The NFL should go all-in with their International Series of games and give all teams an extra week off

The NFL will play their first ever game in Brazil this coming 2024 season. In 2025, the NFL will visit Spain for the first time. Last year it was Germany.
Nov 12, 2023; Frankfurt, Germany; The NFL shield logo at midfield during an NFL International Series
Nov 12, 2023; Frankfurt, Germany; The NFL shield logo at midfield during an NFL International Series / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The next evolution of the NFL's world domination will come when every NFL team plays one game out of the country each year.

The expansion of the NFL's schedule to 17 games opens an opportunity for the league to begin showcasing its games internationally on a level that is far larger than it is now. Larger as in every single team playing a game on foreign soil.

Fans hate the International Series, unless of course you are a fan from one of those countries. Season ticket holders lose a home game and travel, ticket prices, and planning can be a nightmare. The NFL doesn't care and it won't change. So why not just embrace it and accelerate the inevitable?

The NFL should play the 17th game out of the country. There is no reason why teams can't play a football game on a Saturday and another on a Sunday mid-season. Then those teams would get a bye-week upon return.

This is where the NFL can be smart. Give each team two bye-weeks. One that comes after their game overseas and another at least three weeks after or before. Teams would likely be healthier, players would have time to recover, and there would still be just as much money made for the NFL.

A 19 week season is a victory for the fans and for the broadcasters who are paying a lot of money for the rights to air the games. 19 weeks, 18 games, 8 home games every year, two bye-weeks, and one game played on the international stage.

If the NFL is serious about expanding its brand into the international market, they have to do so while keeping a competitive balance within the league. Travel isn't hurting teams from winning. The Chiefs played against the Dolphins in Germany and are in the Super Bowl. What is hurting the teams is the loss of home game revenue.

It isn't just the teams that lose money but the city, the vendors, the food service workers, hotels, etc... Why the NFL is forcing some teams to play outside the country and others don't is unfair but giving each team one year every year to play outside the country makes sense and fans would likely have no problem with it knowing that was the case.

For a team like the Dolphins, alternating the current 17th game against an NFC team could be held in Brazil, a market the Dolphins have been designated to have the rights to. In the next year, the Dolphins would be the away team to the NFC team they would face somewhere else.

The key to it all is the bye week and allowing teams to have more than one. It makes travel easier, extends the season one more week without an extra game, gives players time to get healthy, and opens a world of more money-making opportunities for a league hellbent on making more money.