NFL Moving to 17 Game Schedule in 2021

bsj

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I absolutely hate this without a firm plan to ensure every team plays an 8-8-1 home-away-neutral schedule. There should not be scenarios where one team is getting 9 home games to another, possibly in the same division, getting 8.
 

swiftaw

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Also, the schedule is nicely set up now: 6 division games, 4 games against a division in the same conference, 4 games against a division in the opposite conference, 2 games against the teams in your conference that finished in the same spot as you and not in the division that you play against. Now sure how you adjust that to get a 17th.
 

BaseballJones

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The 16 game setup is perfect. But the NFL sees more money in a 17 game schedule, and the players will make more too, so that’s why it will happen.

Ultimately it will end up being an 18 game season. Just wait.
 

Harry Hooper

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The 16 game setup is perfect. But the NFL sees more money in a 17 game schedule, and the players will make more too, so that’s why it will happen.

Ultimately it will end up being an 18 game season. Just wait.
18-game regular season plus expanded playoff rounds.
 

Saints Rest

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I absolutely hate this without a firm plan to ensure every team plays an 8-8-1 home-away-neutral schedule. There should not be scenarios where one team is getting 9 home games to another, possibly in the same division, getting 8.
Also, the schedule is nicely set up now: 6 division games, 4 games against a division in the same conference, 4 games against a division in the opposite conference, 2 games against the teams in your conference that finished in the same spot as you and not in the division that you play against. Now sure how you adjust that to get a 17th.
My guess is that there will be one opposite conference division that will match up, seeding for seeding, for the 17th game. For example, if the AFC East is playing all 4 teams in the NFC South, then each team would play the matching finisher from NFC West, 1v1, 2v2, etc. Those games would be the neutral site games: London, Mexico City, Rose Bowl, big college stadiums far from NFL stadiums like Michigan, Penn State, Alabama, etc.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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It sucks... clearly just a way-station en route to an 18-game schedule. And that will be a (further) disaster for player health and competitiveness. We’re going to see all kinds of playoff races decided by third and fourth-stringers.

I‘ve noted before, the best solution is adding bye weeks, not games. Improves player health prospects AND grows the television revenue pie. You would miss out on incremental on-site revenue potential in that scenario, but that’s chicken feed compared with the TV opportunity.
 

RedOctober3829

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I absolutely hate this without a firm plan to ensure every team plays an 8-8-1 home-away-neutral schedule. There should not be scenarios where one team is getting 9 home games to another, possibly in the same division, getting 8.
I believe the deal is that all AFC teams will get the extra home game one year, then all NFC teams the next. That way it's balanced for playoff purposes.
 

johnmd20

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More football. Eventually, they will get to 18 games. But in the interim, this is not bad, but hopefully the players earn their share for one more game.
 

dirtynine

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The only way I like this is if every team has one neutral site game, and it’s against a team that’s assigned by a formula (not just human-picked marquee matchups). That actually would be kind of cool. 16 games gives plenty of opportunity to use cool domestic sites (Big House, Notre Dame, Rose Bowl), cities that don’t have an immediate local team (Toronto, Austin) plus London, Germany (anywhere in Europe, really), Mexico.. Tokyo? Australia? They could batch up four or six teams for big multi-game, Sunday-Monday “events” in some countries.

If it’s just an unbalanced number of home games that alternates, it kinda sucks.
 

RedOctober3829

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The only way I like this is if every team has one neutral site game, and it’s against a team that’s assigned by a formula (not just human-picked marquee matchups). That actually would be kind of cool. 16 games gives plenty of opportunity to use cool domestic sites (Big House, Notre Dame, Rose Bowl), cities that don’t have an immediate local team (Toronto, Austin) plus London, Germany (anywhere in Europe, really), Mexico.. Tokyo? Australia? They could batch up four or six teams for big multi-game, Sunday-Monday “events” in some countries.

If it’s just an unbalanced number of home games that alternates, it kinda sucks.
The neutral games cost a lot of money to put on which would take away from the extra revenue generated from a 17th game for each team.
 

johnmd20

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The only way I like this is if every team has one neutral site game, and it’s against a team that’s assigned by a formula (not just human-picked marquee matchups). That actually would be kind of cool. 16 games gives plenty of opportunity to use cool domestic sites (Big House, Notre Dame, Rose Bowl), cities that don’t have an immediate local team (Toronto, Austin) plus London, Germany (anywhere in Europe, really), Mexico.. Tokyo? Australia? They could batch up four or six teams for big multi-game, Sunday-Monday “events” in some countries.

If it’s just an unbalanced number of home games that alternates, it kinda sucks.
Honestly, who gives a shit? They are alternating the home games for the conferences. It doesn't matter.

Is playing the Jaguars on the road worse than playing KC at home? It's already unbalanced. To me, this complaint has no teeth.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Neutral site games are cool in theory, but it’s a self-defeating proposition if the goal is to make the schedule balanced by not giving teams extra home games. Most of the logical neutral sites would draw crowds and allow home team comforts that would be little different from regular home games (e.g. Rams in Rose Bowl, Lions in Ann Arbor, Cowboys in Austin, Pats at Brown Stadium, etc.).

