Bye Weeks Aren’t Necessary

September 5th, 2017

Joe’s got a lot of young readers here who may not realize that there used to be no bye weeks in a 16-game NFL season.

There were plenty of awesome NFL teams in the 1980s and none of them had a bye.

The NFL added it in 1990 to make more money — one extra week of NFL on TV.

This comes up today because a lot of fans are freaking out, claiming the Bucs will have a great disadvantage if they lose their bye week because Hurricane Irma gets Sunday’s opening day game at Miami rescheduled. Both teams have a scheduled bye on Nov. 19 and could play each other then.

Yes, that’s an option. And Joe’s quite confident the Dolphins’ ownership would be happy to do it. Miami already is giving up a home game this season. They’ll be the “home” team in London against the Saints on Oct. 1.

So what if the Bucs lose their bye?

Sure, players won’t get that treasured rest after a pile of games. Ok. That’s not ideal.

But what about the benefit of playing the Bears to start the season at home the following week without Chicago seeing one drop of film on the Bucs — when the Bucs will have a pile of Bears film to study? That should be an advantage for Tampa Bay.

There’s also the benefit of playing three of four games at home to start the season and, in this scenario, the Bucs should have a little extra in the tank when they play the Patriots on short rest, Thursday night, October 5.

Losing Week 1 also would give some players more time to heal and provide new stud safety T.J. Ward more time to learn the defense. The Bucs do have their share of banged up key players.

And as far as the Dolphins go, what are the odds they’re playing backup Matt Moore for Jay Cutler by mid-November and struggling? Joe would much rather see the Dolphins in Week 11.

Joe’s simply shining some optimistic light here. There plenty of potential positive to focus on. As America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, told the world last week. “F your circumstances.”

45 Responses to “Bye Weeks Aren’t Necessary”

  1. Dreambig Says:

    So if we take our bye this week, does that count as week 1 of DMs suspension?
    No. He’s suspended for games, not weeks. –Joe

  2. Conner Says:

    If all other teams had to play 16 straight weeks i would agree with you, but the fact that we would be playing 16 straight and nobody else in the league(other than the dolphins) would have to. That would give us a competitive disadvantage in the long run.

  3. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Yeah sorry, but I value Dirk Koetters opinion on this matter over yours everyday of the week and twice on Sundays.
    And if this happens, you’ll hear Dirk Koetter spin this as a positive.. –Joe

  4. Dave Says:

    Yeah but in those days, no other team had a bye either.

    Everyone in the league gets a week of rest except for the Bucs and Dolphins.

  5. Canadianbucsfan Says:

    I just don’t understand getting a neutral stadium to play at? I’m sure even the dolphins would prefer that over no bye wee

  6. westernbuc Says:

    In an era where player safety is dominating the news cycle, taking away their bye weeks would look horrible for the league. Yes, the league used to go 16 weeks without a bye week, but the entire league went without a bye. Taking away the bye puts both the dolphins and the Bucs at a competitive disadvantage. Just because we used to do things a certain way doesn’t mean it was right or beneficial.

  7. Dewey Selmon Says:

    The Dewey realist just posted this 2 hours ago and was told i was living in the past and not the 21st century. lol

  8. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Agree completely Joe…and agree with #3 “F your circumstances”.

    How many times have we had the bye early…that’s almost like no bye at all. A bye in the 11th week would have been nice but given what IRMA looks like right now…what Houston looks like…it seems to me that this is the obvious solution for the NFL….very little thinking required and again after the carnage in Houston the NFL would never wish to risk the publicity of doing anything that interferes with storm prep.

    Speaking of which guys…I need some help here. As many of you know I’m safe and sound up on Lake Superior but we get a call today from my hysterical sister in law…you see her face under “drama mama” in the dictionary. She said she had a phone call to get sand bags and plan evacuation…she lives in a very high and dry area of St. Pete so what’s up guys.

    What is the mood right now in Tampa. How palpable is the fear? Are people leaving? Boarding up? Hoarding water. Just curious for a local take.

  9. bucster Says:

    Sorry, but playing this game would look way more horrible for the league than not allowing 2 teams a bye. The NFL can’t make it appear that this football game is remotely important in light of a monster hurricane threatening both teams’ cities.

  10. darin Says:

    I hope we find out today. Would much prefer it fri night but thats just me being selfish. Its just a game in the big picture. N yeah i liked it better when there werent bye weeks. Go Bucs

  11. SCBucsFan Says:

    Maybe, but when the other teams get to rest a week, it isn’t fair to us and Miami.

  12. bucster Says:


    Up in Wesley Chapel area it was bedlam this morning. Went to Sams around 9am to pick up a prescription and they had no water left. NONE! Even the flavored was gone.

  13. Rod Munch Says:

    I agree completely Joe – the bye week is not a season changer.

    Is it really different having a bye week in week 1 than it is in say week 5? I don’t think so.

