since they want each team to play on a Thursday, but put a little effort into it and the game will be worth watching.

  36. A proposed FIX:
    INSTEAD of a bye week, have EVERY TEAM play a thursday night game, with the SUNDAY OFF BEFORE AND AFTER. So each team would have 10 or so days either side of Thursday as 2 “mini-byes”.
    Start Thursday games say week 4, and end say week 14. Thanksgiving we have 3, and you’ll need a couple other double-headers for every team to play Thursday.

    Is it feasible?

  37. hey Mike…. Most of them are grown men! They should be able to handle a “double shift” once or twice a year…lol

  38. Doesn’t every team have to play at least one Thursday night game? I think that’s why you’re going to have a bunch of bad matchups.

    But I think that all points in the article are valid especially the one where a short week in football is really tough on the players and coaches.

  39. The minimum time between games should be 7 days.

    Aside from the start of the season, the only teams playing Thursday night should be the teams coming off of the bye week (week 1 and weeks 4 though Thanksgiving/Week 13).

    That’s ELEVEN Thursday night games.

    If they say they are concerned about health – give them a nice 10 day break in the middle of the season. Get the best players on the field, give teams time to get healthy and put a quality product on the field.

  40. Sunday, Sunday Night, Monday Night, Thursday, Saturday (December). I am surprised the NFL isn’t on every night. Mark Cuban was right. Too much of a good thing will kill the golden goose.

  41. Bad Thursday night games are here to stay because it makes a bunch of money for the NFL and, unless you haven’t been paying attention, the NFL owners would sell their children to make more money.

  42. I enjoy Thursday night football–or did before this season’s weekly blowout. Maybe that’s selfish of me, and if so, then schedule the teams off their bye weeks as some have said. But since the scores have been lopsided, you can’t argue that teams don’t have enough time to prepare between games. Clearly at least one team each series manages to handle the short week just fine.

    It still seems to be more a scheduling issue than anything else. I give the league credit for going with these divisional matchups. On paper, they look like winners. And no one–least of all Steeler fans–could have predicted Pittsburgh would fail to show up for that first TNF game. Maybe–as with blowout Super Bowls–we just have to accept that no amount of planning can guarantee an interesting outcome.

  43. I have an ugly, ugly feeling that one day, we’re going to have a regular season schedule much like the preseason: each weekend’s slate of games will be divided up among Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

  44. You want eyeballs to quit watching TNF? Make it so where you can’t start any players on your fantasy teams that play on Thursday Nights. That’s the reason most people watch the games.

  45. If TNF is ever going to work, the NFL needs to remove the influence that the networks have in scheduling. Monday and Thursday nite games need to be determined by a standard policy which still leaves the possibility of boring or blow out games but that will be determined more by the random matchup vs. 3 days rest, traveling, injuries etc. For instance, there are 16 wks to a season not counting BYE wks. ,32 teams means every team will play on a Monday and on a Thursday night once during the season. A team that plays on a Monday will automatically not play until 10 days later on a Thursday night. This gives every team an extra day off before the Monday night game, 10 days off between Monday and Thursday nite game and then another 10 days off before they would play the following Sunday again. This schedule would give players added time (in addition to the Bye week if it is still needed) to heal, rest etc. and a better opportunity to prepare for their next opponent instead of just 3 days to do the same. The networks wouldn’t like it at first but they would all get use to it…….as they say, change is good.

  46. Teams should play on Thursday directly after their by week, even it it means double headers. That way no one is forced into a short week, and we still get Thursday night football.

    What’s wrong with you people? Why all the hate on Thursday night games? I for one love them. I can’t WAIT for Sundays, so getting a fix on Thursday is great.

    And the players complaining about having to play on a Thursday… give me a break. I’d play any night of the week for the kind of money they make, fer real.

  47. Having these games so early in the season is the problem. At the end of the season its ok.

    This early in the season rookies and players new to teams / systems are still getting acclimated. The really really need full practices to have a shot at playing well.

    Forcing them into 3 day turn around this early mean most teams will not be well prepared. Especially if its a team with a new coaching / new system installed in the off season.

    Even the better teams and coaching staffs often struggle with these games.

