NFL Getting Closer To Playing A 17-Game Regular Season Schedule in 2021

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It sounds like the National Football League has been busy looking to tweak their schedule for 2021 and beyond, and Pro Football Talk now reports that the league is getting closer to a 17-game schedule for this season.

Last year, the league secured the ability to go to a 17-game season, and now it looks like those wishes are ready to become a reality.

Mark Maske of the Washington Post stated on Tuesday that the longer schedule is “not yet certain,” but that the league is going to push for the current 20-game slate (16 regular season games and four preseason games) to be adjusted.

Preseason games have been the Achilles heel of the NFL for some time. Fans hate them, but they offer a key opportunity for coaches to evaluate players who could make the back end of the roster.

The schedule for the NFL has done nothing but grow, as PFT points out. Prior to the regular season going to 16 games back in 1978, the league was 14 games, and fans had to put up with a whopping six preseason games.

Now it sounds like there will be more meaningful games for fans to latch on to and gamble on and for fantasy leagues to implement.

It’s sounds like the league originally wanted 18 games, putting 18 games that matter on the field as well as two preseason games. Again though, coaches say that two preseason games won’t be enough time to get players ready for the rigors of a long season.

We will see how it plays out, but expect to see more games that matter.

Written by Matt Loede

Matt has been a part of the Cleveland Sports landscape working in the media since 1994 when he graduated from broadcasting school. His coverage beats include the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. He's written three books, and won the "2020 AP Sports Stringer Lifetime Service Award."

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  1. the NFL’s biggest problem is subtle. their growth in part has been tied to national TV. i’m a huge fan of all sports and i watch, or watched, a lot of sports and teams. i only have one favorite team usually in each sport, but i watch other teams play.

    why? because the human story of sports is told in competition. great competition. and in the story of an athlete reaching the pinnacle. i root for the game and the human story. remove the human story and leave just the game; and i root for my team only. and eventually maybe not at all.

    the NFL is beginning to look like just dudes looking to make a killing in cash. many are doing it for much more, but the stories are being drowned out by all the ‘off field’ garbage.

    the NFL knows this. they are ignoring it. as Colin Cowherd likes to say, ‘where is the sports fan gonna go?’

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