I have been adamant about saying the expansion to 17 games was a bad idea. After watching the lame-duck/out of contention Giants for too many weeks over too many seasons, I felt that adding another game would actually make fanbases of the non-playoff teams more miserable and less likely to watch after their team was eliminated.
Game attendance would drop, TV ratings would fall. It would not be a good look for the NFL.
This season, the 17th game seemed to add more hope to so many teams, as they were in the running right up to the end.
I can't recall too many Stars on the IR over the final month of the season either, but then again, I don't follow teams other than the Giants. Feel free to correct me on this point.
So, what do you all think - is the 17th game good or bad - or indifferent?
I've read that the league wants to add an 18th game. I don't see how that will help unless they start the regular season in August. Nobody wants to sit outside in February.
Players will likely have shorter careers due to the wear and tear of playing an 18 game season. The NFL PU should be citing that as a reason to raise the cap and increase salaries.
To counter that, I would expect the NFL to expand the Practice Squads instead. And while that helps the fringe guys stick with a team, fans won't be excited to see them starting games late in the season while the Stars are on the sidelines or at home.