Getting into the NFL Schedule
Brief Introduction to the NFL
The National Football League (NFL) is a 32-team professional American football league split between two conferences. The NFL is the highest professional level of American football on the globe, and it is one of the four main North American professional sports leagues.
Each club plays seventeen games and has one bye week during the eighteen-week regular season, which spans from early September to early January. Following the regular season, seven teams from each conference progress to the playoffs which is a single-elimination tournament that culminates in the Super Bowl, which is traditionally played on the first Sunday in February and features the NFC and AFC champions. New York City is where the league’s headquarters are stationed.
The NFL was founded in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, but for the 1922 season, it was renamed the National Football League. After deciding champions through end-of-season standings for the first few years, the NFL adopted a playoff system in 1933, which culminated in the NFL Championship Game until 1966.
The Super Bowl is also one of the world’s most popular sports events, with individual games generating some of the most viewed television shows in American history. The NFL is the richest professional sports league in terms of revenue and has the most valued clubs.
History of NFL Schedule
It consists of 272 games, with each of the NFL’s 32 teams playing 17 games over the course of 18 weeks, with one bye week on the schedule so teams have a week off. The 2021 season was the first year that teams played 17 games in a season which was increased from 16 games.
Since 2012, the NFL has scheduled games in five different time windows throughout the week. On Thursday night, at 8:20 p.m., the first game of the week is played. The bulk of games take place on Sunday, with the majority beginning at 1:00 p.m. and a few late afternoon games beginning at 4:05 or 4:25 p.m.
Every week at 8:20 p.m., one Sunday night game is also played. Finally, at 8:15 p.m., one Monday night game will begin. In addition to these regularly scheduled games, there are also games on Saturday afternoons or evenings, as well as the annual Thanksgiving Day games, which include two daytime Thursday games in addition to the regular Thursday night game.
Upcoming Games & Full Calendar
Main Events on NFL Schedule
The NFL Playoffs, a 14-team single-elimination competition, begin after the regular season ends. Each conference is represented by seven teams: the winners of each of the four divisions, as well as three wild card teams which are the three remaining teams with the best overall record.
These teams are ranked based on their overall record and tiebreakers, with division champions usually coming out ahead of wild card clubs. The top club from each conference receives a bye week, while the remaining six teams participate in the first round of the playoffs, known as the Wild Card round, with the 2-seed facing the 7-seed, the 3-seed facing the 6-seed, and the 4-seed facing the 5-seed.
The Wild Card round winners progress to the Divisional Round, which pits the lower-ranked team against the 1-seed and the remaining two teams against each other. The Conference Championships are played between the winners of those games, with the higher remaining seed hosting the lower remaining seed. To decide the league champion, the AFC and NFC champions battle in the Super Bowl.
The Pro Bowl, the NFL’s all-star game, is the league’s only other postseason event. The Pro Bowl has been held the week before the Super Bowl since 2009; formerly, the game was hosted the week after the Super Bowl, but it was relocated to the week before to increase viewership. As a result, players from the Super Bowl-contending teams are not permitted to compete in the game. Because clubs’ primary priority is preventing player injuries, the Pro Bowl is not as competitive as a regular-season game.
NFL Main Venues
Lambeau Field is a sports stadium located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in the United States. The Green Bay Packers‘ home field, which was opened in 1957 as City Stadium, is now known as Lambeau Field. For the first eight seasons, it was known as New City Stadium until being renamed in August 1965 in honor of Packers founder, player, and long-time head coach Curly Lambeau.
Lambeau Field, with a capacity of 81,441, is the fifth-largest stadium in the NFL in terms of standing room, but third in terms of typical capacity. It has now surpassed Camp Randall Stadium at the University of Wisconsin as Wisconsin’s largest arena.
Lambeau Field is the oldest NFL stadium still in use. The Packers finished their 51st season at Lambeau Field in 2007, breaking the all-time NFL record set at Wrigley Field by the Chicago Bears.
At&T Stadium is the home of the Dallas Cowboys and was completed in 2009. It is the biggest stadium in the NFL and hosts a myriad of other events each year as well.
After Covid-19 Details
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on the 2020 season, with the most notable changes being the cancellation of all preseason games and the 2021 Pro Bowl and the suspension of international games for the year. The NFL also gave the ability for players to opt out of playing the season without violating their contracts and most teams ended up playing games with a greatly reduced audience or no fans at all.
COVID-19 vaccines were not readily accessible throughout the season. Despite these alterations, all 256 regular-season games were completed within the intended 17-week time frame with no cancellations. The last time regular-season NFL games were halted was during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
NFL Schedule FAQs
There are 272 games played in the NFL season each year.
The Championship of the NFL is called the Super Bowl.
14 teams make the playoffs each year as seven from each conference reach the playoffs.
No games ended up being canceled and the season was completed in full, although there was no Pro Bowl or preseason games.
At&T Stadium is the largest stadium in the country.