NFL Approves 17-Game Schedule; Vikings + Packers Each Add Road Games
The days of the NFL 16-game regular season are over. NFL owners have approved a 17-game regular season schedule, beginning in the 2021 season.
According to NFL.com, the additional game will feature NFC vs. AFC matchups based on division standings from the prior season and the AFC teams will be the home team for the additional games for the 2021 season. Moving forward the conference receiving an additional home game will rotate each year, so NFC teams will first host them in 2022.
What does this mean for the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers? For the 2021 season, the NFC North has been paired with the AFC West. Because the Vikings and San Diego Chargers both finished third in their respective divisions, the Chargers will host the Vikings. The Packers, winners of the NFC North, will add a road game against the Kansas City Chiefs, who won the AFC West. Something tells me a game featuring Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes will be a prime time matchup.
This is the first time the NFL has expanded the regular season since 1977, when they went from 14 games to 16. While the regular season has added a game, the league announced that the preseason will be shorted to 3 games. Therefore, all teams will still play a total of 20 combined preseason and regular season games.
The NFL announced the 2021 NFL NFL Kickoff Weekend will begin Thursday, September 9. The regular season will end Sunday, January 9, 2022.
The 2022 Pro Bowl will be played Sunday, February 6 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas and Super Bowl LVI will take place February 13, 2022 at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, home of the San Diego Chargers.