    However, with that said, the NFL should cut off one preseason game and then go back to the 2 bye weeks in a season they did a year or two back in the 90s I think. I actually like having 2 bye weeks as the season is now 18 weeks long but still has the impact of a 16 week season – and it means 18 weeks of NFL Redzone, which is the best program on television.

  14. Buc Nasty Says:

    So if they count this week as bye out of necessity, doesn’t that mean Muscle Hamster only misses 2 games?
    No. Martin is suspended for games, not weeks without games. –Joe

  15. Blake_bucsfan Says:


    Regardless of what may or may not happen if we’re to be wrongfully robbed of a crucial Bye week, It won’t change the fact that Dirk was/ is vehemently against it.

    “What do you think? Nobody wants that. Nobody wants to play 16 straight.” – Dirk Koetter

  16. Casey Morgan Says:

    Nothing is happening in Tampa Bay for Irma yet. Stores have plenty of water and most folks are back at work after a long weekend…

  17. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    In all honesty I kind of wish the NFL would do what the NCAA does and sprinkle in a few bye weeks per season. NFL is what many Americans pine for all off season. The off season is long too as football has by far the shortest season of the major sports. If they threw in a couple more bye weeks at least that would stretch out the season somewhat.

  18. greg Says:

    My understanding is that a lot of places are low on water. People need to prepare, not panic. People are talking about leaving. Not sure where they are going….I am sticking around here in Palm Harbor with a few cases of water….food and batteries…not much else to do

  19. BucTrooper Says:

    You know, in the old days, you could just ram your head right into ANOTHER player’s head! And you could COMPLETELY lay out a defenseless receiver going over the middle!! … yeah, just cause it used to happen, doesn’t mean it’s desirable.

    Personally, I want the game moved to Thursday or Friday and have an extra few days to prepare for the HOME OPENER. And if we’re scared that Mike Glennon might get some extra time to look at the film of the team he played for because they might gain an ADVANTAGE, this season is getting flushed faster than Oprah’s toilet after a bad Thai meal.

  20. stpetebucsfan Says:

    THX for that update Casey!

  21. bucster Says:

    Not sure where Casey lives, but up here in Wesley Chapel I found some water at Office Depot cuz Sams and Publix were out.

  22. Buc50 Says:

    NCAA teams get to schedule cupcakes to go along with a couple of bye weeks. In the NFL, the only team that gets cupcakes on their schedule every year are the Patriots.

  23. StAugBuc Says:

    Buc50 Says:
    September 5th, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    NCAA teams get to schedule cupcakes to go along with a couple of bye weeks. In the NFL, the only team that gets cupcakes on their schedule every year are the Patriots.
    Well played

  24. smoothop40 Says:

    Only problem will be that during the season the Bucs will not have a week to heal if they sustain any important injuries. Plus through the season the teams we play will have that bye week to rest

  25. unbelievable Says:

    Joe you do make some good points here, but for me it comes down to this:

    Getting a week of rest at that point in the season (week 11) is much more critical to a youngish team trying to make the playoffs, versus 1 extra week of rest now before the season starts.

  26. Negative Jeff Says:

    Follow the money and you will have your answer regarding when and where this game is played.

  27. Lord Cornelius Says:

    This is a net negative if we lose our bye week and there isn’t a positive way to spin it really.

    A week 5 bye = you are playing 12 games in a row max. A week 1 bye = you are playing 17+ games in a row if you are a wildcard team.

    Not to mention bye weeks are crucial for improving a team mid season especially teams with good coaches. I mean look at wtf happened last year after the bye. There’s a reason good coaches have insane winning records after a bye week

    Andy Reid would lose his mind over this sh1t. Dude is 8-11 week 1; but 15-2 out of a bye week.

    Week 1 is unpredictable because so much has changed over the year and you have no idea what a team’s game plan and identity is really going to be.

    A bye week = time to review your actual season and make changes. This would be tape for 4 games at a minimum and for us it’d be 10. This also gives more time to review the tape of the team you will be facing off the bye. This gives you extra time just to work on sh1t you never would work on as much if it was a typical week to week schedule.

    ALSO – teams who are healthy down the stretch = teams who typically make noise in the playoffs. It’s absolutely more valuable to be healthy the last 6 games of the season than the first 6; if you’re a playoff bound team either way

  28. James Walker Says:

    No bye means an extra loss. 9-7 instead of 10-6. =(

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    Don’t see where the NFL has much choice but to postpone the game until 19 Nov. It’s not ideal, but there are only a limited number of options. Lots of good rationale in your article Joe, but it really comes down to ‘no good options’. Moving the game up to this Thur or Fri jeopardizes both teams’ preparations (losing 2 or 3 days prep to start the season would hurt). And besides, moving it to 19 Nov means that we’ll have Doug Martin available for the game which could help us (Miami’s run defense last year was pretty poor).

