2021-2022 NFL Key Dates: Everything You Need to Know About The NFL Season
Key Dates For The 2021-2022 NFL Season
It may seem like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl, but the 2021-2022 NFL season is just around the corner and will be getting started before we know it. Hell, we’re just over a month away from preseason games.
There will be a ton of thing different about this NFL season compared to just last year. For starters, the NFL is playing 17 regular season games for the first time in league history. Pre-season roster cuts are different, the Pro Bowl is in Las Vegas. There are tons of things to cover about the 2021-2022 NFL season and its key dates.
So, we thought it would help to take a look at some of the most important dates coming up and where they fall on the calendar. Whether it be roster cuts or the Super Bowl, we cover it all.
August 5-9 – Hall Of Fame Weekend in Canton, Ohio
NFL Football is back. No, not the regular season but the preseason. Every year the NFL preaseason gets underway at Hall of Fame Weekend with the Hall Of Fame game. It usually features two of the most storied franchises in the league and takes place in the same city that hosts the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This season’s Hall of Fame Game takes place on Thursday, August 5 as the Dallas Cowboys take on the Pittsburgh Steelers. If you’re having trouble remembering the Hall of Fame game from other years, just remember it’s the game where the field is always falling apart and fans are talking about how an NFL game shouldn’t be played on that surface…
August 31 – Final Roster Cuts
So, after about a month of NFL preseason games. New this year is the fact that there are only three weeks of the preseason, a big win for players. But, it came at the cost of adding another week to the regular season.
If you’re a casual fan, August 31 roster cuts won’t have that much of an impact on your viewing. The stars will still be there come Week 1. But, If you like to get in depth with roster development and the ins and outs of what makes a team, this is a big week. On August 31, teams must cut their expanded 80-player roster down to the official 53-man roster that is part of the team on a week-to-week basis.
New this year is the fact that they extended the time between final roster cuts and Week 1. It used to be 8 days before opening kick, but it’s now 12 in order to give players time to become acclimated with their teams.
September 9 – NFL Kickoff Weekend
The moment we’ve all been waiting for…Real NFL football games!
The NFL regular season, which consists of 17 games this year, gets underway with the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosting the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, September 9 at Raymond James Stadium.
However, Week 1 doesn’t begin for most teams until Sunday, September 12. Below, you’ll find a complete list of Sunday’s Week 1 NFL games.
NFL Week 1 Schedule
The Baltimore Ravens travel to Las Vegas to take on the Raiders on Monday Night Football in Week 1. The game starts at 8:15pm ET and can be watched on ESPN.
Week 5 & Week 6 – NFL International Series
The NFL International series is back and will be taking place over a course of two weeks at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, a brand new state-of-the-art stadium that has hosted some of the biggest soccer games in the world.
- October 10 at 9:30am ET: The New York Jets kick off the NFL International Series against the Atlanta Falcons.
- October 17 at 9:30am ET: The Miami Dolphins close out the International Series with a game of their own, taking on the Jacksonville Jaguars
January 15 & 16 – NFL Playoffs: Wild Card Round
It’s a week later than usual, but the gist of the 2022 NFL Playoffs are the same as last season. Seven teams qualify for the NFL Playoffs with only the top-seeded team in each conference earning a bye that week.
Prior to last season, six teams earned a trip to the postseason and the top-two seeds in each conference were rewarded with a bye. That is no longer the case.
January 22 & 23 – NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round
The remaining teams are widdled down to just eight, four in each conference, as a spot in the Conference Championship games is on the line during the Divisional Round.
This is the first time we get to see the top seed from each conference in action after their bye week in the Wild Card Round.
January 30 – NFL Playoffs: Conference Championships
The final four teams remaining meet with a spot in Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles on the line. Rather than the conferences splitting games, both games are played on Sunday, January 30 and are hosted by the lower-seeded team.
February 6 – 2022 NFL Pro Bowl in Las Vegas
Some people do still care about the Pro Bowl. It may be about 15-20 people, but they’re out there. Still, there will be odds on the game and money to be made, so it’s worth paying attention between the Conference Championship games and the Super Bowl.
The greatest sports spectacle on the planet is taking place in Los Angeles this year at the brand new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The Super Bowl is sure to be full of stars, even more this season as it takes place just outside of Los Angeles in the newest, and most expensive, stadium the NFL has to offer.
Brian is a sports journalist with close to ten years of experience in the business. A lifelong Philadelphia sports fan with a passion for all things sports gambling.