Before rounding out the week, the NFL confirmed that changes are coming to the 2021 season’s playoffs.
There’s now going to be a Monday Night Football contest as part of Wild-Card Weekend. Previously, the opening round of the league’s postseason only stretched over two days, Saturday and Sunday.
ESPN NFL Insider Field Yates lays out the schedule, which the league announced on Friday:
Official 2021-2022 NFL Super Wild Card weekend schedule:
Saturday, January 15th:
Game 1: 4:35 PM ET
Game 2: 8:15 PM ET
Sunday, January 16th:
Game 1: 1:05 PM ET
Game 2: 4:40 PM ET
Game 3: 8:15 PM ET
Monday, January 17th:
Game 1: 8:15 PM ET
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 24, 2021
The 2021 season is no stranger to changes in the schedule. This year is the first one the NFL is playing a 17th regular season game as the league added one more game to every team’s slate.
Doing so actually makes playing on Monday possible. In 2020, the college football National Championship Game fell on that Monday following the NFL’s Wild Card slate.
Now with an open day in terms of the sports schedule, the NFL has pounced.
Earlier this offseason, NBC Sports’ Peter King suggested that such a change was possible. He also suggested that the schedule changes would be welcomed by teams as the league would make the ensuing schedule for the divisional round work for everybody in terms of rest:
With three wild card games on Saturday, six teams are sure to play a short-week game. With two wild-card games on Saturday and one on Monday, five teams are assured of a short-week game — four on Saturday and Monday’s winner, which would play the following Sunday. If I’m a coach, I’m happy after playing 17 games in 18 weeks to have an extra day of rest before a playoff game. What’s the argument against it?
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