NFL season to feature 17 regular-season games per team

NFL clubs today approved at a virtual league meeting an enhanced season structure that beginning in 2021 will feature each team playing 17 regular-season games and three preseason games for the first time.

The NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in March of 2020 enables the league, with the approval of the union and its players, to enhance the regular season with a move to 17 games, providing fans an extra week of regular-season NFL action.

That decision was confirmed today, marking the first change to the season structure since the 1978 campaign ushered in an era of 16 regular-season and four preseason games. It follows the March 18 announcement of long-term media distribution agreements providing fans greater access to NFL games than ever before.

"This is a monumental moment in NFL history," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "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 17th game will feature teams from opposing conferences that finished in the same place within their division the previous season. The AFC was determined to be the home conference for the 17th game in 2021:

Table inside Article
Away Team Home Team
NFC East AFC East
1. Washington Football Team 1. Buffalo Bills
2. New York Giants 2. Miami Dolphins
3. Dallas Cowboys 3. New England Patriots
4. Philadelphia Eagles 4. New York Jets
Table inside Article
Away Team Home Team
NFC West AFC North
1. Seattle Seahawks 1. Pittsburgh Steelers
2. Los Angeles Rams 2. Baltimore Ravens
3. Arizona Cardinals 3. Cleveland Browns
4. San Francisco 49ers 4. Cincinnati Bengals
Table inside Article
Away Team Home Team
NFC South AFC South
1. New Orleans Saints 1. Tennessee Titans
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2. Indianapolis Colts
3. Carolina Panthers 3. Houston Texans
4. Atlanta Falcons 4. Jacksonville Jaguars
Table inside Article
Away Team Home Team
NFC North AFC West
1. Green Bay Packers 1. Kansas City Chiefs
2. Chicago Bears 2. Las Vegas Raiders
3. Minnesota Vikings 3. Los Angeles Chargers
4. Detroit Lions 4. Denver Broncos

Under the scheduling formula below, every team plays 17 games with one bye week, hosting 10 games -- either nine regular-season games and one preseason game or eight regular-season games and two preseason games.

  • Home and away against its three division opponents (six games).
  • The four teams from another division within its conference on a rotating three-year cycle (four games).
  • The four teams from a division in the other conference on a rotating four-year cycle (four games).
  • Two intraconference games based on the prior year's standings (two games). These games match a first-place team against the first-place teams in the two same-conference divisions the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place and fourth-place teams in a conference are matched in the same way each year.
  • One interconference game based on the prior year's standings on a rotating four-year cycle (one game). These games match a first-place team from one division against a first-place team in an opposite conference division that the team is not scheduled to play that season. The second-place, third-place and fourth-place teams in each division are matched in the same way each year. The home conference for this game will rotate each season.

The official 2021 schedule, with playing dates and times, will be announced later this spring on NFL Network and NFL.com. Information on season ticket availability and premium seating options can be found on club websites. Single game tickets for many clubs will also be available upon the release of the schedule.

NFL Kickoff Weekend will begin Thursday night, September 9, and the regular season will end Sunday, January 9, 2022. The 2022 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, February 6 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas and the season will conclude with Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 13, 2022.

The enhanced season will ensure that beginning in 2022, all 32 clubs will play internationally at least once every eight years. The scheduling of up to four neutral site games per year in a country outside the United States will focus initially on Canada, Europe, Mexico, South America and the United Kingdom. In addition, interested clubs can continue to volunteer to play home games internationally, as is currently the case.

A look at the 2021 home and away opponents for all 32 NFL clubs:

2021 scheduling rotation by division

Table inside Article
Division Type Division opponent
AFC East Intraconference AFC South
AFC East Interconference NFC South
AFC North Intraconference AFC West
AFC North Interconference NFC North
AFC South Intraconference AFC East
AFC South Interconference NFC West
AFC West Intraconference AFC North
AFC West Interconference NFC East
NFC East Intraconference NFC South
NFC East Interconference AFC West
NFC North Intraconference NFC West
NFC North Interconference AFC North
NFC South Intraconference NFC East
NFC South Interconference AFC East
NFC West Intraconference NFC North
NFC West Interconference AFC South

AFC East

Buffalo Bills

  • Home: Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Football Team.
  • Away: Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans.

Miami Dolphins

  • Home: Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants.
  • Away: Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Las Vegas Raiders, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans.

New England Patriots

  • Home: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans.
  • Away: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Chargers.

New York Jets

  • Home: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans.
  • Away: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts.

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans.
  • Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings.

Baltimore Ravens

  • Home: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings.
  • Away: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders, Miami Dolphins.

Cleveland Browns

  • Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Las Vegas Raiders.
  • Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots.

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Home: Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers.
  • Away: Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders, New York Jets.

AFC South

Tennessee Titans

  • Home: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers.
  • Away: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks.

Indianapolis Colts

  • Home: Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • Away: Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers.

Houston Texans

  • Home: Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks.
  • Away: Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers.

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Home: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Atlanta Falcons, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers.
  • Away: Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks.

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Home: Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • Away: Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans, Washington Football Team.

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Home: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.
  • Away: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers.

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Home: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • Away: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.

Denver Broncos

  • Home: Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.
  • Away: Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers.

NFC East

Washington Football Team

  • Home: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Away: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Las Vegas Raiders.

New York Giants

  • Home: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams.
  • Away: Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Dallas Cowboys

  • Home: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders.
  • Away: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Home: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Football Team, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
  • Away: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Football Team, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders, New York Jets.

NFC North

Green Bay Packers

  • Home: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, Washington Football Team.
  • Away: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers.

Chicago Bears

  • Home: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers.
  • Away: Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Minnesota Vikings

  • Home: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks.
  • Away: Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Chargers, San Francisco 49ers.

Detroit Lions

  • Home: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers.
  • Away: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks.

NFC South

New Orleans Saints

  • Home: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants.
  • Away: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans, Washington Football Team.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Home: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants.
  • Away: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.

Carolina Panthers

  • Home: Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.
  • Away: Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Home: Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Football Team.
  • Away: Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers.

NFC West

Seattle Seahawks

  • Home: Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, Tennessee Titans.
  • Away: Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Football Team.

Los Angeles Rams

  • Home: Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans.
  • Away: Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants.

Arizona Cardinals

  • Home: Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings.
  • Away: Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans.

San Francisco 49ers

  • Home: Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings.
  • Away: Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans.
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