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More Games, More Injuries

If you've paid any attention to general NFL news lately, you know that there are more than a handful of parties pushing for an 18 game NFL schedule. To that end, the NFL even produced a study showing that injury rates don't rise toward the end of the season. However, Bill Barnwell at Football Outsiders ran the data himself and discovered that injury rates do in fact rise as the season progresses. This piece has already been discussed over at Advanced NFL Stats, so I leave you to read the study.

So then a topic for some FG discussion: Understanding that players are at a higher risk of injury with each additional game played and that the playoffs are at the end of the season, what are the positives and negatives of swapping two preseason games for two regular season games?



I'll start this off with one point from the positive pole: The 2008 New England Patriots. More information with which to determine the teams worthy of making the playoffs. For every additional games in the NFL schedule,  the NFL wheat has a chance to distinguish itself from the NFL chaff.  For teams like last year's Patriots, that's a pretty big deal. For every team that finished 8-8 or 9-7, that's two more data points with which to work. For the Lions...