Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Just how big a challenge is a Thursday NFL road game?

This is the fourth year the NFL has played Thursday night games every week, and if you look at the trends over those four years, you find something surprising: playing on the road on a Thursday, with limited prep and recovery time, isn't such a difficult thing to overcome.

Overall, NFL road teams have won 43 percent of all games in that span, but if you look at only Thursday road teams, they're 31-36 overall, which works out to 46 percent. Take away the Week 1 Thursday games — where the shorter prep time is almost negligible — and they're actually 31-33, which works out to 48 percent, again much better than road teams in general.

Thursday road teams on a short week are 8-7 this year — 7-6 if you take out the afternoon Thanksgiving games.

We'll understand if your frame of reference for a Thursday road game is ... the Bucs' last such game, which saw them trailing 56-0 to Atlanta for the franchise's greatest deficit at any point in its 40-year history on the way to a 56-14 loss. The Bucs have been a Thursday road team just one other time since 2012, winning 36-17 at the Vikings in 2012.

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