NFL Owners Approve Formula For 17-Game Schedule

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The NFL shifting to a 17-game schedule seems all but inevitable at this point. No less than NFL commissioner Roger Goodell eluded to that Wednesday, following a vote by owners.

While Goodell stopped short of telling reporters that a 17-game season is a sure bet, he did say that owners have approved a formula for playing 17 games. NFL teams started playing 16-game regular seasons in 1978. Currently, they do so in 17 weeks, with each team receiving one bye week.

Per Pro Football Talk, the additional game, once official, will take place against an opponent from the same conference. Teams are now scheduled for six games against divisional opponents and four against a division in the opposite conference. The rest are against opponents in their own conference.

“The fifth interconference game will involve a team from one of the other three divisions, based on where the teams finished the prior year,” PFT reported of the 17-game schedule. “That, too, will rotate.”

The interconference stuff can get a little confusing, and it’s probably information that is understood only by NFL Twitter nerds. What mostly matters here is that NFL teams are about to get an extra game on the schedule, and it could come their way as soon as next season.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side,

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  1. If they’d can useless preseason games they could play 18. Preseason games are a waste of time, resources, and player health on games that don’t matter. It’s a horribly dull product to watch too. Substitute those games for shared practice sessions for scrimmages. If you keep preseason games AND add regular season games you’re just increasing wear and tear and injury risk for players. Plus, if you get rid of stupid preseason games maybe you can start regular season games two weeks earlier.

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