I don’t know how Tim McManus does it, always getting someone to say something.
He always gets under Andy Reid’s skin at press conferences. He poked Michael Vick with his question about QB 7 owning a dog. And now, Philly Mag’s Eagles 24/7 blogger got the NFL to admit the Eagles drew the “short straw” this year with their schedule.
Yeah, he got the league to admit that the Eagles got screwed by having to play four teams coming off byes this season.
Here’s the statement the league issued to McManus:
The Eagles’ four games vs team coming off their byes includes this week’s game against ATL where the Eagles are also coming off their own bye. Beginning in 2010, we began to focus specifically on ROAD games vs teams coming off their byes as that had proven to be a competitive disadvantage (.388 win pct in 2003-2009 as opposed to .426 for all road teams in those years), and have limited each team to a maximum of 2 road games per season vs a team coming off their bye. This season, GB and BUF also play 2 road games vs teams off their byes.
We also try to keep in mind how recently these scheduling “inequities” have happened to a team, so while Philly has the short straw this season, their recent history is quite fair:
2011: 2 games vs teams off their bye (one home, one away)
2010: 1 game vs team off their bye (away)
2009: no games vs teams off their bye
As far as having four total games vs teams coming off their byes in a single season, it happened to ATL in 2009 (2-2 in those games), to SD in 2005 (2-2), and to DAL in 2003 (3-1).
The Eagles playing four teams coming off byes are the least of their worries, because I’m not sure what their opponents did the week before really affects Vick’s ability to read a blitz, Reid’s ability to manage a clock, or Jason Babin’s ability to, you know, actually sack someone. Still, though, four games, including this Sunday against the Falcons, against teams coming off bye weeks is a tough draw. Some – the NFL – would call it a short straw.