The way around that would be sending every team overseas for a Europe game, which again might be cool...but isn’t a COVID-realistic scenario.
 

Humphrey

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As long as they don't try and make the extra game some sort of "traditional rivalry" game, I'm on board. Baseball's done that and most of those games suck.
 

Dollar

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I still don't get why they don't just add an extra bye week and make it an 18-week season with two byes, like they did back in 1993. Add an extra week of rest for players, which is good for the teams. Add an extra week of TV broadcasts, which is good for the NFL. Seems to be a perfect solution to what they're going for without any of the downsides.

edit: looks like @Mugsy's Jock mentioned this above also
 

OurF'ingCity

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I still don't get why they don't just add an extra bye week and make it an 18-week season with two byes, like they did back in 1993. Add an extra week of rest for players, which is good for the teams. Add an extra week of TV broadcasts, which is good for the NFL. Seems to be a perfect solution to what they're going for without any of the downsides.

edit: looks like @Mugsy's Jock mentioned this above also
Because they want the revenue from an extra game.
 

E5 Yaz

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It's going to be an extra AFC vs. NFC game so no traditional rivalry game.
Put the AFC teams in one ping pong ball machine, the NFC teams in another ping pong ball machine and determine the random matchups ... and it's an offseason ratings winner for ESPN!!!
 

OurF'ingCity

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Put the AFC teams in one ping pong ball machine, the NFC teams in another ping pong ball machine and determine the random matchups ... and it's an offseason ratings winner for ESPN!!!
The article says that the matchups would be based on divisional standings from previous years on a rotating division basis. Basically what @Saints Rest said above, although it’s not clear whether the games will be played at neutral sites.
 

E5 Yaz

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The article says that the matchups would be based on divisional standings from previous years on a rotating division basis. Basically what @Saints Rest said above, although it’s not clear whether the games will be played at neutral sites.
I like my idea better
 

moondog80

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The article says that the matchups would be based on divisional standings from previous years on a rotating division basis. Basically what @Saints Rest said above, although it’s not clear whether the games will be played at neutral sites.
16 neutral site games seems like a lot -- I'd guess teams will just have 8 home games one year and 9 the next.
 

DeadlySplitter

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I absolutely hate this without a firm plan to ensure every team plays an 8-8-1 home-away-neutral schedule. There should not be scenarios where one team is getting 9 home games to another, possibly in the same division, getting 8.
I read each conference will alter 9 home games on a 2-year rotation.
 

snowmanny

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Put the AFC teams in one ping pong ball machine, the NFC teams in another ping pong ball machine and determine the random matchups ... and it's an offseason ratings winner for ESPN!!!
I'd have the ghost of David Stern pick them out of a bin. That way we could have Steelers-Cowboys and Pats-Giants.
 

Humphrey

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It's going to be an extra AFC vs. NFC game so no traditional rivalry game.
I'm thinking of games like Giants/Jets; Rams/Chargers; Steelers/Eagles; all of which are Inter Conference. But, when you do that, you end up with something the equivalent of Bears/Cardinals with the lame reasoning that the Cardinals used to play on the South Side or some such nonsense.
Peter King has been thumping something even worse- leave it up to the league to create the most "intriguing matchups".
 

luckiestman

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I still don't get why they don't just add an extra bye week and make it an 18-week season with two byes, like they did back in 1993. Add an extra week of rest for players, which is good for the teams. Add an extra week of TV broadcasts, which is good for the NFL. Seems to be a perfect solution to what they're going for without any of the downsides.

edit: looks like @Mugsy's Jock mentioned this above also
If they go to 18 games they can get 20 weeks of regular season with 2 byes, right?
 

mauf

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Peter King has been thumping something even worse- leave it up to the league to create the most "intriguing matchups".
They won’t do anything that stupid. The NFL has done a remarkably good job maintaining schedule integrity over the years. Besides, you can reach a similar result by having the extra game be a third game based on prior-year results — so you’ll get four extra marquee matchups between defending division champions.
 

tims4wins

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If/when they go to 18, I hope they just make the 2 extra games against the opposite of the same place division finisher. So if the Pats won the East, and played the entire North the next year, they would play against both the 1st and 4th place teams in the South and West. Seems like the most equitable.

But I could see the NFL adding extra opposite conference games against the same place finisher to penalize division winners even more.
 

vadertime

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With them officially going to a 17 game schedule why not do this:

1. Play 2 games a week in London in Weeks 4-11.
2. Every team would have their bye week in the week after.
3. Doing it this way makes every team's 17th game a neutral site game.
4. NFL gets their wish of a 17 game schedule while simultaneously expanding their reach in London which they've long wanted to do.

Am I making it to simple, this almost makes too much sense when I look at it.
 
With them officially going to a 17 game schedule why not do this:

1. Play 2 games a week in London in Weeks 4-11.
2. Every team would have their bye week in the week after.
3. Doing it this way makes every team's 17th game a neutral site game.
4. NFL gets their wish of a 17 game schedule while simultaneously expanding their reach in London which they've long wanted to do.

