On Monday, Peter King of NBC Sports gave further confirmation that the NFL is almost certainly heading towards a 17-game season starting in 2021. Per King, both TV partners and schedule makers are currently working under the assumption the extra game will be added this year.
Despite the extra week of games, the NFL does not appear prepared to work in an extra bye week. That’s not likely to make players too happy, but per previous rumors and reports, the extra regular season game is likely to replace one preseason game. So instead of having 16 regular season contests with four preseason games, we’re likely looking at a scenario in which there are 17 games that count, and just three dress rehearsals. Either way, we’re still talking about a 20-game schedule.
Given those details of the proposal, today’s Question of the Day is:
Do you approve of the NFL moving to a 17-game schedule?
My answer: I do.
While I thought 16 was as close to a perfect number the NFL can get, and the 17-game schedule will throw off season-long records and dilute the meaning of 1,000-yard seasons for receivers or 40-touchdown years for quarterbacks or even the elusive 2,000-yard season for running backs, in the end this means more meaningful football.
One of my biggest concerns about moving to 17 games was how half the teams in the league would have an additional home game, but the NFL is fixing that problem in a way that makes complete sense. In 2021, all the AFC teams will have the additional home games, and it will rotate from there. That way, all the teams competing against each other for a playoff spot will be on even ground every season.
Because the added 17th game will be a cross-conference matchup, this is also an opportunity to play more games against rare opponents. Under the old scheduling format, an NFC team would only play an AFC team every four years. Under the new system, it may be every two seasons, depending on where a team places in the division compared to their cross-conference foe. Not only does this present the opportunity for more rivalries, but for the traveling fan, it’s another chance to see a stadium you’d only potentially see every eight years.
Obviously, the extra game may take a toll on the players, and it could result in lower quality of play if their bodies can’t hold up. That’s something the NFL will have to monitor closely in this new era of football, and they may need to consider adding the extra bye week down the line. But until we see that adverse impact actually manifest itself on the field, I think the good outweighs the bad here.
Do you approve of the NFL’s 17-game schedule?
This poll is closed