NFL Expansion Pack


Hunter Martin

The NFL will expand its regular season by one came and will make big changes to its health protocols and rules

Aidan May, Sports Editor

The NFL has recently announced that there will be a expansion of regular season games. This is a rare change and the last time that the schedule was changed was way back in 1978. With much anticipation, 44 years later they added a whopping one game to the 16 game regular season. While it is anti-climatic, it does have ramifications that will shape the game of football for the foreseeable future.

This is not the first time the season has been in the talks to expand. In 2011 the NFL Player Association and the league were in talks to make a 18 game season but the idea never came to fruition.  What gave this extra game rise was the sacrifice of a preseason game which now has only three games. Preseason is often a time where younger more inexperienced players can leave their mark and potentially make the starting roster. With this change it seems less likely for that to happen. The NFL claims this was sacrificed due to the younger players causing less experienced more dangerous plays thus creating injury.

The NFL have also have added much needed rules and regulations to regular season play. Better helmet technology to lessen the likelihood of a concussion, new rules also protect defenseless players preventing them from getting potentially season ending injuries. While there is a potential physical risk more time will be focused on training camps and injury recovery.

The big change is that there will be cross conference games next season. Due to this additional game The NFC and AFC football conference teams will now play each other. The Green Bay Packers will play the Kansas City Chiefs and the Dallas Cowboys will play the New England Patriots. The only qualification is that the team would have to place in the same in their respective division. There is also a resolution being put forth says that by 2022 4 conference teams with nine home games in a season could qualify to play an international game. This would further expand the popularity of football to places like London and Mexico City bringing in a international market.

It could be potentially a longer time before there could be another expansion in the NFL. This new game while may seem small it gives fans a longer period to watch their favorite teams and new opportunities to the league. It has been carefully planned and well discussed for years on how they can safely implement this while also maintaining player safety. While the preseason game surely will not be totally missed it can be said that this expansion has bigger ramifications then people will give it credit for.