Make no mistake about it.
The NFL is here to make money. Lots and lots of money. According to multiple reports (for the past three years, we should add), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants the NFL to earn $25 billion in revenue, per year, by the year 2027. Adding regular season and playoff games are quick draws to head in that direction.
During his Super Bowl XLVIII news conference on Friday, Goodell continues to push for the league to expand their playoff field from 12 to 14 teams -- one team per conference.
"We think we can make the league more competitive, we think we can make the matchups more competitive towards the end of the season," Goodell said. "There'll be more excitement, more memorable moments for our fans. And that's something that attracts us, and we think we can do it properly from a competitive standpoint."
Had the league had a 14-team playoff field in 2013, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals would have qualified. It's believed that only the No. 1 seed would get a first-round bye. The No. 2 would host the No. 7, the No. 3 hosts the No. 6 and the No. 4 hosts the No. 5 seed during wild card weekend. The biggest difference in 2013 is that New England and Carolina, instead of having first-round byes, would have hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals respectively.
The soonest a playoff expansion will happen is 2015 but nothing is decided. However, figure that this will be debated and discussed in league meetings during the offseason.