Around the NFL
Thursday night football schedule expands in 2012
Posted Feb. 03 at 10:14 AM
If you didn't think eight Thursday night football games were enough, you're in luck. There will be 13 Thursday night games aired on NFL Network starting next season -- or 14, it seems.
According to this story at NFL.com, Thursday night games will air from Week 2 through Week 15 on NFL Network. The story says 13 games, but that's actually 14 weeks, so either the story is incorrect or there's a skip week in there somewhere.
The NFL will of course continue with its Thursday night kickoff game in Week 1, as well, and typically airs Saturday night games in the last two or three weeks of the season, as well.
Asked about expansion, Goodell said it's not currently being discussed, although he said Thursday that getting a team in Los Angeles, which the league will eventually accomplish, could mean an expansion to 34 teams rather than moving one of the league's current 32.
Posted by PETER DEBIASE | Feb. 03 at 12:30 PM
Ian: Goodell also said that every team will play on Thursday. Since there are only 14 night games, I assume he is including the 2 Thanksgiving DAY games. This is terrible for fantasy football players IMO. It often forces one to make lineup decisions without complete information. It could force an owner to have to start a subpar player in a Thursday game as opposed to a better player on Sunday whose injury situation is unclear as of Thursday. Bad enough we had to put up with this from week 10. Now we have to put up with it virtually the entire season. Terrible idea, Mr. Commish.
Posted by JOHN MACHO | Feb. 03 at 04:06 PM
More TV games. Does anyone else see less justification to spend about $400 for NFL Sunday Ticket on DirecTV, which I believe also requires you to pay for HD service? Unless they take the next step, and deny you NFL Network, unless you buy Sunday Ticket of course. 32 teams has perfect divisional balance. DON'T SCREW IT UP NFL!
Posted by PETER DEBIASE | Feb. 04 at 06:46 AM
Allow me to clarify my comments above. Goodell said that every team will play at least one "primetime" game. I assume that includes Sunday and Monday nights. This means that some teams may end up playing multiple Thursday night games. If you listen to the majority of players, they would rather not play on Thursday because they do not believe that it gives their bodies enough time to recover. This from a man who claims to put player safety above all else. And I'm sure coaches do not appreciate the inadequate preparation time Thursday games afford them. So it really is all about the money after all. John: IMO, there is no justification to spend $400 for Sunday ticket considering that you are guaranteed four or five free Sunday and Monday games in most markets and the NFL Network and Red Zone Channel are included in a $10 monthly sports package by most cable providers in most markets.
Posted by ADAM HOLTZ | Feb. 04 at 11:43 AM
I believe the Thanksgiving games in 2012 fall in Week 12. Since we already know that the late Thanksgiving game will be on NBC instead of NFLN, I think it's safe to say that NFLN's Thursday package will be weeks 2-11, and 13-15. It seems odd to me, since Thuesday before Week 16 would be Dec. 20th. That seems like as good a day as any for TNF.
Posted by ADAM HOLTZ | Feb. 04 at 11:49 AM
I agree with Peter completely: The apparent wear and tear on players' bodies with TNF games seems contrary to what the league claims to be doing in terms of protecting players. I would be more supportive of TNF games if they involved teams coming off a bye week (e.g., play on Sunday the 1st, bye on Sunday the 8th, game on Thursday the 13th, next game is Sunday the 22nd). But having them all season long makes it impossible for most weeks.
Posted by IAN ALLAN | Feb. 04 at 07:44 PM
All of these teams have byes. I have never understood why the league doesn't make more of an effort to put the byes in front of those Thursday-night games, giving each team a week and a half to prepare. When they expand the Thursday slate, perhaps that will be something they'll try to do more of.
Posted by ADAM HOLTZ | Feb. 05 at 04:27 PM
Ian, I hope you are right. But Week 2 and Week 15 are not traditionally weeks that teams have byes! ;-)
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