It's conventional wisdom that the Thursday night NFL games, whether because of the short break or the quality of the teams involved, are crap. The conventional wisdom's not always right. Over at Sports on Earth, Aaron Gordon dove into 13 years' worth of games to puzzle out the truth.

Gordon used two metrics from Advanced NFL Stats: Excitement Index, or the intensity of fluctuations in win probability over the course of a game; and Comeback Factor, which rewards comebacks according to their improbability. He also tossed out the Thanksgiving games and the season openers featuring defending champs, to compare the NFL Network games with the league average.


His findings? In short, Thursday games are nearly indistinguishable from the league average in Excitement Index scores (and higher than Monday night games!), but lag well behind when it comes to comebacks.

It's much more nuanced than that, and well worth your read, but my confirmation bias is sated—go to sleep at halftime of the Thursday game and you won't miss much.

Thursday Night Blights [Sports on Earth]