Last year, teams as a whole had a 20-12 record coming off of their bye week. During that span, the home teams' record was 13-3.
Arizona hosts the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday after enjoying their bye week. They should be gold, right?
The 20-12 and 13-3 records were made under the old Collective Bargaining Agreement. You know, before that brief intermission called the lockout.
According to the terms of the new CBA, players must receive four consecutive days of rest during their bye week—including the weekend.
It appears as though more rest may equate into more losses for bye-week teams.
This is a small sample size. I agree. But the early returns on the mandatory four-day rest are showing that it may have an effect on the outcome of games.
Arizona defensive tackle Darnell Dockett seems to think so. His argument: "When you take a week off and another team is rolling, and you've got to play them, and they have momentum; that can hurt you."
No one can really say if the 2011 lockout has changed the game in any appreciable way. The players are playing hard, making unbelievable plays, and the injuries are still happening each week. We'll have to wait until after the bye weeks to compare this season to last.
Who Will Win this Week?
So far, however, it's not looking good for the Cardinals. If they lose to the Steelers on Sunday, I'm sure there will be certain players or plays that stand out as to why they lost. Keep in mind, however, that it may have simply been too much rest for the Cardinals players, while going up against a team that is "rolling," according to Dockett.
And the Steelers are rolling. They have won their last two contests, but both of those have been at home. We'll see how they fair against the Cardinals in the desert.
We shall see.
Email Cedric: firstname.lastname@example.org