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Expansion to 14 playoff teams likely after 2015 season


This may be the last season in which only 12 teams make the playoffs.

Starting with the 2015 season, the NFL is likely to expand to seven playoff teams in each conference. Sources told Mark Maske of the Washington Post that the plan could be approved by the owners as soon as next month.

I think there’s a lot of momentum for it,” one source said. “I don’t know for sure if the votes are there yet [among the owners] or not. But there is momentum. A lot of people seem in favor of it.”

Although it’s ultimately up to the owners, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell seems to be leading the charge to add two playoff teams.

“I do think the commissioner wants it,” a source said. “I’m not exactly sure when it might get voted in. But if the commissioner wants it, I assume it’ll happen at some point.”

If the NFL expands to 14 playoff teams, it will mean only one team per conference gets a first-round bye. It will also mean the first weekend of the postseason will feature six playoff games instead of four, and that’s why this will be lucrative for the owners: Selling two more playoff games to a TV partner could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

Although all the logistics still need to be determined, the NFL could switch from the current format of two wild-card playoff games on Saturday and two on Sunday to having two on Saturday, three on Sunday and one on Monday night of wild-card weekend. Many fans dislike the idea of expanding — and potentially diluting — the playoffs, but it will be hard not to get excited for six NFL playoff games in the first weekend of January in 2016.

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58 Responses to “Expansion to 14 playoff teams likely after 2015 season”
  1. mortyglickstein says: Feb 27, 2014 11:21 AM

    Terrible idea. Makes more of the regular season games irrelevant. Going towards an NBA model. Higher scoring, less defense and a more meaningless regular season.

  2. sensiblevoice says: Feb 27, 2014 11:22 AM

    Why? Just why? there is no good, or even decent reason!

  3. seatownballers says: Feb 27, 2014 11:25 AM

    And they will get rid of it within three years once a ,6-10 or ,7-9 team gets red hot and wins a sb. The owners that went ,13-3 will be outraged

  4. thestrategyexpert says: Feb 27, 2014 11:25 AM

    This sounds cool to me, as long as we have at least 38 NFL teams by then.

  5. babyphife says: Feb 27, 2014 11:25 AM

    get used to having multiple teams with sub .500 records in the playoffs every year

  6. 87hollywoodhorn says: Feb 27, 2014 11:28 AM

    Dont you do it Goodell!

  7. grndizzle says: Feb 27, 2014 11:28 AM

    I’m all for the expansion but I think they should do Sat/Sun triple headers rather than a Monday night game.

  8. username5891 says: Feb 27, 2014 11:28 AM

    I never disliked the 7 teams per conference idea. I always thought it would be better if only the #1 seed for each conference got the only bye. I think It works out well.

  9. diegiantsdie says: Feb 27, 2014 11:39 AM

    And the Cowboys still won’t make it

  10. cheapglazers says: Feb 27, 2014 11:39 AM

    They should reduce it to 5 on each side (div winners and one wild card) and top team gets a bye. This makes the most competitive sense. Or if you are a greedy NFL team owner, let in div winners and 6 wild card teams on each side.

  11. bobleblah says: Feb 27, 2014 11:40 AM

    They are doing this for the Cowboys.

  12. scottyhammer says: Feb 27, 2014 11:43 AM

    Won’t help the Cowboys. They still won’t make it.

  13. ez4u2sa says: Feb 27, 2014 11:45 AM

    They should leave well enough alone. If they do change it the change should be that there are no byes at all. When the playoffs start, every team should have to play.

  14. haleyistheman00 says: Feb 27, 2014 11:57 AM

    The only thing I would like to see is re-seeding in the playoffs. That would make every team play hard week 16-17.

  15. srock68 says: Feb 27, 2014 12:22 PM

    Greed. Plain and simple. Just another way to dump on the best fans in the world.

  16. marcuswelby1 says: Feb 27, 2014 12:35 PM

    Bad, bad move…can you say NHL/NBA???

  17. tjacks7 says: Feb 27, 2014 12:36 PM

    Why not just let all 32 teams in and give everyone a participation metal so no one gets their feelings hurt.

  18. firerogergoodellnow says: Feb 27, 2014 12:38 PM

    This is not a bad idea. This would help the Cardinals get in while in the same division as the 49ers and Seahawks. Plus the Steelers would have made it even when they got robbed by the referees who worked the KC/SD game.

  19. patfanken says: Feb 27, 2014 12:39 PM

    JUST SAY… NO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. dlbpatsfan says: Feb 27, 2014 12:44 PM

    Please don’t.

  21. canedaddy says: Feb 27, 2014 12:45 PM

    The pace at which Goodell is screwing up the NFL is staggering.

  22. richmondbolt says: Feb 27, 2014 12:52 PM

    This drink tastes watered down.

  23. eagles512 says: Feb 27, 2014 12:58 PM


  24. jusford says: Feb 27, 2014 12:59 PM

    Greed will destroy this game!

  25. oldcracker says: Feb 27, 2014 1:01 PM

    What does it matter?

    The new franchises will be in London, Berlin, Milan, Mexico City, New Delhi, Beijing, Brisbane, Manilla, or wherever.

    The SB’s will be held in various cities in the Southern Hemisphere, due to weather conditions in the Northern Hemisphere.

    The owners will wring every last dime they can out of it before it implodes. Death cage frisbee will be the new “American” sport.

  26. footballfan211 says: Feb 27, 2014 1:02 PM

    This will put more mediocre teams in the playoffs, is that what the fans want?

  27. edgarpoe3 says: Feb 27, 2014 1:04 PM

    Step by step, the NFL is destroying itself.

