How many preseason games do NFL teams play?

NFL. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
NFL. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /

With the NFL expanding its regular season to 17 games in recent years, they had to cut back elsewhere. How many NFL preseason games does each team play now?

For those of you sickos out there who live and die by NFL preseason football, I have some terrible news for you…

Instead of watching the best be the best at what they do best, you would rather watch minor league football on a professional football field. This is not like college because we are talking about full-grown men with wives and kids at home and mortgages to pay. It is a hard-scrabble life for those looking for a spot at the bottom of a roster. Sadly, they only get so many opportunities now.

With the league expanding its regular-season offering to 17 games a few years ago, the NFL preseason is now only three games per year per team. There is one major exception. If your team is lucky enough to be chosen to play in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, then you play four!

NFL preseason: How many preseason games does every team play each year?

If you are one of the dirty 30 and think you’ve got a seat at the cool kids’ table, you only have to play three meaningless glorified exhibitions each summer going forward. However, should your favorite team have a new, marquee inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, you may have to bite the bullet and expect for an early August trip to Northeast Ohio to be on the docket for y’all.

What the change to the NFL schedule makeup has done is shift our focus a bit about what to expect during the summer. In year’s past, the third preseason game served as the regular-season dress rehearsal. It was a tradition unlike any other, but what happens when Blockbuster goes out of business and your Friday night plans are in shambles? You have to re-evaluate your entire life!

I think this requires enjoying your August however you so please. If you like college football, then get ready for Week 0. If not, then wait until roughly midway through September before caring about football again. Yes, you can watch preseason football, but should you? I’m not going to blame you if you do, because we are human beings after all, ones who simply live to rubberneck.

Unless your team is playing in Canton in early August, you only play three NFL preseason games.

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