The NFL is expected to expand the regular season to 17 games starting in 2021. It was done because more games equals more money. I mean, have you seen the new television rights deals? Mo money, no problems, right? Well...
The NFL had to figure out a new way to schedule the extra game. You know, it's gonna be all uneven this year with half the teams in the league getting an extra home game. So how do you make something inherently unfair, fair, especially on a week as important as the final week of the regular season? You do it based on team record the previous season combined with which cross-conference division you played the season before that.
It makes no sense. Peter King explained it like this:
"The four AFC West teams played the four NFC North teams in 2019. In 2020, Kansas City finished in first place in the AFC West, Green Bay first in the NFC North. So in 2021, it’s AFC West against NFC North, and 1-versus-1 from ‘20 becomes Green Bay versus Kansas City. "
So that brings us back to 2021 and the Week 17 schedule. Here is it, based on King's background combined with Field Yates' execution.
Some big winners, some big losers. Here are the winners.
Best NFL Week 17 Games
Packers at Chiefs
Rams at Ravens
Cardinals at Browns
Seahawks at Steelers
Giants at Dolphins...Just kidding, wanted to see if you're paying attention.
Now, you could say Washington at Bills and Cowboys at Patriots are also very interesting, but there are question marks surrounding three of those teams. Let's focus on the cream on top.
We all know Aaron Rodgers vs Patrick Mahomes is a dream for broadcasters. But the other three games also offer playoff positioning potential, big-name quarterback intrigue and strong fanbase support.
Panthers at Texans would be great if Deshaun Watson is traded to the former. Bucs at Colts certainly has playoff implication possibilities. Saints at Titans would have been great in 2020. Unsure about 2021. But you gotta take the good with the bad.