The 2021 NFL season isn't just the biggest in league history, adding an 18th week and 17th regular-season game to each team's schedule. It will also feature an expanded Super Wild Card Weekend, as the NFL announced on Friday that one of the six first-round playoff games will be pushed to Monday night.
The NFL hosted three games each on Saturday and Sunday for Super Wild Card Weekend in 2020, its first season with a sixth wild card game, but concluding the first round on Monday would allow for additional prime-time coverage. That means there'd be two games on Saturday, three on Sunday, and one on Monday, with the final broadcasting network to be determined.
NBC Sports' Peter King previously hinted at this possibility in February, while writing for "Football Morning in America." A Monday Wild Card addition was "somewhere between 50-50 and very likely," King said, pointing to the schedule and recent playoff expansion as reason for the NFL to adjust the postseason lineup. The NFL didn't consider a Monday game in 2020 because it would've conflicted with college football's national championship, but that won't be the case in 2021, with the NFL going an extra week in the regular season.
King also suggested that concerns over a team having an especially short week going into the divisional round would not be widespread:
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?
There will presumably be more information to come regarding this change as we get closer to the playoffs, but if all goes well, we can expect the schedule format to continue into the future.
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