NFL owners approve 17-game regular season, 3 preseason games

NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — The NFL is increasing the regular season to 17 games and reducing the preseason to three games.

The new structure was announced after team owners on Tuesday approved the 17th game as expected. It’s the first change to the structure for the league since 1978, when it went from 14 to 16 games.

“This is a monumental moment in NFL history,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “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.”

In 2021, each team will play 17 regular-season games and three preseason games for the first time.

The 2021 schedule is expected to be released later in the Spring. The season kicks off Sept. 9 and ends on Feb. 13, 2022, with Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.

The international rotation begins in 2022. All 32 teams will play internationally at least once every eight years, including in Canada, Europe, Mexico, South America and the United Kingdom

The details

The 17th game

The 17th game will feature teams from opposing conferences that finished in the same place within their division the previous season. The AFC was determined to be the home conference for the 17th game in 2021:

Away Team Home Team
NFC East AFC East
1. Washington Football Team 1. Buffalo Bills
2. New York Giants 2. Miami Dolphins
3. Dallas Cowboys 3. New England Patriots
4. Philadelphia Eagles 4. New York Jets
Away Team Home Team
NFC West AFC North
1. Seattle Seahawks 1. Pittsburgh Steelers
2. Los Angeles Rams 2. Baltimore Ravens
3. Arizona Cardinals 3. Cleveland Browns
4. San Francisco 49ers 4. Cincinnati Bengals
Away Team Home Team
NFC South AFC South
1. New Orleans Saints 1. Tennessee Titans
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2. Indianapolis Colts
3. Carolina Panthers 3. Houston Texans
4. Atlanta Falcons 4. Jacksonville Jaguars
Away Team Home Team
NFC North AFC West
1. Green Bay Packers 1. Kansas City Chiefs
2. Chicago Bears 2. Las Vegas Raiders
3. Minnesota Vikings 3. Los Angeles Chargers
4. Detroit Lions 4. Denver Broncos

Under the scheduling formula below, every team plays 17 regular-season games with one bye week. Clubs will host 10 games overall – either nine regular-season games and one preseason game or eight regular-season games and two preseason games.

  • Home and away against its three division opponents (six games).
  • The four teams from another division within its conference on a rotating three-year cycle (four games).
     
  • The four teams from a division in the other conference on a rotating four-year cycle (four games).
  • Two intraconference games based on the prior year’s standings (two games). These games match a first-place team against the first-place teams in the two same-conference divisions the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place and fourth-place teams in a conference are matched in the same way each year. 
  • One interconference game based on the prior year’s standings on a rotating four-year cycle (one game). These games match a first-place team from one division against a first-place team in an opposite conference division that the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place and fourth-place teams in each division are matched in the same way each year. The home conference for this game will rotate each season.

2021 SCHEDULING ROTATION BY DIVISION

A look at the 2021 home and away opponents for all 32 NFL clubs:

AFC Intraconference AFC SOUTH
EAST Interconference NFC SOUTH
     
AFC Intraconference AFC WEST
NORTH Interconference NFC NORTH
     
AFC Intraconference AFC EAST
SOUTH Interconference NFC WEST
     
AFC Intraconference AFC NORTH
WEST Interconference NFC EAST
     
NFC Intraconference NFC SOUTH
EAST Interconference AFC WEST
     
NFC Intraconference NFC WEST
NORTH Interconference AFC NORTH
     
NFC Intraconference NFC EAST
SOUTH Interconference AFC EAST
     
NFC Intraconference NFC NORTH
WEST Interconference AFC SOUTH

2021 OPPONENTS

AFC EAST

1. Buffalo Bills                        

Home:    Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Football Team.

Away:    Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans.

2.  Miami Dolphins                 

Home:    Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants.

Away:    Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Las Vegas Raiders, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans.

3.  New England Patriots        

Home:    Buffalo Bills,Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans.

Away:    Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Chargers.

4.  New York Jets                  

Home:    Buffalo Bills,Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans.

Away:    Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts.

AFC NORTH

1.  Pittsburgh Steelers

Home:    Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans.

Away:    Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings.

2.  Baltimore Ravens              

Home:    Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings.

Away:    Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders, Miami Dolphins.

3.  Cleveland Browns             

Home:    Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Las Vegas Raiders.

Away:    Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots.

4.  Cincinnati Bengals            

Home:    Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers.

Away:    Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders, New York Jets.

AFC SOUTH

1.  Tennessee Titans              

Home:    Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers.

Away:    Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks.

2.  Indianapolis Colts             

Home:    Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Away:    Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers.

3.   Houston Texans               

Home:    Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks.

Away:    Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers.

4.  Jacksonville Jaguars        

Home:    Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Atlanta Falcons, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers.

Away:    Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks.

AFC WEST

1.  Kansas City Chiefs            

Home:    Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers.

Away:    Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans, Washington Football Team.

2.  Las Vegas Raiders            

Home:    Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.

Away:    Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers.

3.  Los Angeles Chargers       

Home:    Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers.

Away:    Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.

4.  Denver Broncos                

Home:    Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.

Away:    Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers.

NFC EAST

1.  Washington Football Team   

Home:    Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Away:    Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Las Vegas Raiders.

2.  New York Giants               

Home:    Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams.

Away:    Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

3.  Dallas Cowboys                

Home:    New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders.

Away:    New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

4.  Philadelphia Eagles           

Home:    Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Football Team, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Away:    Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Football Team, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders, New York Jets.

NFC NORTH

1.  Green Bay Packers            

Home:    Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, Washington Football Team.

Away:    Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers.

2.  Chicago Bears                   

Home:    Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers.

Away:    Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

3.  Minnesota Vikings             

Home:    Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks.

Away:    Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Chargers, San Francisco 49ers.

4.  Detroit Lions                     

Home:    Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers.

Away:    Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks.

NFC SOUTH

1.  New Orleans Saints           

Home:    Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants.

Away:    Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans, Washington Football Team.

2.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers    

Home:    Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants.

Away:    Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.

3.  Carolina Panthers              

Home:    Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.

Away:    Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants.

4.  Atlanta Falcons                 

Home:    Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.

Away:    Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers.

NFC WEST

1.  Seattle Seahawks              

Home:    Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, Tennessee Titans.

Away:    Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Football Team.

2.  Los Angeles Rams            

Home:    Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans.

Away:    Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants.

3.  Arizona Cardinals              

Home:    Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings.

Away:    Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans.

4.  San Francisco 49ers          

Home:    Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings.

Away:    Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans.

The Associated Press contributed to this report