As we eagerly await for the NFL season to kick off, one question that might not be so obvious to the casual NFL fan is how many games are played each season.
Up until the 2020 season, NFL teams played in 16 regular-season games spanning 17 weeks. Everyone had a BYE week at some point during the season to give them a week off from the physically demanding sport.
In 2021, however, a change was made to the NFL schedules that added a game to every team's schedule.
NFL teams play 17 regular-season games and there are then 4 rounds in the playoffs.
Beginning in 2021, the NFL added a 17th game to the regular season. This meant there were 18 weeks of football with each team still receiving a single BYE week.
For that additional game, the NFL opted to have a team square off with the first-place team from another conference's division.
For instance, in 2022, the Cincinnati Bengals had to play the Dallas Cowboys as their extra game due to both teams finishing the previous season in first place in their respective divisions. The year before that, the Bengals and 49ers played each other because they finished in the same spot in their divisions the previous year.
After the regular season concludes, the playoffs begin. Fourteen teams make the NFL playoffs and there are a total of six Wild Card games, four Divisional Round games, two conference championship games, and then, of course, the Super Bowl.