NFL 18-game regular season? Yes. Bring it on. | Schad

It's not a matter of if, but when, the NFL goes to an 18-game regular season schedule.

Bring it on.

And the players figure to get on board if the NFL does this right.

Doing it right means strategically placing two - yes, two - bye weeks on schedules in a way that reduces the times teams play three games in 10 days.

I don't need millions of dollars in research and studies to know, using purely common sense, that three NFL games in 10 days is not healthy for any human body.

That must end with this change.

We all know preseason, or exhibition, games, are meaningless at this point and it's unfair to fans.

Three NFL preseason games is pointless

Exhibition games are worse than the Pro Bowl game, which the NFL rightly ended.

It's unfair to require fans to pay full price for three of these awful "games."

It's as unfair as it is to have so many of their season tickets valid for Monday and Thursday and Sunday night, and even on a Christmas Wednesday.

We understand how television fuels the schedule.

And yes, we are glad when the best teams play the most and in the best time slots.

Look, nobody in their right mind would think that 17 games is the right number for any professional sports schedule.

I can't stand odd numbers to the point that I won't stop at 23 or 25 when adjusting the volume on my television. That may be a me problem but the schedule is an everyone problem.

Adding another week would allow the NFL to make schedules more fair.

18-game NFL schedules should be more fair

At this point, some teams have way more rest days or far fewer rest days than conference rivals.

And some teams have way more matches against teams coming off of byes.

More weeks means more schedule-making flexibility.

Of course the fact that some teams have nine home games and some have eight is, well, inherently imbalanced and was never a long-term arrangement.

Moving Super Bowl Sunday back to a holiday weekend makes a ton of sense.

Who wouldn't like the game to be played the night before an off day on, say, Presidents' Day, Monday, Feb. 17, 2025?

More and more teams are holding their veterans and starters out of all preseason games and leaning on the most valuable joint practice sessions.

If anything, the NFL could expand by one or two the number of allowable joint practice sessions.

Honestly, fans would be better served buying tickets for those scrimmages than the exhibition matches.

NFLPA should use leverage on 18-game schedule bargaining

We understand that this will need to be collectively bargained.

Good. I'm sure the NFLPA already has a list of things they would like in exchange for this inevitable 18th game. Let's start with - more guaranteed money!

Eighteen regular-season games and 20 regular-season weeks of football is good for fans.

It's great for fans.

Two bye weeks should be beneficial to players.

Those bye weeks need to be properly spaced and strategically-placed.

No more three games in 10 days. No more playing the week after an international game.

Should the NFL allow a few more players to be active on the game day roster?


Should there be even more roster flexibility with additional practice-squad promotions?


With 18 regular-season games, should teams be just a bit more cautious in holding a player out when he just very well may benefit from a bit more rest?


I get it. That probably won't happen.

But, who knows. NBA teams hold out players for maintenance purposes.

The 18-game NFL regular-season is coming.

Roger Goodell and NFL owners want an 18th regular-season game, so it is coming.
Roger Goodell and NFL owners want an 18th regular-season game, so it is coming.

Roger Goodell and owners want 18 games, so it will happen

What is going to happen eventually, may as well happen as soon as possible.

Two byes. Fair scheduling. Better Super Bowl slot.

More money for everyone (owners and players).

More games for everyone (fans).

It makes too much sense not to happen.

And it will. And it will be great.

Joe Schad is a journalist covering the Miami Dolphins and the NFL at The Palm Beach Post. You can reach him at and follow him on Instagram and on X @schadjoe. Sign up for Joe's free weekly Dolphins Pulse Newsletter. Help support our work by subscribing today.

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: The 18 game NFL schedule is coming and it will be great by Joe Schad