  48. It’s a blatant cash grab that doesn’t consider quality of play or injury. In other words, textbook Roger Goodell NFL.

    ————————————-

    This right here, exactly. Short breaks versus long breaks create imbalance for preperation. The games usually suck. There is no reason for them other than selling TV Ad time….which the way these games have been I could probably afford a 30 second spot in the 4th quarter.

    From a fan perspective….not necessary.
    From a biz perspective….Only pays off for CBS and what ever kick backs on royalties the “non-profit” NFL get.

    They make about as much sense as having games in London…..oh wait.

  49. You can’t make excuses like because players are not healthy or that they don’t enough prep time.

    If that’s true then how come one time CLEARLY had plenty of prep time and was plenty healthy to blow out the other team.

    This is nothing more than the NFL knowing it has the majority of the audience so it schedules horrible games that will get bigger draws than otherwise because of the lack of other games on.

    If this is the NFL’s idea of making money at the expense of a watchable product on TV, the NFL themselves are going to make Thursday nights a time where you can do other things besides watch good football.

    From back to back Monday and Thursday night crapfest games the NFL doesn’t look like the gold standard for great sports entertainment anymore.

  50. The problem is that these games are only being held on Thursday because Roger Goodell wants his precious little NFL Network to draw more attention to itself.

    Meanwhile, the short week is forcing many players who would otherwise be able to play on Sunday to sit out because they are not entirely healed from the short week (See Teddy Bridgewater for a perfect example of this).

    In other words, the integrity of the game and the safety of the players is taking a back seat to Roger Goodell’s ego. That’s what’s wrong with Thursday night football.

  51. The NFL is oversaturating their fan base with games. We all love football….but watching a poor matchup in mid week is less than pleasant. But…if the NFL would fire Roger Goddell….I might watch anyway.

  52. Division games, short prep week, short travel: you’d think would be better games, but it’s not working. They need to go back to Thursday games only after Thanksgiving and make them flex games also!

  53. One thing is for certain, above anything else. People will whine about anything if prompted to do so by the media.

    I am starting to think the media is running some sort of experiment to see how many people can be convinced to believe or react in a certain way.

    It is Football. If you don’t like games on Thursday, DVR America’s Next Top Model and watch that 3 times instead of watching football. No one is forcing anyone to watch football. if you don’t like watching football, watch something else. Simple.

    Either way, the NFL is making money and does not care if a few fans don’t like Thursday night games. The NFL also could not care less if you eat your peas or brush your teeth. That is life, folks.

  54. Thursday Night Football was fine when it was only a handful of times per year. But every week… sorry, it’s just gotten annoying. The matchups generally suck, and the game play is even worse. Sorry NFL, it’s just a bad product. Move on.

  55. The annoying fans of Washington, Minnesota, and Pittsburgh all got a butt whoopin’. And the games were on broadcast TV. The only thing I see wrong with Thursday night games is Seattle hasn’t been on and lost by 50.That would make Thursday night games 100% perfect.

  56. Enough with the Thursday night games already. Put them on Sundays. The Sunday afternoon slates have been kind of thin lately. Lets have another late game on Sunday afternoon so those of us with Sunday ticket have another game to choose from/flip to.
    I’ll watch on Sunday. I’m sure not watching on Thursdays.

  57. i couldn’t disagree more!!! Yes,the games haven’t been great to start of the year, but I like the fact that there iis a game on Thursdays. If you don’t like it, DON’T WATCH!!!!

  58. Just have the Thursday, London, and Monday night games coincide with the bye weeks for each team either before or after the bye. Easy peasy now give me a million dollars for my genius.

  59. OK. The quality of NFL Thursday Night Fooball games excluding week 1 because that is the start of the season has been terrible. Players and Coaches alike hate them as currently constructed. 1st thing that needs to happen is that the teams playing on Thursday night have a bye the Sunday before. That would give the players more time to heal between the games. 3 days is not enough. Also there would be more practice time to prepare for the game. I beleive that the players especially on the losing team appear to throw the game away. There seems to be effort early then very little later on. Example the Bucks got trashed a couple of weeks ago on Thursday Night Football and then come back and beat the Steelers 10 days later. If these Thursday games were played on Sunday I am sure the games would be better by the losing team but probably the same teams win weeks 3-5. Week 2 might have been better. Result not sure. Close games last year were unwatchable too. To save Thursday Night Football the teams playing needs a bye week the Sunday before. Till then the quality will be bad.

  60. why not make the bye week the week BEFORE the Thursday night game. That way you would have more time off to prepare. And they would have 10 days off after to recover

  61. 4 games a week is just to much. It’s overkill.

    Teams playing in Sunday then again on Thursday is a killer for the players. Some players are hurt and can’t play on Thursday, but could on Sunday. The QB for Minny last nite is a good example-how did it affect the out come of the game?

    I don’t know, because I don’t watch Thursday night games, no matter who is playing. The field is not equal.

    When the leagues changes it so EVERY team playing is coming off a bye, it might be worthwhile to watch.

  62. Here’s a fix…..let teams play defense once in awhile and teams with qbs like Ponder will have a fighting chance. There’s blowouts on Sundays too.

    This league is broken.

  63. Switch the game to Saturday night when the vast majority of viewers don’t have to go to work the next day. Teams are only shorted one day of preparation and till to heal from Sunday’s game.

    As for encroaching on college football, all bets are off after the money hungry NCAA started putting games on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

    I always marvel when a talking head is droning on about the genius of the marketing of the NFL fails to address this obvious change.

  64. If the question is being asked because of the blowouts, it’s ridiculous to blame the fact that the games are being played on a Thursday. The same question could have been asked back in the 90’s when we had a string of one-sided Super Bowls. I don’t remember anyone suggesting that we get rid of the Super Bowl because of that.

    There’s nothing wrong with playing the games that day – there’s just something wrong with the losing teams that night.

  65. What are you talking about!?!?

    The game last night was great!

    The chickens coming home to roost!

    Vikings trolls eat dirt.

    Priceless!

  66. floratiotime says:
    Oct 3, 2014 11:39 AM
    The R-Words and the Vikings stink.
    —————-
    You’re right; the Raiders do stink.

  67. It’s obviously just the luck of the draw. Look at those four matchups. Nobody would have predicted blowouts in those games when they were scheduled, or even in the weeks they were played.

    Plus, it’s something new. Issues won’t all crop up and become clear all at once. They’ll emerge and be evaluated.

  68. Thursday nite games are just the beginning of whats wrong with the NFL. Refs and rules are killing the game, The amount of recovery time after a game and prep time is only 3 days and when a team gets behind they go into a “we lost” mode and thus blowouts.

  69. I think it’s too soon to say; All these games were division games. I think the powers-that-be expected them to all be reasonably competitive contests.

    The Baltimore/Pittsburgh game was arguably the most baffling of the bunch, because I don’t think anyone expected any blowout there.

    Prior to the season, I think most expected NYG & Washington to be a competitive game, and probably the same of Tampa Bay & Atlanta.

    Last night though, I mean…a rebuilding Vikings team versus Aaron Rodgers and the perennial playoff team in the Packers. That was not surprising.

    Colts/Texans should be a better matchup next week. I would be very surprised if that ended up being a blowout.

  70. It’s a bad idea, that’s the problem. From the beginning, Thursday night games have been a very bad idea with teams on short rest playing poorly.

    The NFL seems determined to kill the golden goose with stupid stuff like this & an 18 game schedule. They can’t wrap their heads around the idea that “less” actually IS “more” and is a large part of why the NFL is as successful.

    Just end Thursday night games (except Thanksgiving) and concentrate instead on creating and maintaining superior product.

  71. With a couple of exceptions, it hasn’t just been Thursday night football.. all primetime games have been blowouts and have sucked this year….

  72. “Regardless of whether it’s the start of a trend or a fart in the wind, Thursday Night Football is going nowhere.”

    The fart in the wind is going away, I hope.

    I record it, and, if it is something I want to watch, look at it Friday.

    I have other things that take priority on Thursday nights.

    Good article, Florio.

  73. You want eyeballs to quit watching TNF? Make it so where you can’t start any players on your fantasy teams that play on Thursday Nights. That’s the reason most people watch the games.

