Dak Prescott

2021 NFL Schedule Discussion

Here's your thread to discuss the 2021 NFL schedule, which is being unveiled today. Feel free to start by discussing the various rumors going around the Internet. The Week 1 schedule was fully announced this morning and you can find it here; the highlights include Dallas at Tampa Bay to launch the season on Thursday night and Baltimore at Las Vegas on Monday night with just one Monday night game instead of the usual doubleheader. Teams can announce their schedules starting at 7:30 p.m. Eastern, and the link below will take you to the whole thing at NFL.com.

We'll be discussing the whole schedule on this week's Football Outsiders Radio Hour, broadcast live over Twitch at 1 p.m. Eastern on Thursday with FO writers Aaron Schatz, Rivers McCown and Mike Tanier.

View Full Article


31 comments, Last at 11 Jun 2021, 10:46am

2 Rodgers at KC

It would appear that whether with the Packers or with the Broncos, Rodgers will be playing at Arrowhead this year.

4 yuck

Another year Miami has to deal with being stuck with the dumb London road trip while division rivals don't. At least it's not a "home" game this time. Jags versus Dolphins, not sure how that's suppose to appeal to UK fans.

5 They can laugh at how funny…

In reply to by johonny

They can laugh at how funny we say "jagwires"!  I really hate London games.  They play havoc with the schedule.  But there's competitive integrity to incinerate and turn into cash, so we are stuck with them.

8 division rivals

In reply to by johonny

I didn't realize the Jets were no longer division rivals of Miami.

9 Jets play at Atlanta in…

In reply to by johonny

Jets play at Atlanta in London.  I realize you don't count the Jets as a division rival anymore since they only won two games last year, and didn't even get Trevor Lawrence for their troubles, but yeah.

19 Jags are regulars in London

In reply to by johonny

Shahid Khan is one of the few owners eager to swap out a home game for a game in London.  So they Jags play over there pretty much every year.

Perhaps London's large Pakistani population roots for them?  :shrug:

In any case, if you had a choice between playing in Jacksonville or playing in London, which would you take?

20 Are you asking if you were a…

Are you asking if you were a Jaguars player, would you rather play in Jacksonville or London?

I haven't been to Jacksonville, but even if we make some broad assumptions, I am not sure its so clear cut. I don't think culturally London is as American as some believe it is. Plus the travel is a serious burden as well. I might prefer Jacksonville if I were a player. 

28 having lived in London

It doesn't matter if the city as a whole is "as American as some believe it is."  What matters is that London has a large Expat community and a large number of people who are fans.  

Florida isn't Canadian, but hockey is more popular in Tampa than baseball is.  It doesn't matter how the population at large is constituted as long as the number of hardcore fans is large enough.

So, yes, I think London is one of the best cities in the world to live in. It's a bit expensive, but that shouldn't be a problem for NFL players.

Jacksonville is one of the less appealing cities in Florida.  It doesn't appeal to me.  

21 "...if you had a choice…

"...if you had a choice between playing in Jacksonville or playing in London, which would you take?"

Jacksonville definitely. We're not talking about a vacation... we're talking about going to play a game. The travel seems like a huge burden vs. playing at home, and the unfamiliarity would likely be a negative too. 

It's almost like asking if you'd rather have a home game than an away game with lengthy travel, regardless of the destination. 

26 Office here or office there?

Totally agree, Theo. Some like it, some hate it. 

Our company puts out weekly opportunities to go work at another location for a short time (<=5 business days) b/c of a staffing need or big project in a limited time. In 5.5 years, I've never gone to help, nor requested to go; but 3 times experienced co-workers came from out of town to train me, and two times maintenance people came to help out in a pinch. [There are bonuses of $50-$100 per day plus regular salary plus expenses are paid--so there are incentives to go. It's still not enough to motivate me.]

6 I can't help but root for…

I can't help but root for the idea of London finally becoming a popular enough draw to get a team. I admit, it has huge logistical problems but I think tapping into the European talent pool could dramatically improve the game.

See the NBA. The reigning two time MVP, the front runner MVP this year, and a no doubt future MVP are all from Europe.

11 Colts' schedule looks pretty…

Colts' schedule looks pretty brutal. Carson will need to get off to a fast start or he could get benched midseason (to prevent the conditional second traded to Philly from turning into a first).

12 Yeah drawing the nfc west…

Yeah drawing the nfc west means no easy games. Plus the AFC East should be improved as well. And somehow also drawing TB is no fun. 

That said, no one quite knows how good these teams will turn out to be.

13 I can't believe NBC chose …

I can't believe NBC chose "Aaron Donald feasts on the corpse of Andy Dalton" for Week 1. That's a super-interesting game if Justin Fields starts, but there's almost zero chance of that.

