The end of the NFL regular season is here, but why did it go to a 17 game regular season in the first place? What was the reason behind increasing from 16?

The 2021/22 NFL season is a little different in that it features a pretty drastic change to the format of the regular season.

16 games in the regular season had been as stable as an old Oak tree. Eight games at home – eight on the road. Simple.

But in the 2021 off-season after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers claimed Super Bowl LV, it was announced the NFL would be dropping the 16 game season.

But why did the NFL go to 17 games in the regular season?

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17 game regular NFL season

One word is the answer. Money.

If 16 regular season games brings you X amount of dollars, what’s the harm in throwing one more in for the sake of it?

After all, the fans get what they want: to see their team in action more often; the sponsors get more air-time; and the NFL gets even more broadcast money from partners such as Fox and CBS.

Everyone’s a winner, especially the bottom line.

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Anyway, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the decision by the league franchise owners was “a monumental moment in NFL history.

“It provides the foundation for us to enhance the quality of the NFL experience for our fans.

“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…”

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How was the extra game decided?

Obviously, a 16 game season with 32 teams worked perfectly. You play once at home and then return the faovur to your hosts a few weeks later.

The AFC Teams were given home priority for the 17th game.

The NFL went through the 2020/21 standings and matched up the AFC and NFC final tables.

For example, the AFC East was won by the Buffalo Bills – they matched up with NFC East table toppers Washington Football Team.

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This was repeated for each division.

Due to the extra game, the playoffs were forced to be shunted back a week, delaying Super Bowl.

That now takes places on February 13th in California, as opposed to the first week of February slot.

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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