ASHBURN, Va. -- The NFL approved the 17th game addition to the regular-season schedule on Tuesday for 2021 and beyond.
The long-rumored and expected addition to the league calendar was allowed to be added after the new collective bargaining agreement was approved by the NFLPA last year.
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Some current players around the league do not like the idea and that is understandable. They look at it as extra work and extra wear and tear on their bodies.
Indeed, the thought of a 17th game rubs us the wrong way because the quality of NFL play late in the year, as is, can be choppy at best. Teams are often either eliminated or missing large chunks of their roster and therefore continuity is hanging by a thread.
What's worse, specific to this year, is this: For the Washington Football Team, already playing a first-place schedule because of winning the NFC East, that means they draw the Buffalo Bills.
The WFT is on the come. But Buffalo is a team that is clearly better and further ahead in their development than Washington. The WFT figures to be an underdog there. That's burdensome.
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Want more? The game is scheduled to be in Buffalo. We don't know the date yet, but as we once spent seven years in Western New York, the only pleasant time in the fall is in September.
If the game is in November or later? That's burdensome.
Washington already has to make longer road trips to Las Vegas (Raiders), Denver (Broncos) and Dallas (You know who!). Plus they head to Lambeau Field and to a Ron Rivera reunion in Carolina along with visits to Atlanta and the other NFC East opponents.
The home schedule features the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers and the AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs on the schedule.
A ninth road game, even with the other NFC East teams playing a ninth road game as well, is the worst possible reality for Washington and Rivera, who acknowledged on the first day of the offseason that his team would be taking on a first-place schedule.
And now? It's going to be a first-place-plus schedule. That's burdensome. It's also unfair. It could cost Washington a chance to repeat as a playoff team.