Last offseason, it looked like the discussion of adding an extra playoff team to both the AFC and NFC was picking up steam. So this season I expected the same kind of chatter from the owners meetings. Peter King of MMQB had the same thought and asked Roger Goodell about it.
The popular thought would be that a seventh seed would be added to the current playoff bracket. The number 2 seed would play the 7th in the opening weekend. Aside from just one extra team making the post season, it makes the race at the end of the season a little wider. More teams have the shot of making the playoffs thus adding more excitement (and ticket sales) to the regular season.
Goodell brings an interesting point (one I never thought of) to the discussion. In theory, the second place team, could host five home games in five consecutive weeks. It is not unheard of to have back to back home games in the regular season. So if you ended with two games at home followed by potentially three consecutive home playoff games, that's a lot of tickets to sell. I doubt that would be too big of an issue, considering said team would be advancing in the playoffs and fans usually enjoy that.
Also, there is a question around when the extra game would be played. Monday night would be cool, but then there is a short week for a team. There is also potential to interfere with the college national championship game.
I like the idea of adding a team. We have seen as recent as last season that there are good teams that don't make the playoffs because of bad divisions. The NFC South last season sent a team without a winning record to the playoffs. The seventh seed would be a team that in most seasons has a better record than at least one of the division winners. Football down the stretch stays exciting for all but the handful of awful teams, and fans pay close attention longer.
Though, according to some, discussions are likely to be tabled until next year.
1) Expanded playoffs are on the agenda, but no vote planned. No one says it can't be voted thru in May. But chances are it's tabled til '16.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 23, 2015
What are your thoughts?