Well, it’s official — starting in 2021, the NFL will move to a 17-game regular season schedule. One preseason game is going away, an extra regular season game goes into the rotation, and the league will continue on with just a single true bye week.
This move obviously means an extra week of football for fans, which should be fun. Fantasy football leagues will expand out their regular seasons by another week, too, giving one additional opportunity for bragging rights before the playoffs. There will be more money flowing into owners’ pockets with the new TV deals, which were surely predicated on the move to an 18-week schedule, and players’ share of league revenue now officially kicks up to 48 percent.
But in doing so, there are plenty of valid concerns about whether this move actually helps the game. The NFL doesn’t need to draw additional eyeballs; it’s already the biggest sport in North America in terms of viewership and revenue, and it was not in danger of losing that status. The 16-game schedule is elegant and balanced, featuring just enough results-based scheduling to encourage a bit of parity; adding another of those games will artificially boost parity across the league.
Then there’s the fact that teams will play 17 meaningful games in 18 weeks with only one bye. Would adding a second bye week have been so bad? That would make the regular season a whopping 19 weeks, although the owners might have relished the added TV money from yet another extra week on the schedule.
Regardless of whether you’re for or against it, the 17-game schedule is here, and it’s probably here to stay. Give us your opinion on it in the poll below and in the comments.
NFL adds 17th game, guarantees Packers will play international contest | Green Bay Press-Gazette
The 17th regular season game is official, with owners making the regular season expansion a reality in a vote on Tuesday.
Packers at Chiefs will be Green Bay’s 17th game in 2021 | Packers.com
Green Bay now gets to play the Chiefs -- participants in each of the past two Super Bowls -- in 2021, and it's a road game to boot.
Packers will play 10 games against 2020 playoff teams in 2021 | Packers Wire
The addition of this game means that the Packers will have another tough game on an already-tough schedule, though it is notable that two of these ten games are against the Chicago Bears.
The NFL’s new 17 game season is a cash grab that hurts the game - SBNation.com
Not everyone is convinced this is a good idea, however. SB Nation's James Dator weighs in against the move, and there are some good points here that this only helps the owners' pocketbooks and not the game of football itself. From the likelihood of more injuries to lessening the impact of divisional games, there are plenty of reasons to dislike the change.
What do you think? Put your votes in the poll below.
Is the NFL’s move to 17 games a good thing for the game of football?
This poll is closed
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