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Does it matter when your bye week is?

Posted by Doug on April 11, 2006

One more quick schedule thought:

I have often wondered whether the NFL could, either intentionally or inadvertantly, give a team an advantage by putting their bye week later in the year. Wouldn't you rather your team have a week 10 bye than a week 3 bye? Who needs a week 3 bye?

First let's just check to see if the bye week itself is an advantage. Since 1995, all teams combined have a 174-164 record in the week following a bye. That's 51.5%, which is not significantly different (in the official statistical sense) from 50%.

Now let's break that down by week:


Bye week Rec. after bye
1 1- 2
2 2- 3
3 19-18
4 21-20
5 23-20
6 27-18
7 20-23
8 23-20
9 17-16
10 12-13
11 2- 3
12 0- 3
13 1- 2
14 2- 1
15 1- 2
16 3- 0

Just to make sure that's clear, the '8' line means that teams who had a week 8 bye were a collective 23-20 in week 9.

Again, nothing to see here. If I were more ambitious I would check to see if the the teams who have historically been given early byes were, as a whole, significantly stronger or weaker than those given late byes. I would also throw out the games in which both teams were coming off a bye.

But at least at first glance, what you should take from this post is that Doug likes playing with his database and is a little bit paranoid. If the NFL is rigging the bye weeks, it is at least not being too obvious about it.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 11th, 2006 at 5:52 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.