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Fri Dec 14, 2012, 09:32 AM

NFL to discuss expanded playoffs

espn.com news services / 12-13-12

IRVING, Texas -- Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday at the NFL's owners meetings that the league would spend the next few months exploring playoff expansion.

"Of course, something that we discussed in the past is expanded playoffs. That is something that we teed up (at the meeting Wednesday)," he said. "We will probably be looking at it with the committee over the next several months. Right now, we are at 12 teams, obviously. We will look at probably 14 or 16. The committee will be looking at that."

In the current format, adopted in 2002 after the NFL added the Houston Texans and realigned the league into eight four-team divisions, 12 teams make the playoffs -- eight division champions and two wild cards in each conference.

The NFL has had 12 teams qualify for the postseason since 1990, when it expanded the field from 10, adding a third wild card in each conference to join three division champions.

LINK: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8743130/nfl-discuss-expanding-playoff-field-roger-goodell-says

At the video, the panel discusses the following "pros:"

The elimination of one bye in each league, creating greater competition among teams for the sole bye remaining.
Expands the meaningful part of the season.

If the NFL is considering eliminating kickoffs in the name of player safety, then adding another game -- especially as intense as a playoff -- is counter to that effort. If the meaningless preseason schedule was reduced by two games, maybe it works, though the current three week playoff schedule feels just right to me. The NFL has said it's not about money ... which tells you right away that it is exactly about money.

Bottom line: I'm against it. Two byes per league is a deserving reward for winning a grueling game. There's no need to increase competition -- NFL popularity has never been greater. Odds are against wild cards advancing to the Super Bowl anyhow. Most important of all, it's not in the best interest of player health.

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply NFL to discuss expanded playoffs (Original post)
Auggie Dec 2012 OP
madinmaryland Dec 2012 #1
Auggie Dec 2012 #2
madinmaryland Dec 2012 #3
JonLP24 Dec 2012 #4
Auggie Dec 2012 #5
JonLP24 Dec 2012 #6
Liberal_Dog Dec 2012 #7
Jamaal510 Dec 2012 #8

Response to Auggie (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 10:23 AM

1. I don't like the idea of getting rid of the byes. It means the last couple weeks of the season

will be pretty much meaningless games, except for a bunch of 6-8 teams battling to get wiped out at a #1 seed in the first round.



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Response to madinmaryland (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 11:52 AM

2. The last couple weeks will mean more, actually ...

the top two two teams will be fighting over one bye while the 7-8 teams fight over the last playoff spot. But I still don't like it, because the season is so long and so hard that the top two teams in each league should be rewarded with a week off.

What I'd like to see under the current system is that a team must have a winning record to make the playoffs. A 7-9 (or 8-8) division winner, like the Seahawks in 2010, wouldn't make it. The spot would go to the team with the sixth best record in the league and would be seeded accordingly.

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Response to Auggie (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:34 PM

3. Well, if there is a 16 team playoff, then there will be no byes. I think at that point,

if you have a first round home game, teams will be protecting their top players. I don't think there will be much motivation, except maybe moving 5 to 4 seed or making the playoffs at all 9 to 8 seed. No one else will want to run the chance of additional injuries.

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Response to Auggie (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:57 PM

4. I wouldn't change that

Especially the 8-8 factor considering that 3 of the 5 8-8 teams that made the playoffs under the current format were wild card teams. Who would you replace them w/ if they're wild card team? It is more likely to happen when one conference is overall weaker which was the case in the NFC last decade as all 3 of those teams were NFC teams. Now that things are starting to shift, the AFC could send an 8-8 wild card team to the playoffs this year. Unless you really meant, 6th best in the league which I figured you meant conference, but if not, you'll have teams switching conferences for the playoffs.

But if you have a problem w/ a 6-10 team winning its decision then I can understand such a rule. The shock & outrage over the Seahawks surprised me as if they didn't know it was possible. It is possible for a team go 5-11 and win its division, it just needs every team to split the divisional games and for everyone to struggle outside the division.

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Response to JonLP24 (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 04:03 PM

5. Okay, maybe 8-8 is going too far for a division winner ...

but I can't see keeping a team out of the playoffs that finishes at 10-6 or 9-7 while another plays that finished at 7-9 ... unless there aren't any higher seeds.

As for the byes, the one scenario I'm aware of adds one wild card team from each league -- that would preserve one bye for the top seed in each league.

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Response to Auggie (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 04:18 PM

6. I'm a fan of keeping things the way they are

I have no idea why Goddell has to constantly change things, when is it going to end? I could understand such a rule for a division winner as it is possible for even lower than 7-9 to win its division. An overall rule, including WC is what I was mainly against, since the 8-8 team is the best team remaining (by record).

The reason why I knew about the 7-9 and was surprised by the shock of the Seahawks was twice in about 15 seasons on Madden '09, a 6-10 team won its division. Interestingly, both times, they won their first matchup. Seedings were weighed far too heavily (even if the lower seed had a better record) on the game. Really sucked the fun out of the game.

6-10 is probably far less likely to happen in real life, but keep playing enough seasons under the current format, it will happen eventually. That's why I could understand such a rule.

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Response to Auggie (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 04:19 PM

7. More Games = More Money

Always comes back to that, doesn't it?

The NFL season is just fine the way it is. We don't need an 18 game season or more playoffs.

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Response to Liberal_Dog (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 02:45 PM

8. This.

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