A Guide to Understanding How Many Games in the NFL Regular Season


When it comes to sports, there are always questions that fans might not know the answer to. One such question in the NFL is, “how many games are played in the regular season?” This is a valid question, considering all of the changes and updates to the NFL over the years. In this article, we will dive into everything you need to know about the NFL regular season and the number of games played.

A Complete Guide to the NFL Regular Season: How Many Games are Played?

The NFL regular season consists of 17 weeks, with each team playing a total of 16 games. This includes eight home games and eight away games for each team. Like other popular sports leagues, such as the NBA and MLB, the regular season sets the stage for the playoffs and ultimately leads up to the Super Bowl.

Counting the Games: Understanding the NFL Regular Season Schedule

The NFL’s regular season schedule spans from early September to late December, with the playoffs beginning in January. Additionally, the NFL preseason features four games per team, giving players a chance to warm up and prepare for the regular season.

However, the regular season isn’t just a standard 16-game schedule. Each team is given a bye week, which is a week where they don’t play any games. Additionally, Thursday night games are a staple in the NFL schedule and are played every week throughout the season.

The NFL has a complex process for deciding the regular season schedule each year, taking into account various factors such as divisional rivalries and team performance from the previous season. An important aspect of the schedule is determining each team’s strength of schedule, as this can greatly impact their chances of making the playoffs.

From Kickoff to Playoffs: Breaking Down the Number of Games in the NFL’s Regular Season

The 16-game regular season is split among the four teams in each NFL division, with each team playing six divisional matchups, four inter-conference games, and six intra-conference games. This ensures that every team plays the majority of their games against teams in their division, giving the divisional rankings significant weight in determining which teams make it to the playoffs.

The strength of schedule is determined using various factors such as the records of the teams from the previous season and each team’s win percentage from the prior season, making the schedule an important factor in a team’s success.

The Magic Number: Why the NFL Regular Season Consists of 16 Games

Originally, the NFL regular season consisted of 14 games from 1961 to 1977. In 1978, the NFL expanded the regular season to 16 games, citing the need to generate more revenue and keep fans interested throughout a longer season.

While some have argued for the NFL to expand the regular season even further, others have questioned the impact this would have on players’ health and the quality of the games. The current 16-game regular season strikes a balance between keeping fans engaged and minimizing the risk of serious injuries among players.

Beyond the Stats: Exploring the Impact of the Number of Games on NFL Teams

The number of games in the NFL regular season has a significant impact on strategy and player health. With only 16 games to prove themselves, teams must be strategic in selecting their starters and rotations. Additionally, a single loss can have a significant impact on a team’s chances of making the playoffs, leading to increased pressure on players and coaches.

Comparing the records of teams based on the number of games played highlights the importance of consistency and winning streaks in a short regular season. Teams that are able to maintain a consistent level of play throughout the season often perform better than those who experience wild ups and downs.

The Evolution of the NFL Regular Season: A Look at the History and Future of Game Counts

The NFL regular season has undergone significant changes since its inception in 1920. The length of the regular season has been adjusted several times, with the current 16-game schedule introduced in 1978.

Looking to the future, many have speculated about the future of the NFL regular season, with some advocating for a reduction in the number of games to protect player health. However, it’s unclear whether or not the NFL will make any changes to the current schedule in the near future.


Understanding the number of games in the NFL regular season is important for fans and players alike. The regular season sets the stage for the playoffs and ultimately leads up to the Super Bowl, making every game significant. By taking into account the scheduling factors and how it affects the teams, fans can get a better sense of how their favorite teams will perform in the upcoming season.

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