NFL Wants to Expand Playoffs to Seven Teams

Ezra Shaw

I think it's a terrible idea. Here's why.

Per NFL.com, commissioner Roger Goodell wants the league expand its playoff system to seven teams. He's also dispelled any notion of modifying the ways teams are seeded (ie: having division winners with lower winning percentages no longer have automatic home field advantage over wild card teams).

Goodell is the only person who can give Bill Belichick a run for his money with regards to "overlordship", but I think he's overstepping his bounds with this proposal. His goal is to increase excitement and viewership over the final weeks by including more teams into the playoff hunt.

Of course, this goes along with "removing two preseason games and adding two regular season games" in terms of recklessness, especially due to reduced training during the offseason.

Through 15 games this season, the AFC had four teams still in the playoff hunt (Chargers, Ravens, Dolphins, Steelers), while the NFC had six (Saints, Cardinals, Bears, Packers, Eagles, Cowboys). Including the week 17 jockeying for position amongst the AFC division winners, as well as every single NFC team, only one playoff team (Chiefs) had nothing to play for in Week 17.

For those keeping score, that's nine teams in the AFC and nine teams in the NFC, or 18/32, or over 50% of the league.

If the league expanded the playoffs to one additional team, the impact would be:

Zero more AFC teams would be in the hunt- the Jets were eliminated in Week 15 and wouldn't have won any additional tie breakers in Week 16 or 17. The only impact would be a sub-par Steelers team sneaking into the playoffs.

Zero more NFC teams would be in the hunt. In fact, the drama would decrease since the Cardinals would have already locked up a wild card spot and would have been in Chiefs purgatory with nothing to gain by playing in Week 17.

So what would adding an additional playoff team do?

It would reduce the bye week to just the first overall seed, who already greatly benefits from homefield advantage.

It would increase the injuries, by forcing two more teams to play an additional game- teams who will have everything to play for, so they'll absolutely be playing their hardest.

It's a bad decision for the health of the players and for the expected product on the field. I wouldn't be shocked to see the vote shoot down this proposal.

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