This Sunday, September 13, the first Sunday Night Football of the regular phase of the NFL. The championship began last Thursday with the meeting between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans, and the rest of the franchises will debut today. The new campaign brings several peculiarities with respect to last season, largely thanks to the health situation that plagues the United States.
Season 101 of the NFL starts under unprecedented conditions due to the pandemic. The health crisis has forced the league to cancel several iconic events of the season for safety reasons. This 2020-2021 campaign did not have a Draft ceremony or preseason. In the same way, the ceremony and the Hall of Fame game were canceled, as well as the international matches in Mexico and England.
Given the immense number of players per roster, it is impossible for the NFL secludes himself in a bubble headquarters like the NBA and the MLS. The matches will take place in the franchises’ own stadiums as in normal conditions, with the difference that, based on federal laws, some will have limited public access and others will not. Significant losses are estimated in stadiums that are 100% denied entry by fans, such as the Raiders, who estimate numbers in the red of $ 500 million.
After tense negotiations between the NFL and the NFLPA (Players Association), athletes were given complete freedom to get off the season if they wish, without having greater consequences than a salary reduction for their time of absence. A total of 67 players made the decision not to participate in the season due to the health risk it poses. The most affected team was the New England Patriots, who lost 8 players.
There will be more matches
The number of teams qualified for the postseason was modified, and now there will be 14 who advance to the Playoffs. Each conference will have 7 classified, and only the first seed will be the one that is exempt from the first round. This measure is expected to increase the level of competition in the final weeks of the regular season, as first place will be highly coveted by competing teams.