The NFL playoffs may be getting a little easier to get into.
Reports show that the new CBA is looking to add a seventh playoff team for each conference. That would mark a rare change to the playoff formatting that hasn’t changed since the Houston Texans entered the league in 2002. That allowed each conference to be broken up into four divisions of four teams.
The current format has the winner of each division landing in the playoffs with one of the top four seeds. The top two teams get a bye week during the Wild Card round. Three and four face off against the top two teams that did not win their division at home. This change would mean one more Wild Card team would make the playoffs, which makes that number one seed all the more valuable.
The playoff format always comes into criticism towards the end of the season. It wasn’t that it was inherently flawed every season, It comes more when there is a really good team that misses out because an average level team wins their division.
In fact, some of the strongest criticism over the current format is that the divisions are valued so much. The only real argument over keeping the things the way they are is because it helps create intense rivalries that matter. It also helps keep out too many teams from a division that get two free wins a year over an inferior opponent.
Again, the argument to change that doesn’t really come up every season. This past season, the two teams left looking in were the Steelers (8-8) and the Rams (9-7). Neither team looked like they were poised for a Super Bowl run. This seventh team just seems to be a nice nod that, while this system works, there are seasons that we may have missed out on some hot teams getting their shot to run the table.
Does this help open the door for more Cinderella stories like the Titans last year, or does this just create a situation where the playoffs are becoming too diluted? 14 of the 32 NFL teams will now be in the postseason, and the mark of 8-8 becomes much more likely to get a playoff berth. You barely have to get over .500 to punch your ticket to the dance. You have to go back to 2015 when the Texans (9-7) won their division, and the Jets (10-6) missed the playoffs. After that, no team better than 9-6-1 had missed out on the playoffs.
What are your thoughts on the move to change the playoff format?
What do you think of a seventh team being added to the NFL playoffs?
This poll is closed
More football is always welcome
I think too many teams are going to be making the post season
I wish they had made a different change
It makes no difference to me as long as the Bengals make it.