Is Prime Time a Bad Time?

Lombardi's Way Is Prime Time a Bad Time?

Posted in Lombardi's Way
Print this article

Every year football fans across America eagerly await the release of the NFL schedule and like Pavlov’s dog those same fans predictably begin whining about how the league screwed their team with such an unfair schedule.

And we Ravens fans are no different.

Clearly the 2012 schedule is a bit unusual in that it features 3 home games in September all of which will be played under the bright lights of prime time television. And while you can count me among those who prefer 1 o’clock kickoffs preceded by morning tailgating and followed by a journey through the celebratory streets of Federal Hill (as opposed to the cluster-you-know-what of taillights after a night game), this has to be considered a huge advantage for the Ravens.

Prime time games are what happen when your team is consistently good. It’s the nature of the NFL beast! And let’s face it, TV ratings collectively are the fuel that quenches the thirst of Goodell’s greedy engine.

Ravens fans generally cringe over prime time games. Images of ugliness trample through their heads like a bull in a Waterford Crystal store – the collateral damage of games in which our favorite team soiled the bed. Trips to Jacksonville and San Diego from 2011 come to mind.

But are the Ravens really that bad in prime time? Or is it that some of the embarrassing performances while the entire sporting world was watching just resonate resulting in an overblown sense of paranoia when Faith Hill sings her Joan Jett knock off tune before one of our games?

Interesting question (or so I thought) and it inspired a little research on my part. So I looked at regular season games played during prime time since John Harbaugh took over as head coach (2008). Here’s what I found:

Date 
Network 
Opponent/Location 
Result 
09-29-08 
ESPN 
Steelers/Pittsburgh 
L 23-20 
12-07-08 
NBC 
Redskins/M&T Bank Stadium 
W 24-10 
12-20-08 
NFLN 
Cowboys/Dallas 
W 33-24 
11-16-09 
ESPN 
Browns/Cleveland 
W 16-0 
11-29-09 
NBC 
Steelers/M&T Bank Stadium 
W 20-17 
12-07-09 
ESPN 
Packers/Green Bay 
L 27-14 
09-13-10 
ESPN 
Jets/New York 
W 10-9 
11-11-10 
NFLN 
Falcons/Atlanta 
L 26-21 
12-05-10 
NBC 
Steelers/M&T Bank Stadium 
L 13-10 
12-13-10 
ESPN 
Texans/Houston 
W 34-28 
10-02-11 
NBC 
Jets/M&T Bank Stadium 
W 34-17 
10-24-11 
ESPN 
Jaguars/Jacksonville 
L 12-7 
11-06-11 
NBC 
Steelers/Pittsburgh 
W 23-20 
11-24-11 
NFLN 
49ers/M&T Bank Stadium 
W 16-6 
12-18-11 
NBC 
Chargers/San Diego 
L 34-14 
 
Some observations about these prime timers under Harbaugh:
 

·         The Ravens are 9-6 overall (.600) v. 35-14 (.714) in non-prime time games

·         5-5 on the road, 4-1 at home

·         They have scored 19.7 points per game v. 24.8 in non-prime time, a 20.6% drop off

·         They have allowed 17.7 points per game v. 15.8 in non-prime time, a 12% increase

Now it could be argued (and rightly so) that by nature the Ravens play tougher opponents under the bright lights and therefore winning is more difficult. But if your team does have to take the NFL’s lighted stage playing at home is a luxury, particularly if your home is M&T Bank Stadium.

September 2012 could change Ravens fans’ perception of prime time football.

And then maybe the whining will stop.

 

Facebook Comments
Share This  
Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and CBS Sports 1300. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, Guinness, Orange Crushes and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi

Close

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

Get More Information