“Thursday Night Football” isn’t on its way out. As NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made clear at his annual state of the league address Wednesday, it’s here to stay.
To make his point, Goodell cited lower injury rates and “high-quality football.”
“They’re slightly lower than any other games,” Goodell said of injury rates. “We’ve seen high-quality football on Thursday night.”
That noise you heard was all of Twitter collectively scoffing. But … here’s a list of all the final scores for games played on Thursday night this season:
- Week 2: Jets 37, Bills 31 (recap)
- Week 3: Patriots 27, Texans 0 (recap)
- Week 4: Bengals 22, Dolphins 7 (recap)
- Week 5: Cardinals 33, 49ers, 21 (recap)
- Week 6: Chargers 21, Broncos 13 (recap)
- Week 7: Packers 26, Bears 10 (recap)
- Week 8: Titans 36, Jaguars 22 (recap)
- Week 9: Falcons 43, Buccaneers 28 (recap)
- Week 10: Ravens 28, Browns 7 (recap)
- Week 11: Panthers 23, Saints 20 (recap)
- Week 13: Cowboys 17, Vikings 15 (recap)
- Week 14: Chiefs 21, Raiders 13 (recap)
- Week 15: Seahawks 23, Rams 3 (recap)
- Week 16: Eagles 24, Giants 19 (recap)
Clearly, there are some awful games listed (let’s face it, no one wanted to watch Jared Goff and an interim head coach lead the Rams against the Seahawks in Seattle). But by my count, there were six one-score contests out of 14 total games. That’s definitely not as bad as I suspected before looking at all the final scores.
As for the lower injury rates, I don’t have the data in front of me to back up or contradict Goodell’s assertion. However, I do have testimonials from players over the years.
”You know, I can’t sit here as the player rep of this team and say that I’m a huge fan of it,” he said, per Boston.com. ”Obviously, it puts our players in a bind, but I understand why it’s being done. I understand that we want to make this game available to our fans as often as possible. But you talk about players’ safety and health, it’s hard for us to understand how that’s catering toward our players’ safety and health.’
“That Friday, everything was hurting; knees, hands, shoulders,” he said. “I didn’t get out of bed until that night. I didn’t leave the house at all. You talk about player safety, but you want to extend the season and add Thursday games? It’s talking out of both sides of your mouth.”
“Honestly, I don’t like the Thursday games,” he said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.“It’s short preparation. The body gets short rest. As a lineman, we played 71 plays [against the Browns]. And every one of those 71 plays I touched somebody, trust and believe that. But, at the end of the day, if that’s what the NFL wants, you have to go out and do it.”
Despite their concerns, “Thursday Night Football” soldiers on.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Goodell defends Thursday Night Football: Lower injury rate, ‘high-quality football’