Roger Goodell: The quality of games is better on Thursday nights

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The quality of Thursday night games has been much discussed since the league expanded the slate of games played during the week and the general feeling expressed by players, fans and media members has been that the games aren’t a particularly good example of the NFL’s product.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell disagrees with that assessment. During an interview with Goodell on “The Herd” Wednesday, Colin Cowherd of FOX Sports said that he and his staff had found that there are fewer penalties and a higher completion percentage in Thursday night games and asked Goodell if that battled the narrative that the games aren’t very good to watch.

“We’re more than just optics here. We’re into facts,” Goodell said. “Go to the same statistics, because you’re right about the quality of the games on Thursday night. There are actually less penalties, less turnovers. Almost by every barometer the quality of the games is better on Thursday night. Obviously, some games you’re going to have aren’t going to be as competitive, they will have a dominance. You get that.”

It should probably go without saying that fewer penalties and turnovers and higher completion percentages don’t necessarily translate to a higher quality game and does nothing to combat complaints from players about the quick turnaround from Sunday to Thursday. Goodell said that there is no “indication, facts or anything else that would indicate that the level of injuries are up on Thursday night” but did say the league would look at scheduling to minimize stresses on teams.

Like many other things in the league, the long-term answer on Thursday night games (the current contract with CBS and NBC runs through 2017) probably comes down to a decision about whether or not the league benefits more from having the game than they would by scrapping the Thursday slate. If ratings and revenues are good enough, questions about the quality of the games aren’t likely to rattle the league all that much.

59 responses to “Roger Goodell: The quality of games is better on Thursday nights

  1. Wow, I’ve changed my assessment of Goodell. I used to think he was just plain evil, but now I know he is just a tool, chosen by the greedy punk owners because his mind clearly resides in an alternate universe.

  2. I love how out of touch the NFL is with it’s fan base.

    Fan: The officiating is awful
    NFL: No it isn’t

    Fans: That’s a catch
    NFL: No it isn’t

    Fans: Thursday night games suck
    NFL: No they don’t

    Fans: Quality of game is down… and the NFL treats their fans like morons
    NFL: That’s because we are smarter than you.

  3. The only way these games should be played is for teams involved to both be coming off of bye weeks. In other words, do the opener in week #1 and then hold off until week after bye weeks begin – week #5. Once all teams have been on byes, move these to Friday nights as most high schools are done by that point and there would be no interference.

    As for keeping status quo, Roger, as we know, is a liar and just makes things up as he goes along. Everyone knows that. The owners and Roger think that we’re all stupid.

  4. Are you kidding me ? Not sure what games this knucklehead is referring, but the Thursday night games are not good for the players nor have they been competitive. This overpaid commissioner is just a mouth piece for the owners.

  5. It’s not about the quality of the games, it’s about the NFL wanting to control another chunk of the television calendar to increase owner profits. Nothing wrong with making a buck but must the NFL always being thinking about money. A ski resort near me charges $6.25 for a 20 oz Gatorade on the mountain. You can always buy the 32 oz one for a dollar at the grocery store. Just because you can exploit a situation, doesn’t always mean you should. Many if not most players don’t care for Thursday night games.

  6. No, they aren’t. Take any optics you like, Thursday games SUUUUUUUCKKK.

    Just end the Thursday games entirely. Except Thanksgiving.

  7. At this point, I would be shocked if anything he said were the truth. Lying through his teeth is automatic these days.

  8. “Barometer”- in reference to “facts”. You can’t make this stuff up.

    (For those of you who don’t get it – a barometer is used to measure atmospheric pressure which is used in calculations to determine whether or not, you know, footballs were….ah, nevermind).

  9. The whole Thursday game backlash really is hard to figure out. Nobody seems to mind teams having a short week of preparation for Thanksgiving, yet it’s a big problem if every team has to take a turn. There is a belief that the games aren’t competitive and yet they are as competitive as the games on Sunday on average. There is no data that backs up the idea players are more prone to injury either. Even with all the complaints, the games get pretty solid tv ratings so obviously somebody is watching them. It seems to be another case of internet faux activism and piling on something that really isn’t an issue. If you don’t like the Thursday games don’t watch them.

  10. Roger Goodell: The quality of games is better on Thursday nights

    Better…better get a bucket because I’m going to puke.

