Blog Entry

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

Posted on: June 6, 2011 2:27 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 2:40 pm
 
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Last week, for the first time, we saw real progress in this NFL labor mess. There's still a long way to go but it's something. With the possibility of losing games -- or worse, canceling the season -- we'll take it.

A lot can happen between now and an eventual resolution, which means the league needs contingency plans. According to SportsBusiness Journal's Daniel Kaplan, that includes planning for a shortened NFL season, even one that includes as few as eight games.

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com writes that "An eight-game season would begin in late November, with a whopping five weeks allowed for free agency, training camps, and maybe a single preseason game. This would require a deal to be reached in October."

One of the concerns about players and owners finding common ground and ending the lockout is that the timing could throw free agency and training camp schedules out of whack. Five weeks isn't much time to cram it all in, but this sounds like an End of Days, worst-case scenario where the only other alternative is forget about the 2011 season altogether and start over in 2012.

As Florio points out, the 1982 strike-shortened season was nine games and 16 of the then-28 teams made the playoffs. That it has happened before is hardly a reason for the two sides to drag their feet on getting a deal done tout suite.

For fun, we took a look back to Week 9 of the previous five NFL seasons. Not every team had played eight games up to that point, but it serves as a proxy for our purposes here. Namely: to see how many teams were atop the standings at the midway point of the season and ended up in the playoffs. Because one argument against the shortened season (other than it takes away from the entirety of the NFL experience that stretches from September to February) is that teams can get on a two-month hot streak and win a Super Bowl. It's the cousin to Billy Beane's theory for why the Moneyball approach to winning baseball games goes out the window in the posteason.

Anyway, to the time machine:

2006, Week 9 ('*' means team made playoffs)

7-0: Bears*, Colts*
6-1: Patriots*
5-2: Giants*, Chargers*, Broncos, Falcons, Ravens*, Saints*
4-3: Bengals, Cowboys*, Jaguars, Seahawks*, Chiefs*

Colts defeated Bears in Super Bowl

2007, Week 9

8-0: Patriots*
7-0: Colts*
6-1: Cowboys*, Packers*
6-2: Giants*
5-2: Steelers*, Jaguars*, Titans*, Lions
4-3: Chargers*, Chiefs, Seahawks*, Browns, Ravens, Redskins*, Panthers

Giants defeated Patriots in Super Bowl

2008, Week 9
7-0: Titans*
6-1: Giants*
6-2: Panthers*, Redskins
5-2: Steelers*, Bills, Patriots
5-3: Cowboys, Bucs
4-3: Eagles*, Packers, Bears, Cards*, Ravens, Broncos, Falcons*, Jets

Steelers defeated Cards in Super Bowl

2009, Week 9
7-0: Saints*, Colts*
7-1: Vikings*
6-1: Broncos
5-2: Patriots*, Bengals*, Steelers, Cowboys*, Eagles*
5-3: Texans, Giants
4-3: Ravens*, Falcons, Packers*, Cards*, Chargers*, Bears,

Saints defeated Colts in Super Bowl

2010, Week 9
6-1: Patriots*
5-2: Ravens*, Steelers*, Jets*, Colts*, Falcons*, Giants, Chiefs*, Bucs
5-3: Packers*, Titans, Saints*
4-3: Eagles*, Texans, Dolphins, Bears*, Seahawks*

Packers defeated Steelers in Super Bowl

The takeaway? For the most part, clubs playing well midway through the season usually end up in the playoffs. Specifically, since 2006, 62 percent of teams above .500 through Week 9 qualified for the postseason, and that includes every Super Bowl participant over that period.

So while nobody wants an eight-game NFL season, recent history suggests it won't have much of an impact on the eventual champion. But that's no reason to drag things out. The sooner the lockout ends, the better for everybody.

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Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 8, 2012 11:43 am
 

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 8, 2012 10:12 am
 

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 2, 2012 10:47 pm
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fghdfre
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 2, 2012 9:12 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 2:36 am
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tomlye
Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 11:38 pm
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tomlye
Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 9:55 pm
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Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: June 10, 2011 12:22 pm
 

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

When the NFL got greedy & started the NFL network, I began to lose interest in a sport I've watched for over 40 years.Not all of us can get the NFL network, & I wouldn't pay for it if I could.I hope there is no NFL this year & the NFL winds up showing reruns of I Love Lucy.
The owners will lose billions & the players will lose millions    as well as a year off from their very short careers.



Since: Jun 9, 2011
Posted on: June 9, 2011 12:03 am
 

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

If they have to do an 8 game season - don't bother.  I will not watch.  I am an avid fan, but I got disgusted with baseball when they cancilled the world series, and have not watched since.  Football is disgusting me now.  They need to settle and not lose a game or I will probably  find other things to do on Sundays.




Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: June 8, 2011 4:18 pm
 

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

Ticket prices should be half price to make up for the other 8 games.Most of us would agree with that statement.
Ticket prices should be double to  make up  for those missed games.The owners would find a way to make that happen.
Players would expect to be paid for the entire year.
The NFL is doing it's best to kill the goose that layed the golden egg.     
I'll find something else to do on Sundays.I always wanted another kid.


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