Thursday Night Football vs. Monday Night Football: Which is Less Competitive? Which Has More Blowouts?

Thursday Night Football vs. Monday Night Football

Thursday Night Football vs. Monday Night Football

The first game of the season (on a Thursday) saw the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks make the usually-highly-competitive Green Bay Packers look like chumps, 36-16.

Week 2 saw another bore on a Thursday, and another 20-point win. The Baltimore Ravens shut down the Pittsburgh Steelers 26-6.

We haven’t even started yet. Week 3 was the big Thursday blowout – and the biggest since the current Thursday night package went into effect in 2006. The Atlanta Falcons jumped to a ridiculous 56-0 lead over the hapless Tampa Bay Buccaneers before that game settled at 56-14.

Even the New York Giants scored 45 points on a Thursday – in Week 4 against the Washington Redskins.

There’s more. The Packers returned to Thursday night in Week 5 and beat the rival Minnesota Vikings 42-10.

Scrap the Thursday night game!! Right?

Nah.

All those beatdowns in 2014 have understandably created a chorus of Thursday night naysayers, from the media to fans to the players themselves.

USAToday said Thursday Night Football is “pretty much unwatchable.” Bleacher Report asked if TNF was “hurting the NFL brand.” NBC Sports wondered, “what’s wrong with Thursday Night Football?”

New York sports radio is awash in callers bemoaning the lack of competition in the TNF games.

Houston Texans running back Arian Foster told CBS Sports, “I don’t know one player that likes it. I really don’t know a fan that likes it, either.” He alluded to a higher risk in injury thanks to the four-day turnaround.

But here’s the thing. Mondays actually host worse games that are less competitive and field more blowouts, if only by a bit, over the same period of time.

Let’s look at the facts.

First of all, for the past nine seasons (2006-2014) there have actually been more games played on Thursdays each season than on Mondays. Every week, there is one Thursday and one Monday game. Thanks to the Thanksgiving slate, a threesome, add another two Thursday games to the season. It’s Monday night then, by this perspective, that is the odd night out.

It also happens that there have been more blowouts on Mondays than on Thursdays (fairly, the sample set goes back only to 2006 with the inception of TNF).

Furthermore, a preponderance of the Thursday night blowouts occurred on Thanksgiving itself, a tradition that’s been going on for almost 100 years (1920) with little complaint. No one in their right mind would scrap those games.

Let’s look at the stats.

Below is every Monday and Thursday game since 2006 with a point differential of 25 or more: 19 times on Monday Night compared to just 15 times on Thursday – and of those nearly half (seven) were on T-Day.

On both days, the biggest blowout was 42 points. Both days have had eight 30-point or more defeats.

If you look further, though, thanks to my source, pro-football-reference.com, you can see that Mondays also have had twice as many (!) 20-24 point wins (20) than Thursdays (10), again over the same 2006-2014 period.

Conclusion: There’s not much of a difference between Monday and Thursday games, and what there is actually leans towards Mondays being the lamer of the two.

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL BLOWOUTS (2006-2014, INCL. THANKSGIVING GAMES*)

WINNER LOSER DATE POINT DIFF.
1. Atlanta Falcons 56 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14 Sep. 18, 2014 42
2. Tennessee Titans 47 Detroit Lions 10 Nov. 27, 2008* 37
3. Green Bay Packers 42 Minnesota Vikings 10 Oct. 2, 2014 32
4. Indianapolis Colts 41 New Orleans Saints 10 Sep. 6, 2007 31
4. Dallas Cowboys 34 New York Jets 3 Nov. 22, 2007* 31
4. New York Giants 45 Washington Redskins 14 Sep. 25, 2014 31
7. Detroit Lions 40 Green Bay Packers 10 Nov. 28, 2013* 30
7. New England Patriots 49 New York Jets 19 Nov. 22, 2012* 30
9. New York Giants 36 Carolina Panthers 7 Sep. 20, 2012 29
10. Dallas Cowboys 38 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10 Nov. 23, 2006* 28
10. Philadelphia Eagles 48 Arizona Cardinals 20 Nov. 27, 2008* 28
12. Atlanta Falcons 41 Jacksonville Jaguars 14 Dec. 15, 2011 27
12. San Diego Chargers 34 San Francisco 49ers 7 Dec. 16, 2010 27
12. San Diego Chargers 34 Oakland Raiders 7 Dec. 4, 2008 27
15. Dallas Cowboys 34 Seattle Seahawks 9 Nov. 27, 2008* 25

*

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL BLOWOUTS (2006-2014)

WINNER LOSER DATE POINT DIFF.
1. New England Patriots 45 New York Jets 3 Dec. 6, 2010 42
2. Green Bay Packers 45 Minnesota Vikings 7 Nov. 14, 2011 38
3. New England Patriots 41 Denver Broncos 7 Oct. 20, 2008 34
4. New York Giants 45 Washington Redskins 12 Dec. 21, 2009 33
5. New England Patriots 34 Kansas City Chiefs 3 Nov. 21, 2011 31
5. Phialdelphia Eagles 59 Washington Redskins 28 Nov. 15, 2010 31
5. Pittsburgh Steelers 38 Baltimore Ravens 7 Nov. 5, 2007 31
5. Baltimore Ravens 44 Cincinnati Bengals 13 Sep. 10, 2012 31
9. New Orleans Saints 45 Atlanta Falcons 16 Dec. 26, 2011 29
10. New England Patriots 42 Houston Texans 14 Dec. 10, 2012 28
11. Denver Broncos 41 Oakland Raiders 14 Sep. 8, 2008 27
11. Kansas City Chiefs 41 New England Patriots 14 Sep. 29, 2014 27
11. New England Patriots 41 Miami Dolphins 14 Oct. 4, 2010 27
11. Tennessee Titans 30 Jacksonville Jaguars 3 Oct. 18, 2010 27
11. San Diego Chargers 27 Oakland Raiders 0 Sep. 11, 2006 27
11. Seattle Seahawks 34 New Orleans Saints 7 Dec. 2, 2013 27
17. Chicago Bears 40 Minnesota Vikings 14 Dec. 20, 2010 26
18. New Orleans Saints 49 New York Giants 24 Nov. 28, 2011 25
18. San Francisco 49ers 32 Chicago Bears 7 Nov. 19, 2012 25

Photos: wikipedia.org / engadget.com

Posted on October 16, 2014, in NFL Football and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: