It may be March, but for NFL fans, Christmas came early.
On Tuesday afternoon, the NFL officially announced its move to a 17-game season, beginning this Fall. The historic announcement marks the first time the league has changed its schedule since 1978.
Before the 16-game format, an NFL season was 14 games.
The NFL owners agreed to change during its Annual League Meeting. Along with adding the additional regular-season game, the league will reduce the preseason to three games.
“This is a monumental moment in NFL history,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “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.”
And when you think about Goodell’s explanation, it’s hard to argue with. Undoubtedly, he’s 100% correct. In addition to locking in a new media deal, the new format will definitely grow the NFL product.
For Detroit Lions fans wondering who their team will face, there is no need to speculate. Along with the announcement, the NFL detailed the matchups for the added week. During Week 17, the Lions will face the Denver Broncos.
The league took a unique approach to decide the final games for the regular season.
According to an article from the NFL’s website, “each club will now take part in an additional AFC vs. NFC game based on division standings from the prior season and on a rotating divisional basis with AFC teams as the home squad for the additional game this season.”
With the NFL completing its new media deal, there was an expectation this change would come soon. Nevertheless, there is still a mixed reaction from its players.
“S*** dumb…as hell,” tweeted New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara.
And Kamara wasn’t alone tweeting out his thoughts.
“We really this happen…🤦🏾♂️,” tweeted Green Bay Packers defensive back Adrian Amos.
Regardless if the players like the changes or not, more NFL football is on the way. Along with that, for Lions fans, hopefully it doesn’t mean they’ll be the first to go 0-17.