In Football more than ANY other sport Every game is meaningful . with only a 16 game schedule you cant afford to lose or take a game off . Baseball 162 games Basketball 82? games and even Hockey players can afford to take a game off to rest or heal an injury since each game means less over the course of the season . Those sports are marathon's , Football is a sprint in comparison.
Throw in the fact that the NFL is the most competitive league of them all because of the salary cap and revenue sharing . With everyone on an even playing field financialy makes every game all the more important . Last seadon for instance the Texans were three plays away from an 8-8 record . This season Jacksonville is 5-3 but 3 plays away from 2-6 . Not only does every game matter but almost every play has meaning .