The NFL is leaning toward adding a 17th game in the regular season in 2021 and cutting the preseason to three games, according to the Washington Post.
This is not a major surprise because the league has been planning for the extra game to occur and if the plan does get the green light in time for the upcoming season, there will be an interesting storyline added to the Las Vegas Raiders’ schedule.
They will face Khalil Mack again. In preparation for a 17th game, it has been reported that the AFC West will play the NFC North in the 17th game. Since both the Raiders and Chicago Bears finished in second place in their respective divisions, they will be set to play in 2021 if the 17th game goes ahead.
The location of the game is yet to be determined. If the Raiders get a ninth home game this year, they will play the extra game on the road in 2022 and so on in future years.
The Raiders, of course, traded Mack — who won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 2016 and who was the No. 5 overall draft pick in 2014 — to the Bears in 2018. The Raiders drafted running back Josh Jacobs and cornerback Damon Arnette in the past two first rounds of the draft as part of the package.
The Raiders have only played against Mack once, in 2019. They won that game, which was played in London as part of the NFL International Series. Now, it appears Round 2 will be coming up this season.