The new 17 game schedule is straight cheeks. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to watch the Jets win a meaningless week 18 and fuck up their draft position. But what’s the cost?
Adding one extra game really doesn’t do it for me. Who really wants to see an 8-9 team? That just doesn’t look right. How will we know if a team is average if they can’t have a .500 record?
Let’s think about NFL records. Adding an extra game kills all previous records. Imagine if Pat Mahomes had an extra game in 2018. He probably would have thrown five touchdowns to tie Peyton Manning. He might have even thrown six to break the record. Hell, he did it twice in 2018. How can you break a record and claim you own it when you had an advantage over the other guys from the past?
If that’s the case, you might as well keep Barry Bonds as the all-time homerun leader. Adrian Peterson would love an extra crack at the rushing record back in 2012. Eric Dickerson holds the single season rushing record with 2,105 yards. AP ended the 2012 season with 2,097 yards. With only needing 9 extra yards, AP would have killed the record with an extra game. He averaged 131 yards per game, well above the 9 yards needed to own the record.
Now that we have an uneven number of games, 16 teams will play 9 home games and 16 teams will have to play 9 away games. The away teams now are at a disadvantage. Since the start of the modern NFL in 1960, home teams have won 59 percent of the time. Teams that have to go on the road now have a harder time to get another win that could put them in the playoffs. So half the teams have an advantage to start the season, knowing they have an extra home game.
It’s especially unfair if the extra game is within the division. If you have two teams in the division with the same record going into the last week of the season, and one team plays the worst person in the division while the other plays the third best team, you’re essentially giving the former the division crown. Now if you are the top two teams in one division, you shouldn’t lose to the bottom two. But one team will be playing an easier team while the other team struggles a little more.
The last game should be a flex game where if two division teams are tied for first, they should play said game for the division. Or instead of bullshit tiebreakers, the top two could just play each other if they’re tied.
The top three tie breakers are head to head if applicable, best won-lost-tied percentage within the conference and best won-lost-tied percentage. If one team played more bad teams in the conference, they have an advantage over the team who played harder teams. Instead of tie breakers let them play it out in the last week of the season to determine the higher seed.
For teams that don’t make the playoffs, why not have them play each other for draft order? For example if two teams are tied for the first overall pick, let them play to see who comes out on top for the pick. If the NFL is adding an extra game to get more money, why not make it the best week in the regular season?
The NFL also implemented a 14 team playoff with one extra team from each conference getting into the playoffs. Nearly half of the teams in the league will make it to the playoffs. You are severely watering down the regular season just to get more money. Is money really worth losing the necessity of winning regular season games? No one really enjoys seeing an 8-win team make the playoffs unless you’re a fan of that team. Every game matters in the NFL if you lose your first 2 games you only have a 14% chance of making the playoffs. Adding an extra game and 2 extra playoff spots makes it as if the regular season doesn’t matter as much anymore.
It’s what makes the NFL so great, so much is on the line each game and you have to come ready to win or that game could be the one that kept you out of the playoffs. Now you lose a couple of games late, you’re fine. You’ll still make the playoffs. No one will be fighting for the first round bye. As long as you’re in the playoffs, you have a chance. Teams have no incentives to win more games. They could also pick a random game during the season to have your starters rest, since they are playing more games. One extra game gives more chances of getting hurt and hurting the team for the playoff push. All just to make the NFL and it’s owners more money.
The NFL is always looking to make extra money and adding the one extra game and two playoff spots will definitely do that for them. It’s simple: more games means more TV time and more TV time means more money. It’s understandable everyone wants to make more money but the NFL should have been a little smarter than they were.
BANNER: U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus (far right), commander, U.S. Central Command, poses for a photo with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (center) and former players Lynn Swann, Roger Craig, and John Elway (second from right), during Super Bowl XLIII, Feb. 1, 2009, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. PHOTO CREDIT: Staff Sgt. Bradley Lail//USAF