    ———————————————————

    Wow. I don’t play fantasy football because my only rooting interests are about what’s best for my team. And I watch on Thursday nights for pure love of the game. How silly of me!

  74. If they want to do this right, they should align the bye week with the Thursday night game. So, one team in the AFC and One in the NFC play each other after their bye on Thursday night. Basically, giving each team time to prepare and time to heal up.

  75. I love Thursday night games, as it starts the weekend early for me. However, why would you schedule some of these teams? Vikings, Bucs, Washington? I understand rolling the dice, as some teams under perform, and some over perform, but those teams haven’t been very good consistently in awhile. Thankfully I was able to watch a much more entertaining HS football game, that was even more of a blowout, but still more enjoyable.

  76. the home team has won over 90% of those games….most lopsided stat in the nfl…always bet the home team…

  77. They are called the Redskins. Get over it.

    And the problem is its THURSDAY night.
    Coaches today cant game plan in 72 hours. They need to have at least 120. They are not Tom Landry, Bud Grant, or Chuck Noll!!!!

    GET IT BACK ON SUNDAY and MONDAY NIGHT.

    2nd THING-
    Buc- Is that a bash at Goodell? Its a poor attempt since he was hired to grow revenues. Need to get your football book for dummies out and read page 1 under COMMISSIONER.

    bucrightoff says:Oct 3, 2014 11:39 AM

    It’s a blatant cash grab that doesn’t consider quality of play or injury. In other words, textbook Roger Goodell NFL.

  78. More complaining from PFT about something that has been going on since the 60’s.

    Do you want to end Thanksgiving games too? Seriously this is nothing but trying to find something to complain about. Instead of Detroit and Dallas doing it every year, the only difference is every team takes a turn now. I don’t ever recall complaints when it was just Thanksgiving so why the need to do it now?

    These are professional athletes who are fully capable of playing on a short week one time a year. The short week doesn’t seem to hurt the teams that have been on the right end of the blowout.

    Just more angst over nothing continuing a trend on this site.

  79. The problem is that EVERY team gets exactly one short-week Thursday game, so that no team has to deal with it more than once.* That means Jacksonville and Tampa Bay and Oakland will all play a national game.

    This happens precisely BECAUSE the league is concerned about player safety and doesn’t want players to be exposed to too many short weeks.

    (*Some teams play two Thursday games, but in every case, only one of them is an actual short week after a Sunday game.)

  80. To everyone who blames the OWNERS and post that TNF is only a CASH GRAB and the league is putting $$ before players, don’t forget that the salary cap is based on a percentage (48% I think?) of all revenue. The more money the league brings in, the higher the salary cap.

    So, yes, this is about the money, but it benefits the players as well as the owners.

  81. “Thankfully I was able to watch a much more entertaining HS football game, that was even more of a blowout, but still more enjoyable.”

    And you got to see real football, not the NFL version of it.

  82. For those of us that play fantasy, blowouts don’t matter. In fact, they are sometimes preferred as it leads to a ton of garbage time stats.

    We will always watch the whole game if it effects us fantasy-wise.

  83. You want eyeballs to quit watching TNF? Make it so where you can’t start any players on your fantasy teams that play on Thursday Nights. That’s the reason most people watch the games.

    ———————————————————

    Wow. I don’t play fantasy football because my only rooting interests are about what’s best for my team. And I watch on Thursday nights for pure love of the game. How silly of me!
    —————————————

    Deb we may not agree on much, but you nailed it there….

    Go Hawks

  84. For all the people blaming it on the short week. Players still too tired, coaches can’t game plan, etc…

    What about the teams that win in the blowout? Why weren’t their players too tired to do well? Their coaches unable to game plan properly?

    You can’t take just half of the result and draw a full conclusion.

    To be fair, I’m not saying the Thursday games haven’t sucked, but with a 50/50 on good/bad teams each week, there’s obviously something more to it than just the short week.

  85. Would love to see all weeks start at 1pm Sunday again, except for Thanksgiving. We’re saturated with football games and it no longer seems special on Sundays anymore. They need to unruin it.

  86. why can’t it be a game between two teams coming off the bye week?
    obviously their aren’t bye weeks all season, but it’s a better option than having teams play with 3 days preparation

  87. Since the midweek games aren’t going away, why not play the games on Tuesday night instead of Thursday? That gives the two teams four days to get ready for their next game the following Sunday versus only three days to prepare for Thursday games.

