There are now 17 games in an NFL regular season.
As expected, NFL owners have approved a proposal to add one game to the regular season at their meeting on Tuesday. The preseason will drop to three games for any team not playing in the Hall of Fame Game.
“This is a monumental moment in NFL history,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “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.”
The added game will be an inter-conference matchup between teams that finished in the same position in their division during the previous season. The host of those games will switch conferences from year to year with the AFC hosting this year’s games.
For this season, the matchups will be AFC East vs. NFC East, AFC North vs. NFC West, AFC South vs. NFC South, and AFC West vs. NFC North.
In addition to those changes, the change in schedule also includes a change to the process of setting international games. Each team will be required to play internationally at least once every eight years.