David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports


Bengals likely to host 49ers if NFL adds 17th game to schedules

Feb 28, 2021 at 10:21 PM--


NBC Sports' Peter King offered some scheduling insight into what will likely be a 17-game season in 2021. The NFL continues negotiations with broadcast partners on a new television deal, and the networks and league are working on the assumption that the regular season will increase by one game.

Until now, there has been speculation on where those 17th games will take place. We already knew that each NFC West team would be matched up against the AFC North opponent with the same spot in its standings from this past season. That means the San Francisco 49ers taking on the last-place Cincinnati Bengals in 2021.

King is hearing that the AFC will be hosting all 16 of the extra matchups in 2021 and then switching between conferences from there.

"If that's how it goes, it's the fairest way," King added in his Football Morning in America column. "Competitive equity is the key. You don't want three NFC East teams playing eight at home and the fourth playing nine at home."

The writer also notes that the schedule will likely get pushed back by a week, with Super Bowl LVI taking place on February 13 in Los Angeles. It is currently scheduled for February 6. There also won't be an extra bye week, which means 17 games for each team in an 18-week regular-season schedule.

"The league hasn't said a word about moving the game to officials in Los Angeles," wrote King. "But the NFL won't start the season on the ratings-quashing Labor Day Weekend, and the league doesn't want to add an extra regular-season bye week. So that adds up to Feb. 13, which would be the latest Super Bowl in history."

There is also likely to be NFL football on Christmas Day. December 25 falls on a Saturday and the NFL is considering two games for that date.

"The league was encouraged by the big rating for last season's Saints-Vikings game (20.1 million viewers on FOX, the highest non-Sunday rating for the network in more than two years), so expanding to two games seems like a good business experiment," comments King.






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