There have been 16 regular season games played each year since 1978. This year, the NFL is changing to a 17-game regular season. One more week of football for fans is great, but what does it mean for the players and the teams? This affects them in both positive and negative ways.
More Games, More Money
The first positive is that there will be more revenue generated for each team from ticket sales, parking, and concessions/merchandise sales. With more revenue, one could hope that ticket prices will not increase. Also, because teams would be making a little more money, they would be able to invest that money back into the team or the facilities. That money could be used to create stadium improvements, or in the Bills’ case, toward building a new one. Hopefully more money equals nicer facilities and a better overall experience for fans.
More Competitive Games
Another positive is that there will be greater competition for the playoffs. A 17-game NFL season means another week for teams to fight for playoff berths, creating more meaningful football later in the season. Players will be more engaged later in the season because the playoff hunt will still exist. This translates to fans being more interested in late season games when the weather becomes a factor for home games here in Buffalo.
Winning Games Means More
Finally, the one seed in the playoffs has a lot more meaning now. With the one seed being the only team to get a bye week in the first round getting that extra week of rest would be crucial. This creates a more competitive race to try to win their conference. Even with all the positives there are also some negatives.
More Games More Injuries
The first negative for the players is having to play another game. This is another opportunity for players to get hurt. That extra game really makes a difference for these players, they are used to playing 16 games and adding another week of practice and games could lead to a rise in injuries and serious ones at that.
Long Standing Records?
Another thing that will be criticized is the legitimacy of any statistical records that are broken. The current long-standing records were set in 16 game seasons. Adding another game would lead to questions about the legitimacy of the new milestones. For example, Eric Dickerson set the NFL record for rushing yards in a season with 2,105 yards in 1984. He set this record in a 16-game season. Imagine if a Running Back broke that record this year with an extra game. It wouldn’t be fair to Dickerson who created the record in less games. The only way to fix this is to create a new record list for a 17-game season.
This extra game addition is going to be great for fans and great for revenue. The main concern is that the players may not be happy and might end up having more injuries. What do you think? Is this extra game going to help or hurt the NFL?