  11. The games sucked! LAME MATCH UPS!
    Got that off my chest. Thanks Roger!

  12. The only time I watched a full Thursday game this season was on Thanksgiving… most of the games are unwatchable… I’d rather go to bed early than endure these snooze fests. Roger and his game integrity treat us like morons.

  13. I happen to like Thursday night football. It is on network TV most of the time and since I dropped cable I no longer get MNF. I do not watch afternoon games on the weekend as I am busy with my family. So I watch TNF and SNF.

    Having said all that, the NFL should add a second bye week, and teams playing on a Thursday have a bye week ahead of the game. Teams would be rested and it would extend the regular season another week without adding another game to the schedule.

  14. cueghost says:
    Jan 25, 2017 5:43 PM

    This guy is on par with Hillary when it comes to telling bold face lies to millions of people.

    That, and when it comes to having people believe him.

  15. The quality of football is down no matter what day it’s played on! I think ratings will continue to drop. Because you have 60 minutes of football, and 180 minutes of Advertising. So what are we really watching? Commercials with just a dash of football sprinkled in. The sad fact is I love football, but did not watch a single game in 2016. I would check highlights and read about it, might even listen to a game on the radio when I’m in the car. But reality that was it. Because I’m just sick to death of the seemingly non stop commercial breaks .

  16. They have got to get rid of the intra-division scheduling for Thursday nights.
    I feel like the NFL is trying to push it as Rivalry Night akin to NHL’s Wednesdays, but some of the games are just straight garbage.
    And as an eastcoaster, I could give two craps about LA Rams v SF when the game’s second half kickoff is after 10. It ends up being just something else on, rather than prime entertainment.

  17. Want more viewers? then don’t allow your officials to play god every week with shady phantom calls!

    Raider Nation

  18. Trump running the NFL won’t make it great again–getting rid of Goodell, just another puppet of Robert Kraft (who the conspiracy theorist in me believes got Goodell to punish Brady for “deflate-gate” because Kraft knows nothing drive Tom Brady like vendetta and revenge–all that cheating the Pats have doing for years and their “punishment” over that is one reason, at age 40 or whatever, Tom Brady is still driven). Getting rid of Goodell and Kraft not owning the league and being allowed to run the commish WILL make the NFL great again! signed–hater of Kraft GMO foods!

  19. Here is a way to have better football games, and make the owners happy.

    1. Every team gets 2 byes and the season is lengthened by a week (still 16 games)

    2. Every team gets a bye before a Thursday Night game. Thus they have extra time to heal up and prepare. And their next game on Sunday/Monday is 10-11 days away, so again they have extra time to heal and prepare, making that game better.

    Plus each time still gets it’s normal bye. With 2 byes the players have more time to heal. With an extra week in teh season, there is greater TV revenue for the owners. Fans get better games.

    Win-Win, costs fans nothing.

  20. In addition to intrafinesse’s comment, shortening the season a week or two by cutting 2 preseason games would also help improve the quality of the season while reducing the hits players are taking.

    And while we’re making suggestions for changes, I’d like to see them extend the trade deadline until the end of the regular season. Instead of allowing teams to trade a pick for guys for the playoffs in wink/nod deals like baseball, require that a player signed after week 8 be kept on the active roster through that same week the following season.

  21. somethinghappeninghere says:
    Jan 25, 2017 7:18 PM
    Getting rid of Goodell and Kraft not owning the league and being allowed to run the commish WILL make the NFL great again! signed–hater of Kraft GMO foods!

    Wrong Kraft unless you consider the box it comes in food. And please save some tin foil for the other kids

  22. I don’t care about the quality. I don’t watch them because I have work Friday Morning. Sunday night and Monday night are the same story.

  23. Tone deaf, as usual, Roger. Say anything to avoid admitting that it’s all about the money, right?
    Get rid of the Thursday games — especially those horrendous excuses for uniforms! They need to “Color Rush” those things to the incinerator!

  24. You have to look outside the box on this one Lord Roger wants the 18 game season, the swap of just the two preseason games wont do it .So he needs to brag up the Thursday game make it sound like its so good for the league . Then add the thursday game to the bargaining pot . Boom as John Madden would say .Roger Dodger gets his 18 game season its laughing all the way to the bank with your our money

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