Bye Week Briefing – How Will the Week 9 Bye Teams Respond?

It’s bye season. A much less popular season than its relatives fall and winter, we’ve reached the portion of the NFL calendar where a significantly abbreviated schedule is played each week because teams are taking their annual week off. At least four squads have a bye each of the next three weeks. This week, the Falcons, Bills, Bears, Lions, Packers, and Titans get to enjoy some family time. What should we expect when they return to the gridiron?

It’s bye season. A much less popular season than its relatives fall and winter, we’ve reached the portion of the NFL calendar where a significantly abbreviated schedule is played each week because teams are taking their annual week off. At least four squads have a bye each of the next three weeks. This week, the Falcons, Bills, Bears, Lions, Packers, and Titans get to enjoy some family time. What should we expect when they return to the gridiron?

Atlanta Falcons

After a week 8 tilt in London, Atlanta will have back-to-back road games after its bye. The Falcons have lost five straight including a 22-21 loss against Detroit in week 8 (a game they led 21-0 and seemed to win before the Lions got a second chance at a late field goal). Despite dropping a game that appeared secured, it was the Falcons best effort in more than a month. Atlanta is 2-6 straight up and 3-5 against the spread. The Falcons are 0-4 on the road against the number. Atlanta has won following a bye in five straight seasons and their first game back is against the eminently beatable Buccaneers.

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo began the season 2-0 beating Chicago on the road in overtime, and dominating Miami at home. After losses against San Diego and Houston, the Bills benched quarterback E.J. Manual and went to veteran Kyle Orton. Since the switch, Buffalo is 3-1 with wins over Detroit, Minnesota, and the New York Jets. After their bye week, Buffalo will play three of their next four at home.  Last season, in coach Doug Marrone’s first campaign, the Bills lost two straight after their bye week. Looking a little further back, Buffalo has won six of their last nine following a bye. Their first game back is against the suddenly hot Chiefs, though.

Chicago Bears

The Bears are 3-5 and they’ve given up a slew of points. In case you haven’t heard, Brandon Marshall isn’t happy about how things are going. Chicago is averaging 34 points against in their five losses this year and, most recently, got demolished 51-23 at New England. Strangely, all three of the Bears’ wins have come on the road. Chicago is 3-5 against the spread and 0-3 at home. They travel to Green Bay in week 10 before hosting the Vikings and Bucs in mid-November. The Green Bay game will be a repeat of their first post-bye game last season; in coach Marc Trestman’s first season with the Bears, Chicago won at Green Bay 27-20 after their week off. The Bears are 3-1-1 following a bye in their last five tries.

Detroit Lions

After rallying past the Falcons in the UK, Detroit is 6-2 on the year but only 4-4 ATS. The Lions have won three straight and are 3-1 in games decided by a touchdown or less. After the bye, the Lions host a surging Miami squad before tough road games in Arizona and New England. When Jim Caldwell was the head coach in Indianapolis, the Colts went 2-1 after regular season byes. The Lions have won three of their last four following byes.

Green Bay Packers

Green Bay had won four straight heading into week 8, but then fell at New Orleans prior to their bye. The Packers are 5-3 overall and 4-3-1 against the spread. All three of Green Bay’s losses have come on the road, and none were close. Green Bay has home wins over the Jets, Bears, Minnesota, Miami, and Carolina. After the week off, the Packers host a fellow week 9 bye team, the Chicago Bears. They remain at home in week 11 for a tilt against Philadelphia. Green Bay is 2-0-1 against the spread at Lambeau Field this year. Since Mike McCarthy became the coach of the Packers, Green Bay is 9-1 after a rest week.

Tennessee Titans

After an opening day win at Kansas City – which is looking more curious by the week – the Titans have lost six of seven. They fell to Houston 30-16 in week 8 following a tight road loss at Washington in week 7. Tennessee is 2-5-1 against the spread and 0-3-1 at home. When the Titans return to action, three of their next four are on the road, where they are just 1-3 straight up on the year. Tennessee has not been a particularly good post-bye team, either, losing three of their last four immediately after the break.

(Photo credit: Keith Allison (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode].)