15 NBC protected itself against Rodgers

The NFL's approach to the Packers SNF games is interesting. NBC can easily flex out of the last two SNF Packers games should Rodgers leave GB. The Week 3 game could be an interesting QB battle regardless; Jimmy G or T Lance vs A-Rod or J Love (well, maybe not if Blake Bortles is one of the QBs). The second could still be interesting as the QB battle could be rookie Fields vs near-rookie Love. But should the Packers be eliminated, there's little interesting about Vikings @ Pack in Week 17.

17 Packers Schedule is a Conundrum

Of course what looks tough in spring and summer may not be, and vice-versa. But 9 games outside the division against playoff or playoff quality teams (SEA/SF/LAR/ARIZ/BAL/PITT/CLEV/KC/NO-- won;t even put WASH there)-- including the AFC SB 2018/2020 and the NFC SB 2018/2019 representatives-- sets up this conundrum. If it's Love, hard to imagine them doing much better than the 6-10 Rodgers produced in his first season as a starter (2008) and unlike the Favre controversy, that will crush Murphy and Gudekunst. But with Rodgers, what if he regresses to more like 2019 and they lose a couple of close games and all of a sudden it is 10-7 and a first round playoff exit??-- and then if they gave Rodgers the store this summer in order to keep him-- they may not be able to force a trade and turn the team over to Love still on a rookie salary. It is the equivalent of the old Woody Hayes comment about throwing the ball-- three things can happen, and two of them are bad.

22 A reason the trade up was baffling

Tried to have their cake and eat it too. 

And that old quote is funny considering two of those something "bad"  things happens like 40%(?) of the time. When in reality it's always been more or less fine (when the other comparable is running the ball for a minimal gain and a cloud of dust).

25 Bad things on a pass

Well, in today's game, those bad things happen about 30-35% of the time, depending on the QB. Back when Woody Hayes said it, even at the professional level, it was about 50%. [Note that these percentages do not include completed passes that are not successful plays. That would add a little to the percentages.] But running the ball for a minimal gain and a cloud of dust doesn't happen all the time either. There were and are plenty of RB's who are very successful running the ball. There are also places on the field and down/distance situations where running is actually the better choice (ignoring clock factors). 

27 Even on a per play average

in 1969(?) it was 5.8 NY/A vs 4 YPC. For all intents and purposes, passing was still better but that stigma held fast for a very long time (still does today to an extent) .That was on a bad 53% completion but that's still a majority being completed. 

Overall: eh to such an outdated saying (even at the time). I could die from being hit by a plane OR bus if I go outside. All about the percentages though. Can't live life in fear!

30 Per-play avg vs. Success Rate

The problem is not yards per play/attempt--it's success rate. Extreme example: 1 of 5 for 40 yards= 8.0 YPA--that's pretty good. But that's a horrible completion percentage and success rate. 4-5 for 40 yards--three 3-yard completions, one 31 yd bomb=80% completion 8.0 YPA, but only 20% success rate. (The same is true for rushing.) My point is, based on your stats, that 53% completions is prob. less than 50% success rate when including sacks (data not available for sacks back then) + non-successful passes. Now, I'm not saying that rushing was a better option then, nor am I saying that it is now. In fact, rushing then was probably very similar to passing when comparing success rate. The only thing that rushing is better at is gaining at least 1 yard on any given play (obv. excluding kneel-downs).

31 Extreme examples

And remember they controlled the samples (when and how they go about play calling). And that was league wide and all season long, so likely a pretty big and diverse sample (and I used NY/A which includes sacks, so sacks were included in that sample back in 69)

"The only thing that rushing is better at is gaining at least 1 yard on any given play"

That's not even true. Runs get 0 or - all the time. Part of the reason the average is lower. Unless you mean a higher % of run plays get at least 1 yard, which isn't even necessarily successful to begin with (although many casual fans will probably think that's a HUGE difference compared to an incompletion on an average down, despite 2nd&9 not really being that different than 2nd&10, but either way, passing generally has a higher ceiling) 

Although it's also silly to assume rushing is turnover free, even if lower. And, by some definitions the average YPC might not even cover what a successful play is, on neutral downs like 1st & 10. Same two things can happen when rushing. 0 (or -)  yards or a turnover. At least you get more yards out of passing which compensates for the (perhaps) small increased chance of a turnover, over time that is. 

No play by play data from that time but from the 1999 season, the ranges of dropback SR was 33.8%-50.4% while rush SR was 28.6%-42.1%. Passing had a higher floor and ceiling. 2/31 teams (BAL & SF) had rush SR>dropback SR. Both missed the playoffs and weren't above .500. 30 years later but you get the picture. Ranges were likely just lower for both back than (can't find the correct time the quote was said, as it was mentioned many times in the 60s including 69).

18 I hear the Patriots face…

I hear the Patriots face three teams coming off a bye week. I think they faced four teams coming off byes in 2019.

One is average. Two is bad luck. Three should be a once in a decade or two event for a particular team.

I wonder, how common is facing three or more teams coming off byes?