During the 2021 offseason, the NFL made major adjustments to its schedule. The league expanded it to 17 games.

The expansion of the schedule is the NFL’s first time since 1978, when the league expanded from 14 games to 16 games. The NFL has used a roster of 16 games for 43 years.

But now, the league has increased its schedule again and will take the lead in entering a new 17 game format in 2022.

“This is a landmark moment in NFL history,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodall said of the schedule expansion In the statement“The CBA with the players and the recently completed media agreements have laid the foundation for us to improve the quality of the NFL experience for our fans. One of the benefits of each team playing 17 regular season games is that we can continue to develop our game.”

Here is everything you need to know about the schedule expansion and how it will affect the NFL 2021 season.

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Why did the NFL expand the schedule to 17 games?

It’s all about money. NFL bosses think they can make more money through 17 regular season games and 3 preseason games — and “development games,” as Goodell mentioned in his statement — with the previous 16 regular season games and Compared with 4 games, they can pass 17 regular season games and 3 preseason games.

The NFL can choose to extend the schedule to the 17 games built into the CBA; they only need Sign a new media contract Before gaining the ability to exercise it. The league managed this and exercised its expansion clauses before the 2022 season.

Once the NFLPA and the boss agree in the CBA, the expansion of the season is always inevitable. In addition to this, the timing—after the COVID pandemic has driven fans out of the stadium and caused many owners to lose money for lack of tickets and franchise sales—makes this decision a wiser.

How will the NFL’s 17 game schedule work?


The expansion to 17 games resulted in major changes to the NFL’s preseason schedule. Now each team will play three preseason games instead of four preseason games per team (except for Hall of Fame participants who will participate in the fourth preseason game).

In other words, although the preseason time is short, but for NFL coaches, this is still a good opportunity to evaluate the depth of their lineup. In recent seasons, we have seen coaches not using their starters at all during the preseason. In 2021, the new Lightning coach Brandon Staley (Brandon Staley) Plan to sit quarterback Justin HerbertWait to make sure they stay healthy.

The reduction in the role of starting players will provide NFL coaches with ample opportunities to evaluate the depth of players on their roster. Therefore, shortening the preseason is not important for the team, and may be beneficial, because the team wants to avoid injury to the most important player in the preseason.

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Regular season

Obviously, the current regular season is one week longer than before. The start of the season is still indifferent, which means that the playoffs will be postponed for a week to make room for additional games. Therefore, this season’s Super Bowl will be held on February 13, 2022 instead of February 6, 2022.

In addition, the schedule is asymmetric because some NFL teams will have 9 home games and 8 away games, while other teams will have 8 games at home and 9 games away. This may give teams with more home games a slight competitive advantage, although this number will change from year to year.

It is also unlikely that it will end with a 0.500 record. Doing so requires a team to tie and record 8-8-1. Technically speaking, a team has more ways to reach 0.500, but all of these require at least three draws, including a situation where a team can finish with a score of 0-0-17 with a record of 0.500.

Other than that, the timetable itself has not changed much. There is one more game.

Will the NFL add another goodbye week to the schedule?

will not. In the 17-game schedule, the team still only has one goodbye week.

Will the playoffs be affected by 17 games?

The NFL playoffs will be postponed for about a week, because the NFL season starts at the same time, but the regular season has been added by another week. This means that the Super Bowl will no longer be held on the first Sunday in February; it will be played on the second Sunday in February.

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In the 17-game season, can NFL teams choose to give players more rest?

It certainly seems possible. The wear and tear of NFL players is great, so as the season progresses, the team needs to manage the health of the players more, especially those that are absent. NFL-level games are still rare, so load management seems unlikely. But later in the season, teams without competition can choose to rest their starters earlier or earlier than usual.

How does the 17 game schedule affect fantasy football?

It depends on your league structure. However, with the NFL season now extended to 18 weeks, fantasy owners will have the option to extend the schedule to 17 weeks while skipping the traditionally avoided last week of the season.

We expect on Sports News that most fantasy leagues will adopt a 17-week schedule to adapt to this change.

How was the 17th game of the NFL decided?

The format that determines the 17th game of the NFL is relatively simple. The NFL matches the AFC and NFC divisions, and the opponents are determined based on their scores in last year’s standings. The first team plays against the first team, the second team plays against the second team, and so on.

The 2021 division matches are as follows:

  • AFC East vs. NFC East
  • NFC North vs. AFC West
  • NFC South vs. AFC South
  • NFC West vs. AFC North

For example, the Washington football team won first place in the NFC East, while the Buffalo Bills won first place in the AFC East. Therefore, they will play with the second-place finishers from these divisions, the Giants and the Dolphins. The third-ranked team, the Cowboys and Patriots will do the same. The NFL does this for every department to determine the 17th game.

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How are the other 16 scheduled games of the NFL determined?

The NFL has long had a formula to determine each team’s 16 opponents. as follows:

  • Six games against division opponents (home and away)
  • Four games against a complete out-of-conference division; these divisions rotate every year
  • Four games against a complete conference zone; again, the department rotates every year
  • Two games against the remaining opponents in the same divisional rankings last season (for example: the third-placed team from the AFC East will be ranked the third-placed team from the AFC North).

Will the NFL expand to 18 games?

Maybe, but it won’t happen until after the 2030 season. The National Football League CBA grants the owner the right to extend the schedule to 17 games, but any further expansion must be negotiated with the players. Considering that not everyone is satisfied with the expansion to 17 games, it seems unlikely to expand to 18 games in the next ten years.

However, the NFL may like the idea of ​​18 seasons. This will allow for symmetry to be arranged, with each team playing nine games at home and nine games on the road. In addition, the 18th game will allow the NFL to extend their season by another week, which means that the Super Bowl will be held on the day before the National Holiday President’s Day in most years.

The NFL said it hopes to host the Super Bowl on the day before President’s Day (the third Monday in February). Under the current CBA, This will happen in 2027, When the Super Bowl falls on February 14. But if the league adds another week, it will happen almost every year.


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