Bye Week Blues
I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy, and thought this might fan the flames a bit. Robb Crocker, an editor at Washingtonpost.com, sent over some research he did on the bye week of teams this season, which I was working on as well. But since he already completed his analysis over the weekend, well, it saves me some time, so here goes:
This season four teams play teams coming off of a bye week three times (Wash, Balt, SF, Tenn). Baltimore even had back-to-back weeks of facing rested teams. Four other teams (Dal, Hou, TB, SD) face teams off of a bye week twice while ten teams (Clev, NYG, St. L, Den, Mia, Sea, Buff, Chi, N.E., Tenn) face this challenge once. Only twice did teams coming off of byes play each other.
The remaining teams (NYJ, Pitt, Cinn, Indy, KC, Phi, Minn, GB, Det, Atl, Car, Ari, Oak, Jax) don't face bye week teams.
What is wrong with the NFL scheduling byes by the division and then having them face each other on the following week. Or at least schedule teams coming off bye to face each other. With one more week of byes to go, teams facing rested teams lost 14 times and won 12 times. Not a big difference but I'm sure in the case of the Redskins (0-2 facing bye week teams) and the 49ers (0-3), a disadvantage like this is magnified.
I'm taking it one step deeper, however, as the Skins have to face all three of their opponents coming off of bye weeks on the road. Traveling to New York, Indy and Philly is tough enough under any circumstances; getting teams like that off the bye is even tougher.
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