Yesterday, I tore into the NFL for scheduling the Eagles against 4 teams coming off their BYE week. In my opinion, the BYE week can be a major advantage. Your team gets much needed rest, it’s a time for ailing players to get healthy, and your coaching staff gets 7 extra days of film study and whatnot to prepare for the next team. As an Eagles fan, I think of the week after the BYE as money in the bank. After all, in Andy Reid’s tenure the Eagles are 13-0 in the week following a BYE. However, since the BYE was introduced, according to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 52.6% of the teams have followed up the BYE week with a with a win. They do far less with the extra week than the Eagles seem to do.
The Eagles, as I already mentioned, play 4 teams after their BYE this year. In one of those games, they too have a BYE, which basically cancels that game out, leaving 3.
Now, let’s pretend that every team in the league is exactly the same, and everyone finishes 8-8 every year. Hang in here with me for a second, while I math you to death.
If you look at every NFL game in a 16-week schedule, with the average number of wins per season being 8 (and therefore 0.5 wins per game), You would project 6.5 wins for the Eagles’ 13 non-BYE-affected games. (0.5 * 13 = 6.5)
Are you with me so far? Good? Good. OK, now… since the league has a winning percentage of .526 for teams coming off a BYE, we’ll use that figure for the remaining 3 games on the Eagles’ schedule. (0.526 * 3 = 1.578).
So, we would add the 6.5 with the 1.578, and we get 8.078 wins for the Eagles’ opponents this year. Flip it around, and the Eagles projected win total would be 7.922.
It is still a disadvantage, and one that absolutely should not exist, but not nearly as bad as I would have thought.
The much bigger gripe, and a very fair one, is that the Eagles essentially don’t get a true game after a BYE this year, since the team they play after their BYE (the Falcons) also have a BYE the previous week.