NFL officially moving to 17-game schedule
After much speculation over the past year, the NFL owners have voted to increase the regular season to 17 games beginning this fall. The move was expected after the option was written into the new collective bargaining agreement last offseason.
The 17th game can be placed anywhere in each team's schedule and will feature NFC vs. AFC matchups while alternating the home conference (The AFC will be home during 2021). As part of the change, each team will have to host an international game in either Mexico, London, or Germany at least once every four? years. The new schedule will allow those teams to still have eight home games in the U.S.
The 17th game also will allow for the league and its teams to recover some lost revenue from the COVID-affected season. Most teams lost eight home games worth of ticket sales and concessions (and other sources of income) due to the absence of fans.
The change has received backlash from players that feel overworked, but the league is expected to adjust the preseason schedule to accommodate that concern to some extent.