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Notes: Lions have earliest average bye week over last two decades

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A later bye week won’t get you into the playoffs by itself, but WE’RE JUST SAYIN’

NFL: DEC 03 Lions at Ravens Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The timing of the bye week in an NFL team’s schedule is important because it allows players to rest and heal from the inevitable injuries that accumulate during the season. Last year, there was a note in Dave Birkett’s article at the Detroit Free Press about when Matthew Stafford’s injuries have occurred:

But many of the ailments he has battled have come late in the season. Last year, he spent most of December dealing with a back injury. A few years ago, he dislocated a finger on his throwing hand a few weeks before Christmas.

While it was useful to give Stafford some time off in September last season to deal with a hip injury (never mind about that other thing that popped up), it would seem to be less advantageous to have an early bye week because the players should be at their freshest and most rested at the start of the season. With that in mind, here’s an interesting scheduling item that came across the bird app:

That means the Lions, on average, tend to have very early bye weeks. Note that the above averages extend to 2002, but had it included more years it would look even worse: in 2001, the team’s bye week was in Week 3 at the start of October. Indeed, the only time the Lions have had a bye week after Week 9 since the oddball 1993 season in which every team had two bye weeks (6 and 11, and coincidentally they made the playoffs that year) was in 2016 when the Lions had Week 10 off. In case you were wondering, our fearless leader thought it might be because the Lions play on Thanksgiving each year, but it turns out not to be the case.

Just for laughs, here’s the same thing for the Green Bay Packers: 2010 (Week 10, Super Bowl winner), 2012 (Week 10, Division title), 2019 (Week 11, Division title). Clearly, the Packers were a good football team for many years over the last two decades, but a late season bye probably doesn’t hurt.

And now, on to the rest of today’s Notes:

  • Here’s Dave Birkett from the Detroit Free Press with a smart observation on the preseason part of the schedule:

  • Stone Cold Killer Matt Prater was on the Pat McAfee show:

  • Albert Breer from the actual Sports Illustrated’s MMQB team wrote up a fine piece further detailing how head coach Matt Patricia and the Lions have dealt with doing things remotely rather than in person.

  • I can hear the cheering from Jeremy Reisman’s house all the way over here on the east coast:

  • For our last item, let’s end on a positive note: