FanPost

Sunday OT

If it seems strange to have six teams on byes in Week 8, that's because it is unusual.

Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego and Tennessee are sitting out this week. Arizona, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, San Francisco and the New York Giants have byes next week.

Normally, the NFL schedules four bye-week teams through most of October and the early part of November. Why the change? The reason is the calendar. Thanksgiving falls a week later this year, so the NFL had to make adjustments.

Historically, the league schedules its byes from Week 4 through Week 11. The late Thanksgiving, which falls during Week 13 this season, stretched the bye week schedules through Week 12.

To do that, the NFL had three weeks in late September and mid-October in which only two teams had Sundays off. In other words, the change isn't a trendsetter for the future, just an adjustment to a year in which Thanksgiving was a week later than usual.

As a result, there are only six early games this week and next.

With so many teams sitting out, a few more mismatches are at hand. The San Francisco 49ers are 17-point favorites over Jacksonville in London. Buffalo is a 12-point underdog in New Orleans. The Denver Broncos are favored by 13 over Washington. The loss of quarterback Sam Bradford has the St. Louis Rams as 12-point underdogs to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night.



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