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Roger Goodell believes quality of Thursday Night Football is better than other games

01.25.17 at 2:50 pm ET
Roger Goodell believes the quality of play is better on Thursday Night Football. (Brett Davis/USA Today Sports)

Roger Goodell believes the quality of play is better on Thursday Night Football. (Brett Davis/USA Today Sports)

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was on “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd on Wednesday. He touched on a number of subjects involving the Patriots, but also talked about the state of Thursday Night Football.

Goodell believes the quality of play on Thursday night is better than other games, and has the statistics to back it up.

“We’re more than just optics here. We’re into facts,” Goodell said. “Go to the same statistics, because you’re right about the quality of the games on Thursday night. There are actually less penalties, less turnovers. Almost by every barometer the quality of the games is better on Thursday night. Obviously, some games you’re going to have aren’t going to be as competitive, they will have a dominance. You get that.

“On safety, we’ve been tracking this every year and there has not been any indication, facts or anything else that would indicate that the level of injuries are up on Thursday night. Of course playing a game like football you’re going to be sore the next morning. Of course we take that into consideration and that is one of the things why we walked very slowly into this as we built Thursday Night Football. We started off with eight games and we built it up. It’s something we will continue to look at.

“How do we do the scheduling is an example. Should we have people flying on Sunday night, returning and then playing away on Thursday? We tried to do whatever we can to make sure we give those players the opportunities to recover from any injuries or even the normal contact that they are going to have in a game. We hear a lot that a lot of the players like it because you have 10 days afterwards before the next game. It acts as a mini-bye. There are a lot of things you have to balance.”

Goodell always downplayed any issue with Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

“Listen, I wouldn’t be doing my job if somebody wasn’t unhappy with a decision that you make or why you’re doing it,” he said. “Robert and I can disagree about things. We have a healthy respect for another, but that is true with any owner. That doesn’t effect my impact, my relationship or the fact that we work together to try and make the NFL better, ultimately. That is the most important thing for us. I can’t agree with everybody at every moment and I shouldn’t. A lot of these issues can be issues between teams. We obviously in many cases have to discipline our clubs. That is part of the process and we do that with a large number of our clubs when they are in violations of policy. It’s not personal. It’s professional and to make sure we are doing everything to protect the great game that we have and to promote it.”

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