    The other option is to give teams that play on Thursday a bye the week before.

  88. Bridgewater would have made that game last night into a bit more of a track meet. Green Bay still would have won, but he could have put up significantly more points than Ponder. Shame he didn’t get to play… and I’m a Packer fan.

    Biggest lesson of the night… Christian Ponder is flat-out terrible.

  89. Ok, I assume they don’t play Thursday after the bye week because then the bye teams all play on Thursday and there is only one game. Some teams would have to get their bye early/late in the season or you play multiple games some Thursdays and no games early/late in the season. It looks like all the NFC West conference games, at least for Seattle, are stacked at the end of the season. If that was done with other conferences to build drama then most the good match ups are at the end of the season. Seattle will have to play 2 Thursday games, the season opener and the next one being on Thanksgiving on the road. That doesn’t seem fair given the advantage home teams look to have. They need to get rid of Thursday night games.

  90. Short week makes it easy for the more established and experienced team. It’s a money grab anyway, how else do you explain a 3 hour televised pre game show for just one game? I hate the Thursday night games, unless it’s my team I don’t watch

  91. I’ve noticed that
    1. They have all been division games.
    2. No one has been made to travel a great distance with all games having a relatively short distance for the visitor. No travel from west coast to east coast games for example.

    One would expect the home team to have an advantage in a game played in a short week and they have in every one of them except when the Giants rolled up the Redskins.

    Other than Thanksgiving day, Thursday night games are not needed at all. Teams need more time to prepare. Stop the non sense.

  92. As for scheduling NFL games on Saturday … it’s not just that Saturday is and long has been College Footbal Gameday. It’s that ALL the networks have long-term contracts with college ball. So the only place the NFL could air a Saturday game is on the NFL Network. And the low ratings wouldn’t be worth the effort. The NCAA is the farm that produces the NFL’s players. The league isn’t going to undermine that.

  93. All these complaints about Thursday night games and yet they draw the most viewers of any prime time show every week. Obviously people are watching whether the game is close or not.

    If you are ok with Thanksgiving games then you can’t also be against Thursday games the rest of the year. It’s hypocritical. No team has to do it more than once except for the teams that play the first game of the year. All that’s changed is that every team gets to do what Dallas and Detroit have done every season for more than 40 years. More faux outrage because people like to whine and complain about something.

  94. TIERD & SORE !

    THERE SHOULD ONLY BE THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL FOR TEAMS COMING OFF THE
    BYE ! IT TAKES TILL WEDNESDAY TO FEEL BETTER FROM SUNDAYS GAME!

    One Big Problem —- To do the after the bye Thursday Night Football — It would have to go through the players Union and that would mean giving a day or two up as off days !

  95. I’ve turned off the last three games in the 3rd quarter to watch a movie or Netflix. They’ve all been positively embarrassing for Tampa, Washington and Minnesota. I’m not even a fan of those teams, and I still had to look away.

    Oh, and Christian Ponder sucks really bad.

  96. For the most part it’s scheduling bad teams on the road on a short week. If it’s bad teams at home then maybe there’s some hope of a competitive game.

  97. I’ve read a few more comments. To those saying don’t watch if you don’t like it, that isn’t the point. The point is how the game can affect the players and the season. So far, home team has had a huge advantage against a division rival, that impacts playoff eligibility. A lot of games were played with the schedule this year (pardon the pun). Look at Seattle – its schedule was designed to keep it from getting into a rhythm at the start and to exhaust, stress and beat up the players at the end. Start on Thursday, wait a week and a half play on the road in the heat, come home and replay the Superbowl, then a bye so whichever team lost gets to stew in it and the winning team doesn’t get momentum, come back to a Monday night road trip, not until October 12th do you start a string of Sunday games, until Thanksgiving which is a short week, on the road against your biggest division rival 3 days after playing another division rival. Five of the last six games are division games. At a minimum the game before the Thursday game should be a non-conference game so the team can decide which to focus on. By comparison the Broncos have non-conference games before and after their Thursday night game. The Thursday games are about more than just watch/don’t watch or fantasy schedules.

