Peter King suggested in his Football Morning In America column that the shift to a 17-game NFL schedule is “highly likely” for the 2021 season.

King explained that TV partners and NFL schedulers are already working under the assumption of an expanded 17-game schedule, which was agreed upon in the league’s latest collective bargaining agreement in 2020.

He added that this new schedule will likely not include an additional bye week, with teams playing 17 games over an 18-week season, and will push the Los Angeles-bound Super Bowl LVI back to mid-February as opposed to an earlier start to the season. A potential target date of Feb. 13 would make the game the latest Super Bowl in NFL history.

Despite King’s report, the NFL has yet to announce any changes to the Super Bowl or the league’s schedule at this time.

Other interesting notes from King’s column include rumblings that the AFC will host each of the 16 newly-added games in 2021 with the NFC hosting all of them in 2022 to ensure divisional equity, meaning that the alternative would leave some teams with nine home games while divisional opponents could potentially remain with just eight in a 17-game schedule.

Under the current structure, the Bucs would play the Colts in Indianapolis, their South counterpart in the AFC and fellow second-place finisher within the division. The Bucs went 6-2 on the road in 2020, then won three straight road games on their way to the Super Bowl.

And while the NFL opted to play three Wild Card games on a Saturday, Jan. 9 and three on a Sunday, Jan. 10 this past season as not to conflict with the NCAA’s National Championship game between Ohio State and Alabama, a football-free Monday night on Jan. 17 in 2022 could open the door for a Wild Card match-up on Monday Night Football next year.

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About the Author: Taylor Jenkins

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DerLutz
4 months ago

Not surprising at all. More games = more money and that is the only thing that matters

tpeluso
4 months ago

It would make more sense to choose two divisions from each conference to host the home games and put those on a cycle. Flipping between the conferences each year means you have to do at least one year where the same conference hosts back-to-back so that everything is equal, or change the division rotations every 4 years.

Spitfire
4 months ago

I thought it would have been cool if they made this new game a rivalry game. We have divisions and rivalries with those same teams every year and everything else is kinda scheduled out but they should have paired up al 32 teams into 16 games that will take place every single year. That way it becomes a standard part of the season that you can plan for and fans can look forward to and start building rivalries. If there are any teams outside the division that any team already kind of has a rivalry with they could pair them… Read more »

PewterHeart
4 months ago

If it aint broke, dont fix it..

surferdudes
Reply to  PewterHeart
4 months ago

Exactly.

EastEndBoy
4 months ago

One of the biggest problems the NFL suffers from at the moment is injuries. I’ll never forget Atlanta going to the SuperBowl in a year where their only significant injury was to their #2CB. Julio missed a couple games along the way, but otherwise they lined up every starter from game 1 to the SB. They were not good…they were very lucky. Adding another game is another chance for somebody to get injured. That could be offset with a second bye-week to allow players to recover from injury. One (a 17th game) should not happen without the other (a second… Read more »