The Green Bay Packers demolished the Minnesota Vikings 42-10 on Thursday and like many of the other Thursday games this year, the game was out of hand by halftime. During the NFL’s five weeks, every game played on Thursday night have been decided by 20 points or more, an alarming statistic for a league that thrives on parity year in and year out.
Why is it that one team is ready to play on Thursdays and the other team isn’t? The scheduled games haven’t been the most intriguing, but even the Packers/Seahawks game saw the defending Super Bowl champs win by a 36-16 score. Baltimore demolished division rival Pittsburgh 26-6 in a disappointing Week 2 clash. Those two matchups were the “closest” games on Thursday’s slate thus far.
In fact, the Packers/Seahawks matchup was the only Thursday game that hasn’t pitted division opponents against in each other. One would think that the intensity rises and teams play with more of an edge when facing a team in your division, but only one team has shown up per week.
The NFL has held regularly scheduled Thursday night games since 2006 and it was only in 2012 that they started to have a game every Thursday night. In terms of business, it was a great decision since primetime on Thursday is one of the biggest television nights.
However, at what cost does all that money cut into the quality of the game?
Football isn’t meant to be played on short rest. In most cases, the teams that play on Thursday gets three days rest prior to the contest. Three days of rest in between games isn’t enough to counter the toll football takes on the human body.
Teams don’t have enough depth and in every Thursday game so far, one team has recovered far better than the other.
CBS bought the rights to the Thursday Night Football package for $275 million for this season alone. Previously, the NFL Network had the rights, but those games weren’t bringing in its full potential of viewers since the games were on cable. The NFL is a source of entertainment, but at the end of the day, their job is to make money and millions of viewers are being sucked in on Thursday nights to see a bad football game.
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