  98. t 3, 2014 2:14 PM
    All these complaints about Thursday night games and yet they draw the most viewers of any prime time show every week. Obviously people are watching whether the game is close or not.

    If you are ok with Thanksgiving games then you can’t also be against Thursday games the rest of the year. It’s hypocritical. No team has to do it more than once except for the teams that play the first game of the year. All that’s changed is that every team gets to do what Dallas and Detroit have done every season for more than 40 years. More faux outrage because people like to whine and complain about something.
    ————————–

    Let me get this straight: One has to support all Thursday games because Thanksgiving happens to fall on Thursday? That’s completely stupid reasoning. The Thanksgiving game only involves two teams and ONE short week for each. How does that compare to every team having to play a Thursday game? Answer: It doesn’t.

    And no one is “whining.” NFL fans think the quality of the games has been poor, which they absolutely have been. Do many of us still watch all or a portion of the game? Sure…it’s football. But that doesn’t mean we have to support the current model.

    We also don’t have to support jagoffs telling us what we should think.

  99. The problem with Thursday Night Football…everybody hates it from players, coaches, to fans who have to work for a living and have families. When games fall on work/school nights, it’s impossible to hurry home from work (spend 1 hour in traffic for some) get dinner on the table, help kids with homework etc., and still have the energy to watch a game between two teams that haven’t had time to game plan and recover enough to put a quality product on the field. Not a quality experience, and pretty much a wasted effort. Can’t believe the NFL marketing “experts” could be so out of touch but blinded by greed!

  100. How about making it so that the projected favorite is on the road instead of at home? That alone would make a big difference on a short week. The away team cannot prepare or rest as well while they are travelling, giving the home team a significant advantage. There will still be games like the Giants/Redskins where the road team wins big, but they will not be as common as when the clearly more talented team is at home.

  101. I won’t watch a Thursday night game out of principle. Bad for the players, bad quality, and insulting money grab.

  102. Thumbs up if you like TNF. Thumbs down if you want to see it go.

    Personally I think TNF should be 1 day every year, Thanksgiving. I don’t even want the Super Bowl champion game. I think they should have the honor of playing MNF and there should be no MNF double header to start the season.

    I think the NFL needs to equalize the 1pm and 4pm start times and figure out a way to get Sunday Ticket on more platforms and possibly move to a la carte game purchases.

    That’s how you make it better in my opinion.

  103. What does the network charge for commercial time in the second half? Sponsors are going to stop buying adds when no one is watching.

  104. The thing I do not understand is how easy it would be for the NFL to fix the issues you point out.

    So you have the opening kick-off game on Thursday. This is not an issue for anyone. Those two teams have now played their alotted Thursday Night game. Also, since they get a mini-bye week, they will be the two teams with the last bye week, week 15.

    You do not have a Thursday game for weeks 2, 3, or 4.

    On week 4, you have your first two (2) teams on bye. Those 2 teams, becomes the teams that would be then eligible to play a Thursday Night Game for week 5.

    This would then continue through Weeks 5-12.

    Week 13 is Thanksgiving. This means on Week 12, the 6 teams that would play on Thanksgiving have their bye week.

    For Week 15 and 16, you play your two Saturday games, in addition to Thursday. This means 4 teams with bye weeks on Week 14 and Week 15.

    Thus, the following Bye Breakdown:

    Weeks 1 thru 3 – 0 teams
    Weeks 4 thru 11 – 2 teams
    Week 12 – 6 teams
    Week 13 (Thanksgiving) – 2 teams
    Weeks 14 and 15 – 4 teams

    1 Thursday game on Weeks 1, 5 through 12, 14 and 15
    3 Thursday games on Week 13
    1 Saturday game on Week 15 and 16.

  105. Easy. It’s (queueing Kevin Nealon), “…on CBS…”

    Seriously, it’s really just too much. Sunday and Monday is fine.

    Minimalist announcing would be nice.

    That said, I actually forgot football was on last night. I watched the MLB Playoffs (which makes you wonder why the NFL scheduled a game last night anyhow). Oh, and I muted the announcing, and will be doing the same tonight.

