Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

No home-field advantage for Buccaneers vs. Falcons on 'Thursday Night Football'

[Associated Press]

[Associated Press]

When the Buccaneers last played the Falcons on Thursday Night Football, Atlanta scored four touchdowns in the first 16 minutes. By the end of the third quarter, the Falcons tacked on four more scores and led 56-0.

RELATED STORY: Worst 'Thursday Night Football' game ever

That was at the Georgia Dome in 2014. The teams will meet this Thursday at Raymond James Stadium. Advantage Bucs?

On the surface, it appears as though home teams have had an edge in Thursday night games. They're 5-2 this season (excluding the season opener in which the Broncos and Panthers had an offseason of rest). Since the debut of Thursday Night Football in 2006, home teams have won 60 percent of the time (61-41 in non-season openers).

In recent seasons, the NFL has scheduled more division games on Thursday nights. No more cross-country games like the New York Jets at the Denver Broncos, the San Francisco 49ers at the Baltimore Ravens and the Philadelphia Eagles at the Seattle Seahawks in 2011 (the home teams won each of those games).

If we look at only the division games on Thursday Night Football, home-field advantage disappears. These games have been coin flips, with the home team winning 54 percent of the time (36-31 in non-season openers).

As for the Bucs, they've lost three straight on Thursday night and are 2-4 all-time. They last won in 2012, when Doug Martin gained 214 total yards and scored two touchdowns in a 36-17 victory over the Vikings in Minnesota.

The Bucs have hosted one Thursday night game against an NFC South opponent. In 2013, Cam Newton threw two touchdown passes and rushed for another score in a 31-13 Panthers win.

There are many downsides to playing on a Thursday — less time to rest, plan and practice — but one benefit, in theory, is a longer-than-usual break before the next game.

That break, however, hasn't translated to more wins. Teams that have played on Thursday are no more likely to win their next game. Since 2006, teams that have played on Thursday and played their next game 10 or more days later are 128-130. (This includes the 2012 season opener, which the Cowboys and Giants played on a Wednesday.)

Over that span, the Bucs are 2-3 the week after playing on Thursday.

Contact Thomas Bassinger at Follow @tometrics.

No home-field advantage for Buccaneers vs. Falcons on 'Thursday Night Football' 11/01/16 [Last modified: Thursday, November 3, 2016 1:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays vs. Orioles, 1:10 p.m. Sunday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Today: vs. Orioles

    1:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 760-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Pitcher Jake Odorizzi #23 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait at Charlotte Sports Park during photo day on February 26, 2014 in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
  2. ABC Racing kennel advances three into semifinals


    ST. PETERSBURG — The maiden voyage by Don Burk into the $30,000 St. Petersburg Derby series — his first as the ABC Racing kennel owner — went as easy as ABC.

  3. Bullpen melts down as Rays lose to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Jacob Faria allowed his first two big-league home runs and was touched for a career-high three runs Saturday by the Orioles. Other than that, the rookie making his fourth major-league start did okay against the Baltimore bats.

    The bullpen, not so much.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Baltimore Orioles scored four runs during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 24, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) SPD118
  4. Lightning shifts search for defense to free agency

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — As much as he tried, Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman left the weekend's draft without acquiring another top-four defenseman.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101
  5. Lightning journal: Russian forwards top Day 2 draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — After taking a big, right-shot defenseman in the first round, the Lightning's second day of the draft was headlined by a few skilled Russian forwards.

    Canadiens rookie defenceman Mikhail Sergachev with Brian and Michelle Reid, the billet family he lived with while playing for the OHL's Windsor Spitfires last season. COURTESY OF BRIAN AND MICHELLE REID