What is the average number of games in an NFL season? Exploring league’s new reported ambition

The NFL’s popularity surge has led to plans for expanding its global footprint, with the introduction of games in Real Madrid slated for the 2025 season. Additionally, the league has expressed intent to host its first international game in Brazil, with the Philadelphia Eagles poised to pioneer this historic event.

Amidst these developments, rumors abound that the NFL is considering increasing the number of games played each season, reflecting the league’s continuous efforts to meet the growing demands of its expanding fan base.

How many games does a typical NFL season have?

In the NFL, each team is set to engage in a total of 17 regular-season games. The entire NFL season unfolds with a grand total of 272 games, strategically distributed over an 18-week period. Each of the league’s 32 teams participates in this extensive schedule, with a designated “bye” week offering a brief respite.

Since 2021, the current formula governs the scheduling of games, with teams alternating between hosting nine regular-season games and one preseason game or eight regular-season games and two preseason games in a given season.

The NFL employs a detailed scheduling algorithm to determine matchups between teams. This algorithm considers current division alignments and the final division standings from the preceding season.

Since 2012, the NFL has implemented a scheduling strategy that encompasses five distinct time slots throughout the week. The premier time slots, notably Thursday, Sunday, and Monday nights, as well as the late game on Sunday afternoons, are reserved for marquee matchups.

Sunday afternoons witness the majority of NFL action, with early games kicking off at 1:00 p.m. ET and late games starting at either 4:05 p.m. ET or 4:25 p.m. ET. These Sunday afternoon contests are broadcast on either CBS or Fox.

A single Sunday night game graces the schedule each week, commencing at 8:20 PM (ET). Furthermore, one or two Monday night games unfold at 8:15 PM (ET), concluding the weekly football extravaganza with primetime matchups that command attention.

NFL reportedly wants to push NFLPA for 18 games per season

There are reports indicating the league’s desire to increase the regular-season schedule from 17 games to 18. ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio, in a headline-grabbing article, sheds light on the lingering sense within the NFL that aims to secure NFLPA approval for this significant change in the upcoming labor deal negotiations.

The motivation behind this proposed expansion stems from the undeniable success the league has enjoyed in terms of revenue in recent years. The NFL has been a financial powerhouse, and the prospect of an additional regular-season game seems to be a calculated step to capitalize on this momentum.

Nevertheless, the NFL Players Association is anticipated to present a formidable opposition to this proposed extension. The players’ union is likely to scrutinize the potential physical toll on athletes with an elongated season.

In response to such concerns, Florio suggests that the NFL might consider implementing measures to address player well-being, such as limiting each player to participate in no more than 17 of the 18 regular-season games. Notably, exceptions could be made for key positions like quarterbacks, kickers, punters, and long snappers.

This move towards an 18-game regular season follows the recent transition from a 16-game schedule to the current 17-game format in March 2021. The league has been exploring the possibility of extending the regular season for over a decade. However, while the prospect of more football might excite fans, the article also raises an essential point about the potential consequences of a prolonged season.

As the regular season continues to stretch and the playoffs expand, each individual game is expected to pose challenges to the integrity of the sport. Additionally, there’s a growing concern about an increased risk of injuries with an extended playing schedule.

What’s your opinion on the league’s decision to increase the regular season game?

Shabiha Akter

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Shabiha, once a casual observer, has morphed into a die-hard NFL fan. She carefully dissects every play, trade, and strategy. Whether it's breaking down game highlights or predicting playoff outcomes, Shabiha is your go-to source for all things NFL.


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