In the off-season, NFL players train to get ready for the season. They run, lift weights and do all kinds of things to make sure they are in tip-top shape for the grind that is the NFL season. As the season goes along, teams suffer loses. It’s gonna happen. There’s some tough teams in the NFL. But to me, it seems like the biggest opponent so far isn’t a team.
The bye week has been a killer this year. It seems like teams that come out of the bye week have typically come out looking a little lost. An example of that is the Tennessee Titans this past Sunday. Sure, they lost to the Texans 41-7. But looking deeper into that loss, it seemed like a lot of the timing was off and it also seemed like some guys missed the week of work. Now, it is up to the players to get up for games, but byes seem to throw that rhythm off just a little bit.
NFL players, like most people, are creatures of habit. They do certain things at certain times. Each player has a particular routine as to how he gets ready for the game. It may be listening to music. It could be going to sleep. The point is, there’s a routine that is followed that allows these players to go out and perform at their best week after week. When that routine is disturbed by the bye week, it seems like some teams can withstand that more than others.
My advice to coaches is schedule a scrimmage during the bye week. Keep things as normal and routine as possible. Anything to keep the rhythm of your team going. If you don’t, you could be headed for a major letdown on Sunday. Nine of the 12 teams that have had byes so far have lost coming out of the bye. So, for the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles, I hope you prepared. If you’re not, you could be on the bad end of a real terrible loss. The bye week doesn’t play and it continues to be the hardest opponent for each team in the NFL.