Thursday Night Football: Is It Really That Bad?
Last night's 42-10 drubbing could've been avoided had Teddy Bridgewater been healthy, that is to say, had he had enough time to recover from a sprained ankle he could've made things a bit more interesting. Three days -- that's how long you get to prep for a Thursday Night game. No wonder they all suck.
Or dooooooooooo they?
There's no denying that 2014 has hosted some pretty garbage Thursday games. All five contests were blowouts, with three of them featuring margins of victory greater than 30 points. But in 2013, the TNF lineup actually had some relatively close games. Nine out of 15 were decided by a touchdown or less, with three games decided by four points or less, and an OT decided by a safety.
According to Pro-Football Reference's game length data statistics, the average NFL game result is somewhere around 29-18, making for an 11-point average margin of victory. The median is eight points. All and all, this year's Thursday Night games have been horrible, but that's clearly more of a fluke than a harbinger of a millennium of TNF blowouts.
Oh, and that whole "they don't have enough time to prepare" argument? Monday Night games this season have had a similarly shitty taste, with only two of the five being decent games and another two being blowouts, as well.
But back to TNF. Dating back to 2006 (when Thursday Night Football began), there have been around 25 close games (within seven points) out of the 84 played. That's not a horrible ratio, so we need to all just calm down about TNF being the football equivalent of a CBS sitcom.
Interestingly enough, Saturday games are almost always close AND high scoring. Between the years of 2006 and 2011, there were 10 Saturday games, eight of which were decided by a touchdown or less. If you're going to complain about something, complain about the lack of those games...
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