Am I making it to simple, this almost makes too much sense when I look at it.
FWIW, you can't have all the games in London - there aren't enough stadiums for this. I think they can only really use Wembley, Twickenham and Tottenham's stadium, and the latter is used for soccer every other weekend at least, while Twickenham has rugby matches on a regular basis. (You could of course tweak your idea to involve other UK and/or European cities.)
 

candylandriots

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One week closer to a President's Day weekend Super Bowl!
After missing numerous Sox-Yankees games for weddings in the late 90s, I felt very proud of myself when my wife and I settled on February 10 as our wedding date almost 20 years ago. I wasn't going to cause any guests to miss a big game, and my future anniversary would not be similarly conflicted.

Although my wife would not care if we celebrated our anniversary another day so I could watch the Super Bowl, I do feel a bit betrayed by the NFL for ruining my best-laid plans--though I guess I could see it coming by the time it pushed into February. And it definitely could be difficult to manage if we are taking a big trip to celebrate....c'est la vie.
 

Captaincoop

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FWIW, you can't have all the games in London - there aren't enough stadiums for this. I think they can only really use Wembley, Twickenham and Tottenham's stadium, and the latter is used for soccer every other weekend at least, while Twickenham has rugby matches on a regular basis. (You could of course tweak your idea to involve other UK and/or European cities.)
Have to assume that after the pandemic recedes they will want to return to Mexico City. It would also be interesting to try out some potential US expansion cities to build or maintain corporate partnerships - Salt Lake City, St. Louis, and OKC come to mind.
 

Humphrey

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One week closer to a President's Day weekend Super Bowl!
Does the proposed schedule (17 games in 18 weeks) still start the Sunday after Labor Day; in which case there will definitely be some years where the game is on that weekend (like this year would be, for example)? Or are they going to start sooner because there are one or two less practice games?
 

mauf

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Have to assume that after the pandemic recedes they will want to return to Mexico City. It would also be interesting to try out some potential US expansion cities to build or maintain corporate partnerships - Salt Lake City, St. Louis, and OKC come to mind.
I haven’t checked the CBA to be sure, but I would expect that the NFLPA must approve any expansion of international play, as that’s a pretty big change in work conditions. Expanded play in Mexico would be a tough sell to the union in light of the problems they had with field conditions a couple years ago. (If you only meant that existing commitments will be resumed once the pandemic is behind us, I agree with that.)

I’d be curious to know what sentiment is like among owners about further domestic expansion. The quick hit from expansion fees is surely attractive, but if I were an owner who was in it for the long haul, I wouldn’t dilute my share of the league’s shared revenue pools to add franchises in places like SLC/OKC/STL. Adding teams abroad that would have the potential of growing the pie in the long run might be a different story.
 

Ale Xander

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St. Louis I can see.
Wouldn't have figured SLC is that big a football market

Would an NFL team in OKC be like the Chargers? 3rd biggest football team in the market after the honeymoon ends.
 

axx

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Wait so they are also keeping the extra wild card game?

Having a Monday WC game seems crappy unless the NFL guaranteed that the winner's following game was on Sunday.
 

Harry Hooper

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For holdout-type scenarios, how many games in a 17-game season will a player have to be on the active roster to earn a season's credit toward free agency? Asking for JimmyG a friend.
 

Humphrey

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January 17 is a holiday, perhaps that's figuring into the scheduling as well. They shouldn't have to start the game at 8 PM in order to get a decent TV audience.
 

tims4wins

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A MNF playoff game would suck. Up until this year, the only prime time playoff games were the Saturday night slot, so you could sleep in on Sunday. It's such a horrible idea. Maybe they end up playing it at like 4pm since it's kind of a holiday.
 

Rheal With Cheese

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From a competitive balance POV it’s ridiculous that a team could play Monday, win, and then have a Saturday playoff game. You can lower the risk of that scenario by planning and scheduling for chalk (as long as you don’t care about which team gets what time slot week 2) but there’s no way to make the risk 0% if you still have the reseeding concept. Unless you want to postpone the announcing of schedule for Divisional week until after 5 or 6 playoff games.
Reseeding after the first round is a good thing imo.

I hate this. Why not just have a triple header and a Sunday night game. Fans will love it w holiday the next day.

maybe they can force the 1 seeds to host the Sunday games on divisional weekend (again tv to be damned) so at least the team potentially playing on a 5 day rest isn’t drawing a team on 13-14 days

I used to hate the “win wild card on Sunday” and go travel to Face a bye team at home on Saturday. I thought that was tough enough for the underdog who drew this instead of the wild card survivor who sometimes drew 7 or 8 days of rest.

I always thought the way to avoid that is have all AFC ON Saturday and all NFC ON Sunday for the first 2 rounds (or viceversus, switch every year) but it would screw up the networks desire. CBS and Fox didn’t want one day but wanted things split on 2 days.

Maybe now that the cross flexing is going to be more common they won’t protest as much (or CBS/Fox can broadcast one NFc game and one AFC each on div weekend)