It’s a move that’s been rumored since the end of this past season, but it sounds as though the NFL plans to make it official this week.
NFL is expected to expand the regular season schedule this week to 17 games. The league had played a 16-game regular season schedule since 1978, by far the longest stretch without a change in NFL history.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 28, 2021
Per Adam Schefter of ESPN, the league is likely going to make a 17th regular-season game official this week. As Schefter points out, the NFL has played a 16-game regular season since it expanded from 14 prior to the start of the 1978 season. This would also, presumably, push the Super Bowl back to mid-February and, hopefully, help it to align with the President’s Day holiday that a lot of people have the day off for.
(Don’t tell me you weren’t thinking it.)
While it (obviously) has not been made official yet, it has long been rumored that these games would be inter-conference matchups with specific divisions matching up against one another based on standings. If the rumors are true, that means that the NFC North will go head-to-head against the AFC West in 2021. Based on the standings from 2020, that means that our Minnesota Vikings would get themselves a trip to the West Coast to take on the Los Angeles Chargers, as both teams finished third in their respective divisions last season.
It sounds as though the home field advantage will go back and forth between the two conferences for the 17th game. That means this year, all of the AFC teams will get the extra game at home, and next year the NFC teams will get to host the games.
There hasn’t been any official word on when the schedule release is going to happen for this season at the present time. But when it does finally get out there, there’s going to be an extra week of NFL action on it for our viewing pleasure.
What do you think of the idea of a 17-game regular season, folks?