This year, 10 teams will play three games only 10 days apart

The 2024 schedule has a wrinkle that affects nearly one third of the league. Even though, in five prior years, that specific wrinkle had never been used a single time on a single team.

Three games from Monday to Sunday to Thursday. Whether that’s 10 days or 11 days (apparently, it’s subject to debate), it didn’t happened from 2019 to 2023. For any team.

This year, it happens for six teams: Jets, Seahawks, Saints, Cowboys, Bengals, and Bears.

For four other teams, it’s a Sunday-Saturday-Wednesday thing, thanks to the Christmas games: Steelers, Ravens, Chiefs, Texans.

It’s a lot to expect from any team. The fact that the league expects it from 10 of them this year doesn’t make it better. However, once the league stumbled over the silver-bullet statistic that the injury rates when teams play with six days off between games is no different than playing with three days off between games, plenty of scheduling configurations can be justified.

The question is whether this year was a fluke, or whether we’ll see it more often. Our guess is that we will, because when it comes to setting the schedule only two factors matter.

Not health and safety. Dollars and cents.

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