The 2021 NFL season is the inaugural year for the league’s 18-week, 17-game season. 

This season was the first since 1978 where the number of games was changed. In 1978, the NFL moved from 14 games per season to 16. Now, it looks as though the 17-game season is here to stay for the next few years at least.

This weekend’s Week 17 matchups will not mark the end of the NFL season. Week 18 games will be played Saturday, Jan. 8, and Sunday, Jan. 9, to finish out the 2021 season.

MORE: NFL’s expanded schedule, explained

Here’s what you need to know about Week 18 in the NFL this year.

Why is there a Week 18 in the NFL this year?

Back in March, the NFL owners agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that had been signed the previous year. With this new agreement, the NFL season expanded to 17 games from 16. The CBA runs through the 2030 season.

The preseason was changed from four games to three games this season, and teams still only received one bye during the regular season. 

A lot of the symmetry established by the previous NFL schedule model disappeared this season. For instance, half the league had the advantage of having nine home games, while the other half had nine road games scheduled. Also, each team’s 17th game was determined by the divisional standings from the year before. For example, teams that finished first last year played each other this season.

MORE: How many teams make the NFL playoffs?

When is Super Bowl 2022?

The Super Bowl is normally held on the first Sunday of February, but the 17th game this season was tacked onto the end of the schedule instead of the beginning, so the Super Bowl was pushed back a week.

The Super Bowl was originally scheduled for Feb. 6, 2022; it will now take place on Feb. 13, 2022.

MORE: Updated 2022 NFL Draft order

Week 18 NFL schedule

The Week 18 games will mostly take place on Sunday, Jan. 9, with two games on Saturday, Jan. 8. There will be no “Thursday Night Football” or “Monday Night Football.”

Saturday, Jan. 8

GameTime (ET)TV channel
Chiefs at Broncos4:15 p.m.ESPN/ABC
Cowboys at Eagles8:15 p.m.ESPN/ABC

Sunday, Jan. 9

GameTime (ET)TV channel
Steelers at Ravens1 p.m.CBS
Bengals at Browns1 p.m.Fox
Packers at Lions1 p.m.Fox
Titans at Texans1 p.m.CBS
Colts at Jaguars1 p.m.CBS
Bears at Vikings1 p.m.Fox
WFT at Giants1 p.m.Fox
Saints at Falcons4:25 p.m.Fox
Panthers at Buccaneers4:25 p.m.CBS
Patriots at Dolphins4:25 p.m.CBS
Jets at Bills4:25 p.m.CBS
49ers at Rams4:25 p.m.Fox
Seahawks at Cardinals4:25 p.m.Fox
Chargers at Raiders8:20 p.m.NBC