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Chargers given short end of byes

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://www.pe.com/sports/football/stories/PE_Sports_Local_D_chargers_bye_09.3f69fc2.html" target="_blank">The Press-Enterprise</a>


    DALLAS - There are plusses and minuses to an NFL bye week.

    On the minus side, a bye can disrupt momentum. If a team is on a roll, the last thing it wants to do is stop playing. A team can lose its edge from inactivity. But that's really the only minus. No one ever minds a week off.

    On the plus side, a bye gives your injured players a chance to heal. Those extra seven days can make bumps, bruises and nicks disappear. The bye also allows players to freshen their legs. Tired players are not productive players.

    Finally, a bye provides an extra week to prepare for an opponent. You see it in colleges all the time -- teams scheduling a bye before playing an archrival. That means two weeks to prepare for the biggest game of your season.

    But colleges control their schedules. NFL teams do not. They go when and where they are assigned to play by the league. But that doesn't mean teams can't benefit from those breaks in the schedule.

    Historically, teams play well coming off the bye week, winning almost 52 percent of the games since byes were added to the schedule in 1990. The winning percentage would be considerably higher if you discarded three puzzling teams -- Cincinnati, Seattle and the New York Giants -- who have a combined 10-38 record coming off byes.

    If it's an advantage for a team coming off a bye, it's obviously a disadvantage for teams supplying the opposition. And there's no team at a greater disadvantage this season than the San Diego Chargers.

    Inexplicably, the NFL has scheduled the Chargers against four teams coming off byes, starting Monday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers. At least that game is at home.

    The other three games are on the road. Two require trans-continental flights. And the Chargers play all four bye teams in a span of five weeks. In addition to the Steelers, San Diego plays at Oakland on Oct. 16, at Philadelphia on Oct. 23 and at the New York Jets on Nov. 6.

    Just how unfair a hand has the NFL dealt the Chargers? Well, 25 of the 32 clubs play only one game apiece against teams coming off byes. Ten clubs do not play any games against teams coming off byes: Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Denver, Detroit, Green Bay, Houston, New Orleans, the New York Giants and Pittsburgh.

    How much of an edge do you think that gives the Denver Broncos in their bid to unseat the defending champion Chargers in the AFC West race? It's huge.

    The Buffalo Bills play three teams coming off byes, and five other teams -- Chicago, Minnesota, New England, Seattle and Washington -- play two bye teams apiece.

    But at least the NFL spread out Buffalo's three bye teams. The Bills play the three games over a span of seven weeks in October and November.

    San Diego's immediate concern isn't surviving the Broncos. It's surviving October against well-rested competition. The NFL did the Chargers no favors this season.

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