Bears' opponents benefiting from extra rest

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears will face the Cowboys on Monday night with Dallas coming off 11 days' rest. This isn't the first time the Bears have faced an opponent who has had extra time to prepare for them.

The Cowboys last played on Thanksgiving day, eight days ago today and 11 from Monday when they will play the Bears on Monday Night Football.

Now that extra time off may or may not be beneficial, but you would have to think that at this point in the season it would help a team with the minor scrapes and bruises of the season get some extra rest.

And of course it would help the coaching staff to have extra time to watch film and game plan for the next opponent.

That said, the Cowboys have had extra time to prepare for the Bears and I think that that will give them an advantage. They still might not win that game but I think that the extra rest could help.

So far this year, teams that played on Thursday are evenly split at 11-11 in their next game, with three of those losses occurring in overtime, meaning that the losing team played really close with its opponent. While this may not be conclusive, it's something to think about. This year, teams were 18-14 coming off their bye week.

The Bears have played two games this season against teams coming off long rest: in week 10 against the Lions and in week 12 against the Rams. The Bears dropped both of those games by a combined score of 63-40, so the Bears have not fared well in the situation that faces them Monday.

The Bears, for whatever it's worth, are 1-1 in games in which they've had extra time to prepare. They lost to Washington following their Thursday night game but beat the Packers following their bye week.

And while the Bears will now have three games against opponents with long rest, it's hardly the worst end of the scheduling quirk. You may remember that the Buffalo Bills were upset that they have six games against opponents with long rest this season. However, the Bills are 2-3 in those games so far and their last such game comes next week against the Jags, who played last night. The Bills also lost following their "compromised" bye week (compromised meaning their opponent's bye fell at the same time).

So is there something to this "compromised" schedule or is it just a coin flip like many other NFL games? The numbers say it doesn't hurt much, but the Bears' track record this year doesn't give me confidence.

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