Image Credit: Jay Biggerstaff USA Today
As we prepare to bring the 2020 NFL regular season to a close on Sunday, the MVP race is between Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, with Buffalo Bills rising star Josh Allen on the outside looking in.
There’s also a great chance we could see Rodgers and Mahomes face one another in the Super Bowl.
Rodgers is the old veteran, who has shaken off the sting of Jordan Love being drafted and an offense that projected to be undermanned entering the season, to have one of the best campaigns of his illustrious career.
With no fan noise or media distractions in sight and DeVante Adams elevating to a premier receiver in the game Rodgers has executed on a video game level.
Mahomes just keeps doing what he do…
Next season, the NFL is adding a 17th game to offset the revenue loss from a 2020 season impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This also means that fans will now get 272 regular-season games instead of the usual 256 games.
Once the extended schedule was approved, the NFL had to decide which teams would be participating in the historic game.
There was discussion of an extra division matchup, an in-conference opponent or a non-conference game. It has been revealed that the game will be played between an inter-conference opponent of like-standing in their respective division.
This means that the AFC West champions, the Kansas City Chiefs will face another 2020 division winner. The AFC West will be matched up against the NFC North in 2021. That division was won by the Green Bay Packers, meaning fans will get a Mahomes vs Rodgers matchup next year for sure. But let’s taper our enthusiasm a bit as both could already have everything locked up by that time next season and may not need to play their starters in Week 17.
Right now, both are considered the betting favorites to represent their respective conferences in Super Bowl LV as both teams GB (12-3) and KC (14-1) have the best records in the league. If they don’t face off in this year’s Super Bowl, next year’s Week 17 matchup will still be highly anticipated.
In 2019, these two powerhouse teams faced off, but Patrick Mahomes missed the matchup due to a knee injury. Looks like the stars could align in 2021. Maybe you could call it the “State Farm Bowl”.
The only factor to still be determined is where the game should be played. The belief is the conferences will rotate, meaning all AFC and NFC teams will be home or away opponents in 2021. As of now the look for 2022 is still undecided but one would figure to see it look a lot like the 2021 model.
Next year’s slate for the 17th week as a whole looks like this ……
AFC West vs NFC North
AFC East vs NFC East
AFC South vs NFC South
AFC North vs NFC West