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 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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Since: Mar 7, 2011
Posted on: June 6, 2011 7:34 pm

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

Like that would mean something.  Anyone paying to watch 8 games is an idiot.   After missing just one game, the fans should boycott everything NFL.

The first 8 weeks, ESPN can run their usual shows on all the villians in the league and how they are now great humans.  They can show how the latest felon will make the Eagles the happiest place in the National Felon League. 

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: June 6, 2011 6:47 pm

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

If they try & give us an 8 game season, I'll wach & go to half the games.I'll also be half the fan I use to be & everytime peyton Manning goes down, I hope jhe gets up half the time.When the Super Bowl comes around---You guessed it, I'm only watching half of it.The watered down Super Bowl champs will have their victory gorever tainted.
A year wiith no NFL would be bad;a half year would be a joke.
Billionaires, millionaires pay attention.Play a full season or none at all.
I can't help but think about the veteran players who have 1 maybe 2 years left in them.I don't know if I'll feel sorry for them, but a year with no football would effect those players the most.If they miss a year they will have to compete with 2 years of rookies & father time.For some of them their careers are already over & they don't even know it.

Since: Apr 14, 2007
Posted on: June 6, 2011 6:40 pm

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

yawn...and everyone will race tout de suite* to the TV set to watch if it was a 4 game season.
Some will lie about it, and claim they boycotted, but that won't be the reality.

* actual phrase

Since: Feb 21, 2011
Posted on: June 6, 2011 5:56 pm

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

Fantasy football isn't everything it's the ONLY THING! At least for guys like me who don't have a favorite team. I watch alot more because of FF than I would normally. I don't really care but I think an eight game schedule lacks legitimacy.

Since: Feb 25, 2008
Posted on: June 6, 2011 5:54 pm

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

If they can't get their rich butts to agree to any kind of deal then I think they need to have a ZERO game schedual and rethink the NFL league all together ! they are there to entertain us not the other way around.

Since: Jun 6, 2011
Posted on: June 6, 2011 5:54 pm

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

they did no get this resolved, no 8 game season that would suck

Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: June 6, 2011 5:49 pm

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

Hell, I'd take a single game season with names pulled out of a hat to determine who plays in it if nothing else.

Since: Jun 20, 2007
Posted on: June 6, 2011 5:45 pm

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

I have a contingency plan. Forget the NFL and NFLPA for a season.
NFL fans have supported this organization through thick and thin and this is how we are repaid?  10% unemployment, stagnant wages and yet we still bought Sunday ticket, increased ticket fees and bought jerseys and hats because we love football.
I'm cancelling my Sunday ticket, no new jats and jerseys for me and they can forget me paying $11 a beer this season.
Millionaires and billionaires fighting over how the money from ten thousandaires is going to be split up.
Time for football to love us fans as much as we love it.   

Since: May 9, 2011
Posted on: June 6, 2011 5:34 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: June 6, 2011 5:21 pm

NFL contingency plans include 8-game season

hey why not???? only chance for a superbowl the browns could see this year hahahaha

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