Yes, the NFL will expand to 17 regular-season games this week
Maybe it’s just a slow news day.
Whatever the case, a report from ESPN that the NFL’s owners are expected to add a 17th regular-season game this week is not news. Anyone who has been paying any attention to the NFL over the past few months knew that it wasn’t just “expected” to happen, but that it is happening.
The only question left is whether the NFL will reduce the preseason to three games or to two. The owners are expected (am I doing that right?) to reduce the preseason to three games.
The NFL has wanted to expand the regular season for years. Last year, the league secured an agreement from the NFL Players Association to move to 17. The new TV deals were negotiated based on the assumption that there will be 17 games; ESPN even negotiated and obtained a Saturday doubleheader in Week (wait for it) 18.
So, yes, it’s happening. The fact that it’s happening has been common knowledge.
As to where the 17th game will come from, we reported last year that it will be an interconference contest, based on where a team finished in its division the prior year. Peter King provided more specificity several weeks ago, pointing out that the 17th game means the Chiefs and Packers will play this year.
On Friday’s PFT Live, we did a draft of the best games that will come from the formula that generates the extra game. The video is attached.