  106. Maybe I’m missing something here…

    Why not commit to having the Thursday night games be played by two teams each coming off a bye from Week 4-13? That way they wouldn’t be playing on short rest and we would, in theory, get better quality games.

  107. Here’s the problem goodell and his rule changes eg: moving the kickoffs,stupid pass interference rules, and putting bad teams on its that simple

  108. mancave007,

    Let me get this straight: One has to support all Thursday games because Thanksgiving happens to fall on Thursday? That’s completely stupid reasoning. The Thanksgiving game only involves two teams and ONE short week for each. How does that compare to every team having to play a Thursday game? Answer: It doesn’t.

    You are contradicting yourself. Thanksgiving only involves two teams; the rest of the Thursday night games are exactly the same. They only involve two teams two. What you are saying is it’s ok for teams to be inconvienced as long as it’s only the two teams that have to go to Dallas and Detroit. That’s nonsense. If Dallas and Detroit along with the two teams that have to travel to play them have to do it once a year, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with other teams having to do the same thing. Each team has to do it once just like Dallas and Detroit. There is no difference here other than Thanksgiving games are a tradition.

    It’s actually more fair this way. Before Thursday night games 4 teams got the short end of the stick while the others got the advantage of nothing having to do it. No every body gets treated the same way.

  109. The only things worse than the game itself are listening to Phil Simms’ commentary and watching Deion Sanders and Co. from the NFL Network trying to get people pumped for another horrible match-up. I was asleep before halftime.

  110. Thursday night football should be eliminated except for TWO games on Thanksgiving. Sunday at 1, 4, 8 and Monday night are best.

    And while they are at it, eliminate Thursday for College Football as well… make Friday or Sat High School, Sat College, Sunday Monday NFL and the rest of the week football free.

  111. The simplest solution….TEAMS ONLY PLAY THURSDAY GAMES AFTER THEIR BYE WEEK!!!

    This solves player complaints and concerns about injuries and will give teams more time to prepare, thus likely leading to ore competitive games!

  112. we’ll see if the eyeballs continue to show. These last two weeks were the first times in many years that I changed the channel to watch something other than NFL football. Just not entertaining. (and even had a fantasy player going).

  113. It’s all about the mighty dollar! They act like they care about breast cancer so they can make millions on pink merchandise, they act like they care about domestic abuse so they don’t lose sponsers, they act like they care about child abuse when the 100’s of millions they make off of jerseys and NIKE are made in Chinese sweat shops with children working for slave wages, and they act like they care about player safety when they schedule games with only a couple days rest…….yes fans, it’s a money pit and they don’t care what quality of games are as long as they are making that money.

  114. I like Thursday night football to be honest. More football on more days, the better.

    However they should only have them with teams coming off their bye week.

    If that means having two games on a Thursday night, like the Monday night double-header that starts the season, fine by me.

  115. The solution us real obvious. You only play on Thursdays after your bye week.

    You get 10 days to prep and then 10 days before the next game.

    Yes I know that you don’t start byes till week 4 but that isn’t insurmountable.

  116. As I read in somebody’s column recently, if we begin to feel that we don’t have a need to watch Thursday’s game, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes easier to not watch Sunday’s games.

    That would be bad news

  117. Bad matchups, that’s all.
    All of the losing teams have been terribly overmatched, period.

    Pitt, TB and Minn are 3 of the worst teams in the NFL while Baltimore GB are two of the best.

    And while ATL s not juggernaut, they ARE just way better than TB, generally speaking.

  118. fwippel says: Oct 3, 2014 12:33 PM

    The problem is that these games are only being held on Thursday because Roger Goodell wants his precious little NFL Network to draw more attention to itself.

    Meanwhile, the short week is forcing many players who would otherwise be able to play on Sunday to sit out because they are not entirely healed from the short week (See Teddy Bridgewater for a perfect example of this).

    In other words, the integrity of the game and the safety of the players is taking a back seat to Roger Goodell’s ego. That’s what’s wrong with Thursday night football.

    …..

    I get so tired of these ignorant comments. Ignorant in the dictionary sense.

    Roger Goodell does nothing without the approval of the owners, regardless of who initiates the situation – most of the time , based on how the NFL upper management works.. He is nothing more than a mouth piece, except for discipline.

