NFL owners ratify 17-game schedule for 2021 season

NFL owners approved to add a 17th game to the schedule beginning in 2021, the NFL’s first significant regular-season schedule change since 1978. The change will also result in the league reducing preseason games from four to three — the maximum amount of games the new CBA allows. 

One of the biggest changes to the schedule will be the interconference alignment for the 17th game. Teams will play five interconference games instead of four as AFC teams will get the home game for the 2021 season (which will rotate to the NFC the following season). The NFC East will play the AFC East, NFC West vs AFC North, NFC South vs. AFC South, and NFC North vs. AFC West — as the matchups are determined from division finish from the 2020 season.  Under new the scheduling formula, every team plays 17 regular-season games with one bye week. Clubs will host 10 games overall – either nine regular-season games and one preseason game or eight regular-season games and two preseason games.

The season will begin on Sept. 9, with the conclusion of the regular season on Jan. 9. The NFL postseason would start the weekend of Jan. 15-17 and Super Bowl LVI would be played on Feb. 13, 2022 — the latest Super Bowl kickoff ever.

Breaking: NFL Owners Approve 17-Game Season for 2021


Editorial credit: Chris Rubino /