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2017 NFL Bye Week Schedules with Graphics and Statistical History

Posted by Brad Perniciaro

Updated 9/20/2017

Bye weeks are an essential component of the NFL season as they give teams a much-needed break during the grueling, 16-game season. Although bye weeks are not the most interesting part of the season, they do have a sizable impact on the league and associated industries like fantasy football.

The purpose of this article is to be a comprehensive guide to the 2017 NFL bye week schedule. To put the 2017 bye week schedule into perspective, I also provide a statistical analysis of team performance following their bye weeks for the last five seasons (2012 through 2016).

Bye Week Schedules and Sharable Graphics

I created several bye week graphics to represent the 2017 bye week schedule in various formats:

  1. Full Season Bye Weeks Infographic: Provides a bird's eye view of the bye weeks over the entire NFL season.
  2. Bye Weeks on NFL Weekly Schedule: For those tracking byes on an NFL schedule.
  3. Bye Weeks by Division: Easily see when each team (and their division opponents) gets their break.

Full Season Bye Weeks

The following graphic is a high-level view of how bye weeks are assigned to teams between week 5 and week 11 of the 2017 NFL regular season.

Unlike the 2016 NFL season, the number of teams on a bye each week is very erratic in 2017. The number of teams on a bye range anywhere from two teams in week 7 all the way to six teams on weeks 8 and 11.

2017 is also different from the last few years in that all of the bye weeks for the 2017 are compressed into a seven week timeframe. This hasn't happened since 2011 when all bye weeks were schedule between weeks 5 and week 11 of the regular season.

2017 NFL Bye Weeks Infographic

2017 Bye Weeks by Week

This section presents bye weeks according to the 17 week NFL schedule. If you're looking for the teams that are on a bye for a particular week, then this is the most straightforward format.


Bye Weeks by NFL Weekly Schedule


2017 Bye Weeks by Division

For those who are more interested in bye weeks for intra-division or intra-conference play, this is the graphic for you. Teams are grouped by NFL division and ultimately conference.

For some historical perspective, the graphic also shows each team's bye week from the 2016 season. This bye week is shown as a smaller, faded number next to the 2017 bye week.

NFL Bye Weeks by Conference and Division


Bye Week History & Statistics

NFL handicappers pay special attention to NFL bye weeks in order to identify bye week trends. Instinct tells us that teams returning from a bye week should have a better winning percentage than their opponents, primarily because they've had a week to rest while their opponents likely have not.

But is it true?

Let's analyze league-wide and teams-specific statistics related to games played following a team's bye-week. In order to maintain some level of recency, stats only consider games played in the last five years.

Winning Percentage of Teams Returning from Bye Week

Over the last five years, from 2012 through the 2016 season, teams returning from a bye week have a collective record of 83-75-2. That's 83 wins, 75 losses, and 2 ties for a winning percentage of 51.9%.

This trend of teams returning from a bye week having a winning percentage slightly higher than .500 has remained consistent for the last few years. It supports the belief that teams with fresh legs have a small advantage over teams that didn't get a recent week off.

83 Wins (51.9%) 75 Losses (48.1%)

Team-Specific Performance Following a Bye Week

It stands to reason that some teams perform better than others when returning from a bye. The following table lists each NFL team's record for games played after their bye week over the last five years.

Best Teams After a Bye Week

  1. Detroit Lions (5-0)
  2. Green Bay Packers (4-1)
  3. Atlanta Falcons (4-1)
  4. Denver Broncos (4-1)
  5. Indianapolis Colts (4-1)
  6. Miami Dolphins (4-1)
  7. Houston Texans (4-1)
  8. Baltimore Ravens (3-2)
  1. New Orleans Saints (3-2)
  2. New York Giants (3-2)
  3. New England Patriots (3-2)
  4. Seattle Seahawks (3-2)
  5. Dallas Cowboys (3-2)
  6. Kansas City Chiefs (3-2)
  7. Arizona Cardinals (3-2)
  8. Oakland Raiders (3-2)

Worst Teams After a Bye Week

  1. Los Angeles Rams (2-2-1)
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-3)
  3. Chicago Bears (2-3)
  4. Philadelphia Eagles (2-3)
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-3)
  6. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-3)
  7. Cincinnati Bengals (2-3)
  8. Los Angeles Chargers (2-3)
  1. Tennessee Titans (2-3)
  2. Carolina Panthers (2-3)
  3. Buffalo Bills (2-3)
  4. Washington Redskins (2-3)
  5. New York Jets (1-4)
  6. Cleveland Browns (1-4)
  7. Minnesota Vikings (1-4)
  8. San Francisco 49ers (0-4-1)

The Best Weeks to Play Following a Bye Week

While it is true that some teams play better following a bye, it is also true that teams as a whole perform better on certain weeks following a bye. The following table and chart detail the collective record of teams playing on certain weeks which follow their bye week (again, over the last five years).

The trend over the last five years is that teams with the earliest bye weeks perform best in the game following their bye week. You can see from the graph below that teams which return from their byes on Week 5 through Week 8 have a winning percentage well over .500.

Between Week 9 and Week 14, teams are either .500 or have a collective losing record when returning from a bye (except for Week 10). Strangely, Week 10 has historically been the best week to play when returning from a bye (from 2011 to 2016).

Win/Loss Ratio by Weeks of Teams Returning from a Bye (2012-2016)

Week Wins Losses Tie W-L Ratio
Week 5 8 6 0 .571
Week 6 11 7 0 .611
Week 7 8 6 0 .571
Week 8 9 7 0 .563
Week 9 10 12 0 .455
Week 10 16 10 2 .615
Week 11 10 12 0 .455
Week 12 7 11 0 .389
Week 13 3 3 0 .500
Week 14 1 1 0 .500
Graph of NFL Team Win/Loss Ratio Following a Bye Week


Team-Specific Game Results Following a Bye Week

The following section deatils the results of every post-bye-week game over the last five years. Teams are grouped by conference and division for easy identification.

To make it simpler to visualize game results, wins are highlighted in green, losses are highlighted in red, and ties are highlighted in yellow.


AFC Conference Post Bye Week Records


NFC Conference Post Bye Week Records

I want to make this the greatest bye week resource on the web. If you have any ideas of new bye week statistics or analysis that would be useful, tell me about it in the comments below.









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