    Many of you people have no idea whatsever how the NFL works, but you are very free to damn the one who provides the info to the media.

  119. There are some great suggestions in here. Most of them based on the idea of replacing or using the bye week as a team’s opportunity for a TNF game. jdhein22 put together a complete plan/schedule that resolves this problem.

    Too bad the NFL doesn’t pay attention. The idea of making the games more competitive by changing the method for bye week selection just doesn’t shoot up $$ in their heads.

    I, personally, don’t feel compelled to watch them anymore and think CBS made a mistake pushing back the start of Elementary so that they could air 8 weeks of bad football. However, the overnight ratings are still ridiculous compared with almost any TV show. 10.9/18 average for the year.

    Why more people tuned in for Vikings/Packers, I’ll never know…especially once Bridgewater was benched. Ponder is a known quantity, albeit a very low quantity. Nothing to see. Still, public consciousness being what it is, a good game will erase all the non-TNF ill will.

  120. Its too much football. Stopped following the league other than the team I follow. Don’t watch any other games anymore. Just don’t need to know that much about football anymore.

  121. Its too much football. Stopped following the league other than the team I follow. Don’t watch any other games anymore. Just don’t need to know that much about football anymore.
    ————————————

    Don’t let the door hit ya on the way out……

    Go Hawks

  122. Bad visiting teams against superior home teams.
    steelers, skins, bucs, & vikings are bad teams. THAT’s the problem.

  123. i think abc should cover the thrusday night game. not espn. abc. new set of people to listen. i think people get bored with hearing the same people commentate.

  124. To me, the worst thing about these games is Phil Simms.
    It is always good to have Variety in the booth–and where Al Michaels seems to ask if he can come into your living room and say, “Let me tell you what to look for,” (in any situation) and Chris offers a chummy, experienced approach, the current Thursday crew seem to be like two statisticians who simply tell us what we are watching or what we just saw: “Watch how the ball carrier goes to the left and is knocked out of bounds by number 31. It will be third down…”
    Even Jon Gruden makes these guys look bad.
    Listen to the playback of this past week’s broadcast of the Thursday game when they discuss “The Best Coaches.”
    They sound like two boring, halfwit drunks.
    “What do you think about Vince Lombardi?”
    “Well–Blabby blabber jabber…”
    No one cares who these people think are the Best Coaches. The crew is terrible.

  125. Uh,the verdict on this forum is unanimous.

    Just stop the Thursday night game altogether.

    The short week endangers the careers of players by not allowing them the time to heal and properly prepare for the next game.

    I wonder if anyone at the NFL actually listens to the fans?

  126. What’s wrong with Thursday Night Football?

    The answer is simple… Phil Simms.

    The NFL needs to add a “Mute Phil Simms” button to all our remote controls and the ratings will skyrocket.

  127. 1) Phil Simms
    2) Any disparity between the 2 teams is magnified by the lack of preparation time.
    3) How about Saturday Night Football? At least it’s only 1 day sooner than Sunday…
    4) One solution might be to only have teams that were on BYE the previous week play on Thursday. Of course…that only helps for Thursdays after bye weeks.
    5) Speaking of BYE weeks….how about making week 9 a bye week for ALL teams. That way it gives a mid-season break to all teams.

  128. TNF is being shoved down our throats. And what can we do about it? The NFL was able to sell the rights for a bunch of money, so it’s here to stay.

    As others have said – why can’t the geniuses who make the schedules work it out so that playing on Thursday comes after a bye week? They should.

    But this is just the beginning. The NFL wants a team in London. Then probably Mexico. Then what? Canada? Japan? What will an international league do for player fatigue, preparation and safety?

    And the answer to that is: the NFL doesn’t care, as long as they money is right.

    However, as they dream of international expansion, I think the looming concussion crisis will knock the wind out of the NFL’s sails. It won’t go away, but between that, horrible player conduct in the news, and injury rates climbing, well…there’s a lot to answer to. Players are too big and strong now. The helmets and pads don’t do nearly enough to protect them.

    The only reason I raise these issues is that this all becomes compounded and more complex once you have an international league.

    TNF is not the end of the nonsense.

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