What Type of Schedule Does NFL Football Follow?


Quick Answer

The NFL uses a 17 week regular season schedule and a four week postseason schedule. The regular season is preceded by a four preseason schedule during which teams play exhibition games against each other, and an the exhibition Pro Bowl game is held between the final rounds of the playoffs.

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Full Answer

During the regular season, all teams have one bye week so they only end up playing a total of 16 games during the 17 week season. All bye weeks occur between weeks four and 11, with some weeks having more teams on bye than others.

A team's schedule is structured based on what division they play in and how they finished in the previous year. Teams in the same division play each other twice a year, once at home and once at the opponent's field. Teams in the same division also all play one game against all teams from another division within the same conference and one game against all teams from another division in the other conference; these games are played either at home or away. Finally, the last two matches are against teams that finished in similar positions within their own divisions. These matches occur between teams that are not already scheduled to play each other due to inter-division scheduling.

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