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:
i averaged out every NFL team’s bye weeks from 2002-2020 seasons and you’ll never guess who’s last pic.twitter.com/wPCkrXZVur— Kalsarikännit Al (@SniffinGrits) May 8, 2020
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:
Lions are supposed to open the preseason in Foxborough in mid-August. But that might be wishful thinking https://t.co/H59RMQ7aXR— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) May 8, 2020
- Also, The Athletic’s Chris Burke had something to say about the two TBDs on the schedule right after Christmas:
Lions could end up with back-to-back Saturday games in December, because there's a pretty good chance their Week 16 game vs. Tampa Bay gets moved into a higher-profile slot. https://t.co/RHk3rs9GbF— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) May 8, 2020
- According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, additional flexibility in the league’s schedule might come from pushing back the date of the Super Bowl or eliminating the Pro Bowl.
- Stone Cold Killer Matt Prater was on the Pat McAfee show:
Matt Prater is on the @PatMcAfeeShow show, cracking me up. He just said he was pissed when he hit his *NFL RECORD* 64-yard field goal because he was aiming for the net, but got under the ball and "only" made it by a millimeter. What a legend.— kyle meinke (@kmeinke) May 8, 2020
- If you liked the Animal Crossing schedule video from the Lions and you happen to play the game, they have some in-game cosmetic items for you:
Want some #Lions gear for you and your villagers? Input the corresponding Design ID at the Custom Designs Portal in the Able Sisters shop to claim these designs for yourself. (Must have Nintendo Switch Online to claim.) pic.twitter.com/izQY35ZfVw— Detroit Lions (@Lions) May 8, 2020
- 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.
- Jeff Seidel at the Detroit Free Press wrote about how the shutdown of team facilities is hurting the chances of undrafted players trying to make it to NFL rosters.
- Staying with the offseason facilities theme, we have Ben Raven at MLive writing that teams have been given protocols for reopening their facilities. The league has directed all teams to comply with the protocols by May 15.
- 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: