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

The NFL is increasing the regular season to 17 games and reducing the preseason to three games.

Team owners on Tuesday approved the 17th game as expected, marking the first time in 43 years the regular season has been increased. It went from 14 to 16 games in 1978.

The Super Bowl now will move back a week to Feb. 13, which places it directly in the middle of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Coincidentally, NBC has the broadcast rights to both.

Each extra NFL game will be an interconference matchup based on where teams finished in the previous season. As NFC East champions, Washington will play the AFC East-winner Buffalo.

AFC teams will be hosting the 17th game in 2021, so Baltimore will play the Los Angeles Rams at M&T Bank Stadium. Beyond next season, the league plans for some of the extra games to be at international sites.

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

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