clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What Do You Think of an 18 Game Regular Season?

A hot topic going around the league right now is the potential for the regular season schedule to increase to 18 games. The NFL would shorten the preseason to 2 games in this scenario. Fans have differening opinions on it. I think it is a great idea.

Preseason is meaningless. By far the most important development for teams is avoiding injury. Today's athlete trains year round. The players are not playing themselves into shape during preseason. They are already in shape. Fans going to the stadium still have to pay regular season prices, though.

An expanded regular season means more football. It gives the league more flexibility to create interesting matchups. Instead of playing every preseason in a game meaningless to everybody not named Brandon Jacobs, the Jets and Giants could meet every year in a game that matters. The NFL could produce a Super Bowl rematch. They could produce a rematch of Playoff games. Under the current system, these things could only happen by chance. The schedule is locked. Teams play 6 games in the division, 4 against a division in conference rotating each year, 4 against a division in the other conference rotating each year, and 2 against the teams from the other teams in conference that finished in the same spot in the standings the year before. Throw in an extra pair of games, and the league could give us the matchups we want to see. It also would mean we would get to enjoy the league for an additional pair of weekends each year.

Some argue there would be greater potential for injuries. There is some validity to this point, but it was also true when the league went from 14 to 16 games. Nobody is suggesting the NFL cuts back to 14 again. There are also ways around it. The NFL could expand rosters to give teams a chance to keep players fresher. At the very least, the final cutdown to 53 men could come after the first few weeks of the season. The league could also add a short term disabled list like baseball, which would allow a team to replace an injured player on the roster until said player returns (I think this should happen even if the schedule does not expand).

Some might argue the league should just cut back the preseason games without adding to the regular season. This idea has some validity, but I'm not sure how realistic it is. Will teams really agree to reducing the number of revenue producing dates on the schedule?

What are your thoughts?