The 2021 NFL campaign is officially halfway over after nine weeks. Yes, that is correct because of the NFL adding on an extra game this year. Many players objected to this new addition, including Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.
The ageless wonder just won a Super Bowl against the Kansas City Chiefs in February and returned for yet another season in the NFL. But, the debated GOAT is not a fan of the 17-game schedule and made his feelings known.
The NFL’s decision to add a 17th game was always a surprise
In March, the NFL announced the 17th game in a stunning turn of events. At the time, people weren’t thrilled and there were evident flaws. Now, halfway through the season, people still aren’t happy about the change.
When it was made, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was excited about the change (h/t Josh Alper of NBC Sports).
“This is a monumental moment in NFL history … And one of the benefits of each team playing 17 regular-season games is the ability for us to continue to grow our game around the world.”Roger Goodell on the decision to add an extra game
So, one reason — as Goodell mentioned — was to grow the game over the world. Well, the London games in 2021 were a major flop. Sure, they filled the stands as they always do and will, but who wants to see the Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins face off?
The other international game was between the Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets. A poll from 2020 shows clearly that not even the fans wanted to add a 17th game to the docket (not like that mattered).
Regardless, the NFL’s decision to add an extra game is purely fiscal. It’s a money grabber, plain and simple. Another thing to keep in mind is the statistics and records as we know them. Now, one extra game will be played, which will change a lot of pages in record books everywhere.
Tom Brady is not fond of the new 17-game schedule
At 44 years old, it makes sense that Brady isn’t entirely happy about playing an extra game. Brady plays more games than most, considering his teams frequent the playoffs more than anybody over the past 20 seasons.
In his latest episode of the Lets Go podcast, Brady spoke his mind on the NFL’s decision.
“I think it’s pointless. I thought it was a terrible decision. So I don’t like the fact that we’re playing a 17th game at all. I think 16 is plenty.”Tom Brady on the NFL adding a 17th game
He certainly has a point. After all, the ageless wonder has voiced his opinion plenty over the years for different matters, so this isn’t a surprise one bit.
What is the point of adding a 17th game? As Brady mentions in the same episode, it is for money.
Despite being at the start of Week 10, the season is barely halfway over. There are 18 weeks — 17 games for each team and one bye –, and Brady can’t be the only one displeased with the NFL’s decision.
With the league’s constant emphasis on player safety, adding in an extra game and week of practice was puzzling at the time and still is to this very day.
Brady and the Buccaneers are in the driver’s seat and the 17th game might not matter for them
On the brighter side, the Buccaneers’ final regular season game might not make a huge difference for key guys such as Brady. Sure, the New Orleans Saints are right behind them, but without Jameis Winston and Michael Thomas, it will be difficult for them to stay afloat.
Also, the Bucs are destined for some sort of second-half winning streak to grasp home-field advantage. Brady isn’t slowing down, and even with the number of injuries in Tampa Bay, they are in a terrific spot. For the remainder of the year, the Bucs have only three teams with a winning record and the Falcons at .500.
Sure, Brady isn’t happy with the change, and frankly, not many are. Will the NFL change it? Probably not.
Once they implement something, it is almost certainly set in stone. The taunting rule is another implementation that won’t be going away soon, even with players and coaches frustrated at the calls.