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5 Ways Thursday Night Football Hurts the NFL

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5 Ways Thursday Night Football Hurts the NFL

Thursday Night Football NFL
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL continues to balloon into the mainstream. With major network CBS getting in on the Thursday Night Football movement, it’s time to take a step back and ponder whether or not TNF is good for the game. Here are five reasons why football on Thursday nights hurts the league.

5. Wear and Tear

Brian Hoyer Thursday Night Football
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

5. Wear and Tear

Brian Hoyer Thursday Night Football
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL would be nothing without its world-class athletes. Forcing a player to hop back on the field 96 hours after a Sunday afternoon game is damaging to their body. Football players endure enough injuries and physical exertion anyway; it’s not good for the game to make them play on such short rest, even if it is only one week out of the season.

4. Players Don't Like It

Anquan Boldin Thursday Night Football
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

4. Players Don't Like It

Anquan Boldin Thursday Night Football
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

In addition to the physical exhaustion, NFL players — just like all of us — are creatures of habit. They like to spend Mondays recuperating from Sunday, Tuesday’s starting to game plan for next week and so on. A Thursday night game throws that routine way off, and players don’t like it. San Francisco 49ers star receiver Anquan Boldin is the latest player to publicly criticize TNF.

3. Poor Quality of Play

Doug Marrone Thursday Night Football
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

3. Poor Quality of Play

Doug Marrone Thursday Night Football
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

It is no surprise that when players are banged up and don’t have the same fire to play as usual, the quality of play diminishes. The average margin of victory in Thursday Night Football’s 14 games last season was just over eight points. A “good” game is typically decided by seven points or less, preferably closer to three.

2. Too Much of a Good Thing

Roger Goodell Thursday Night Football
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

2. Too Much of a Good Thing

Roger Goodell Thursday Night Football
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL’s product has always been extremely accessible to fans on Sundays, and for some time now, Monday Night Football has been a popular institution. Why not stick with those two days of the week? Shoving football in fans’ faces seems like a good idea monetarily because of the extra ad revenue, but it takes away from the specialness of the game.

1. TNF Shows Only Divisional Games

Tennessee Titans Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday Night Football
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

1. TNF Shows Only Divisional Games

Tennessee Titans Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday Night Football
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Of the 14 games slated for Thursday nights this season, all of them are divisional games. Much of the time, divisional rivalries can be the best games to watch, but not all of them are must-see television. For example, not many people are going to drop what they’re doing on Dec. 18 to see the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars square off.