    And St Pete, I’ve seen the mosquitoes up in the Lake Superior area so I’d hardly say that you’re ‘safe & sound’ up there. Some of them looked large enough to carry away a small pickup. Lots of folks here in the Valrico area share your sister-in-law’s concern. Everyone was on the road today gathering supplies it seemed (couldn’t get into the Costco parking lot it was so packed … so were all the main roads). Obviously Hurricane Harvey caught everyone’s attention and they’re all taking prepping for Irma seriously. And that’s a VERY good thing.

  30. BadHomebre Says:

    If it stays south and/or west, then we should play the game at Jacksonville, they are away this week.

  31. Casey Morgan Says:

    Just drove by our local Publix in St. Pete and there were a few extra cars, but all is calm. The 3pm advisory is moving the track further east. The Keys are in big trouble either way, but it’s too early to tell if the west coast will even get rain. No time for panic yet…

  32. Dewey Selmon Says:

    SURE WISH THE NFL WOULD GET OFF THEIR A$$ AND ANNOUNCE THEIR DECISION. This is crapola! I’m sure Joe will be the first to have an article. GO BUCS!!!

  33. Buddy Says:

    Nfl just sent a email to Bucs & it won’t be held this weekend in Miami it’s gonna be a neutral site game or at the bye week.

  34. Rob Says:

    This is a weak argument. In the 80’s NO one had a bye week. Meanwhile, it’s definitely a disadvantage to give every other team except these two a week of rest in the middle of the year. That’s a week where banged up guys can get healthy, where a coach gets a bonus week to game plan… everyone else would get that, but not the Bucs and Dolphins.

    Shouldn’t happen.

  35. bucs_365 Says:

    It’s a competitive disadvantage if every other team has a bye week and the Bucs do not. No one will want to listen to excuses if they wear down at the end of the year, but the missed bye week could have an impact. Also, a competitive disadvantage to go into week 2 without a full game under the belt. It takes a week 1 game to get into regular season pace and pressure. Bucs would go into week 2 without the first game to get in gear. Thankfully, that game is versus Chicago, so it should be okay.

  36. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Thx for the storm prep update.

    Yeah mosquitoes up here can be nasty but they are largely gone by August…and to be honest the black flies are the worst…they literally draw blood and leave huge bumps.

    We do not come up here to July when the worst of the bugs have past. The first golf tournament at the local course is called “The Black Fly Open” and golfers wear nets LMAO

  37. BucFamous Says:

    While Joe says it is not necessary, every single year you hear coaches and players say it is necessary and comes at “the right time.”. Sooooooo…

  38. Rod Munch Says:

    Actually the Bucs have had a history of really early bye weeks to which the coaches normally say they hate because it’s disruptive to have a week 5 bye week.

    This isn’t a big deal from that angle. The Bucs however this year have a late bye week which is a plus, but compared to prior years, it ain’t no thing.

  39. BucEmUp Says:

    How long has it been since the bucs have had a late or mid season bye week? If injuries hit that bye week can help a ton. Its a disadvantage. Why is it so complicated fly up north and play in an empty stadium on Sunday. Done

  40. JonBuc Says:

    I’m ok with this being the “bye week” for a number reasons. No awkward rush to Miami or elsewhere to play as early as Thursday. Get Kwon, Mike Evans and others already nicked up back to “full strength”. I just hope Glennon doesn’t soil himself so badly that we are denied a true reunion…LOL…( although the Bucs have lost to worse journeymen/former players…perhaps I should re-think this ;). It is what it is…could be a lot worse…hopefully the Bucs are hot by Week 11 and won’t necessarily want or need the break. Dolphins actually have it worse for the wear if you ask me.

  41. unbelievable Says:

    Rod, your posts are becoming less and less coherent by the day. Maybe think a little first… just saying.

    A week 11 bye week is clutch for any team looking for a post season run, especially a team without any recent playoff experience.

  42. SB Says:

    Sorry Joes! I stick up for you guys alot but there is NO way to spin not having a Bye as a Good thing. We should beat the Bears if they were in our locker room pregame!

  43. Tony from Los Angeles Says:

    Bye weeks may not be necessary… but they are a nice advantage to those who have them. Joe is right that none of the teams had them in the ’80s – but that is the operative part of that statement… “NONE of the teams had them.” Thus, it was a level playing field. Now the Bucs won’t have one.

    Think they don’t matter? Look at the winning percentage of teams coming off the bye.

    Not to mention… not playing in week 1 will put the Bucs at a disadvantage in week 2. It will be over 3 weeks since ther players will have played any snaps at all in a game situation. Rust will be a major issue. Look ta the winning percentage of the teams’ sin NFL history who were forced to cancel or reschedule their opening games.

    Spoiler alert: it’s abysmal

    So while it’s nice of Joe to argue that team’s used to not have byes, this would only be truly relevant if no team had a bye this season. That is not the case, possibly, for the Bucs.

  44. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I gotta side against you on this one, Joe.

    Back when there were no byes, things were much different. Also…does the CBA ring any bells?

  45. JamesD Says:

    No NFL team with a first week bye ever had a winning season……