A day before it would become NFL law, Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson called out the NFL for its move to an 18-week, 17-game regular-season schedule beginning in 2021.
"17 games is complete BS… no other way to put it," Jackson tweeted Monday accompanied by face-palm and red-face-angry emojis.
It's understandable that Jackson is pushing back, and he won't be the last player to do so. But the change, officially approved by league owners Tuesday, is beneficial in more ways than one to the Broncos.
Not only was Denver awarded a ninth home game — the AFC will serve as the "home conference" for contest No. 17 — but its overall strength of schedule decreased from .480 to .471 thanks to the Detroit Lions being tacked on to the docket. Detroit, like Denver, finished fourth in its division in 2020.
In addition to the Lions, the Broncos will welcome divisional rivals Kansas City, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas as well as Cincinnati, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington, and New York (Jets) to Empower Field at Mile High this fall. Non-AFC West road games will include trips to Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Dallas, New York (Giants), and Jacksonville.
The addendum to the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement also stipulates three preseason games, down from the annual four. AFC teams will host one exhibition matchup and travel for the other two.
Dates and times for the Broncos' regular-season and preseason games are expected to be finalized in early May.
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