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Everything You Need To Know About The Upcoming NFL Season



Photo via: Wikimedia Commons

The NFL’s start to its 2021/22 regular season is not that far off, with just nine days to go before Week 1 begins. The upcoming campaign will be quite special as the NFL schedule has undergone the first significant change since 1978, with a 17th game added. This alteration is set to take form this term and fans are quite looking forward to the extra game.

The change had been in the pipeline for a year and the team owners were afforded the option of increasing the number of regular-season games to 17 as part of the new collective bargaining agreement. The move has also seen the shortening of the pre-season as games in this period have been reduced from a four-game span to a three-game span, which is the most the CBA permits.

“NFL clubs today approved at a virtual league meeting an enhanced season structure that beginning in 2021 will feature each team playing 17 regular-season games and three preseason games for the first time,” the league announced in a press release earlier this year.

“The NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in March of 2020 enables the league, with the approval of the union and its players, to enhance the regular season with a move to 17 games, providing fans an extra week of regular-season NFL action.

“That decision was confirmed today, marking the first change to the season structure since the 1978 campaign ushered in an era of 16 regular-season and four preseason games. It follows the March 18 announcement of long-term media distribution agreements providing fans greater access to NFL games than ever before.”


“This is a monumental moment in NFL history,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said of the new schedule. “The CBA with the players and the recently completed media agreements provide the foundation for us to enhance the quality of the NFL experience for our fans. And one of the benefits of each team playing 17 regular-season games is the ability for us to continue to grow our game around the world.”


One of the more significant changes to the schedule comes in the form of the interconference matchups for the extra game. Teams are set to play five cross-conference fixtures as opposed to four as the teams in the AFC will get the home game for the upcoming season – the NFC gets it the following campaign and it will continue to rotate.


The NFC East will play the AFC East, the NFC West will play the AFC North, the NFC South will play the AFC South while the NFC North is set to play the AFC West.

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All of the games are listed right below:


Packers at Chiefs


Bears at Raiders


Vikings at Chargers


Lions at Broncos


Seahawks at Steelers


Rams at Ravens


Cardinals at Browns


49ers at Bengals


Saints at Titans


Buccaneers at Colts


Panthers at Texans


Falcons at Jaguars


Washington at Bills


Giants at Dolphins


Cowboys at Patriots


Eagles at Jets  


Per the new scheduling of NFL football games today, every team will play 17 regular-season games with one bye week. Teams will each host 10 games, either nine regular-season and one preseason or eight regular-season and two preseason matches.


This is explained here:


  • Home and away against its three division opponents (six games).


  • The four teams from another division within its conference on a rotating three-year cycle (four games).


  • The four teams from a division in the other conference on a rotating four-year cycle (four games).


  • Two intraconference games based on the prior year’s standings (two games). These games match a first-place team against the first-place teams in the two same-conference divisions the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place and fourth-place teams in a conference are matched in the same way each year.


  • One interconference game based on the prior year’s standings on a rotating four-year cycle (one game). These games match a first-place team from one division against a first-place team in an opposite conference division that the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place and fourth-place teams in each division are matched in the same way each year. The home conference for this game will rotate each season.


The season will be 18 weeks instead of 17, given the single bye week, and will end on January 9, 2022, with the playoffs set for the weekend of January 15-17 while the Super Bowl will be hosted on February 13, 2022, marking the latest of its kind in the history of the league’s curtain closer. There’s already a date for Super Bowl LVII in 2023, by the way.


The 2022 Pro Bowl will be played a week prior to the Super Bowl, on February 6.


All of the teams in the NFL will play at least one international game every eight years. The scheduling of non-American hosted football games will initially focus on Canada, Europe, Mexico, South America, and the United Kingdom.

The NFL will be returning to London this year, with two games to be held at the home of Premier League soccer club, Tottenham Hotspur.

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