  28. backdapack4evr says: Feb 27, 2014 1:07 PM

    And the Vikings will still miss the playoffs LOL

  29. thesteelskirt says: Feb 27, 2014 1:09 PM

    This is such a money grab, it is to make up for the fact that fans would rather watch at home then sit in the cold for an 8-8 team.

  30. briang123 says: Feb 27, 2014 1:09 PM

    What about us who go to Vegas for these games? How can we stay until Tuesday morning? Think of the gamblers!

  31. 4thqtrsaint says: Feb 27, 2014 1:15 PM

    Since we’re into watering down the product, let’s do what college does and have 16 bowl games. This way, everyone’s a winner! #MoreCrappyIdeas

  32. hawkforlife says: Feb 27, 2014 1:17 PM

    Interesting how my first thought was a way for the Cowboys to actually make the playoffs and maybe even win a playoff game and it seems that’s the first thought of many here.

    By the way, anybody else see that sit down interview with Jerry and him winking at Suzy Kolber? This idiot believes that little wink is cute and will score with the ladies. Talk about having an ego. The man’s a dinosaur.

  33. chris6523 says: Feb 27, 2014 1:23 PM

    I checked back over the last 20 years and there would be on average about on average a little less than 1 additional 8-8 team that will make the playoffs each year. There will be a 7-9 team about once every 5 or 6 years that will make the playoffs. The vast majority of additional teams in the playoffs will be 9 and 10 win teams.

  34. yourfavoriteteamstinks says: Feb 27, 2014 1:25 PM

    The crusade to water down the sport continues…

  35. perkjctc says: Feb 27, 2014 1:28 PM

    If we are going to change the format we should just blow up he entire system. Just expand it to 16 teams and take the top 16 teams in the league no matter what division/conference they play in. That way the best teams are always in the playoffs and you don’t have to worry about a team with a losing record going all the way.

  36. Great Caesar's Ghost says: Feb 27, 2014 1:28 PM

    Expan$ion to 14 playoff team$ likely after 2015 $ea$on

  37. 1oldpro says: Feb 27, 2014 1:29 PM

    The reason for it is simple. More money for the Billionaire owners. The owners run the league, they vote for the changes, they negotiate with the union and then make changes in the rules to get more money.
    They operate in the daylight, the same way Wall street and the politicians do in the shadows. They can afford to do it openly because people give them their money openly, whereas the other two do their collecting in private.

  38. fringetastic says: Feb 27, 2014 1:32 PM

    I’m not a big fan of this idea, but it is preferable to extending the regular season.

  39. stixzidinia says: Feb 27, 2014 1:32 PM

    Only one reason for this to happen: GREED

  40. kneelbeforesod says: Feb 27, 2014 1:36 PM

    Almost half of the league will be in the playoffs at the end of every season. No matter what.

    That’s just pitiful.

  41. eyesofdisarray says: Feb 27, 2014 1:39 PM

    Hear that dripping sound? That’s the sound of the NFL getting watered down even further.

  42. ftcsubs says: Feb 27, 2014 1:44 PM

    don’t make it so a 6 and 10 team can get into the playoffs, I understand why they want to do it is for the money and they don’t care about the quality. it devalues the regular season t add another team. wouldn’t it be great that a 6 and 10 team win the Superbowl. why mess with the best system in all of professional sports. don’t let Jerry Jones convince you otherwise so he can get his sorry team into the playoffs. tell Jerry to hire a GM and he might make the playoffs

  43. athwartships says: Feb 27, 2014 1:58 PM

    About ticket sales and TV contracts….absolutely nothing else.

  44. jspyle says: Feb 27, 2014 1:58 PM

    I’m actually in favor of this one. 6 teams play on wildcard weekend, and only the best team in each division get a bye. No more bitching about who should get a bye. Be the best in your conference, get a bye. Everyone else plays.

  45. kvgrekop says: Feb 27, 2014 1:59 PM

    For everyone afraid of a 6-10 or 7-9 team getting in the playoffs that won’t happen. The Cardinals would have gotten in last year in the NFC at 10-6 and the Steelers at 8-8. Behind them there were two more teams at 8-8. No one at 7-9 was anywhere near the discussion. And even at 8-8 it was a remarkable collapse by a few teams that let an 8-8 team (SD) in rather than a 9-7 team.

    The wildcard records are typically high, it’s usually a terrible division where you may see a 7-9 team get in and this rule doesn’t change that.

  46. notwithkubiak says: Feb 27, 2014 2:06 PM

    dumb move… watering down the playoffs

  47. vcupats says: Feb 27, 2014 2:12 PM

    Cowboys & Steelers fans just rejoiced in unison.

  48. alstottwastheman says: Feb 27, 2014 2:17 PM

    Just to clarify, that’s two teams short of half the league. Let’s just skip the stupid regular season and flip a coin, heads you’re in the playoffs!

  49. sameer1138 says: Feb 27, 2014 2:19 PM

    Aren’t the TV deals already worked out longterm with the CBA? i.e. how can you alter those multi-billion dollar deals?

  50. sameer1138 says: Feb 27, 2014 2:21 PM

    Goodell’s salary will go up to $100 million per year…

  51. usdcoyotesfan says: Feb 27, 2014 2:33 PM

    What a joke.

  52. choover1998 says: Feb 27, 2014 2:33 PM

    Leave the playoffs alone

  53. robseahawksfan says: Feb 27, 2014 3:39 PM

    Hey! Goodell! Leave football alone!

  54. rcali says: Feb 27, 2014 4:04 PM

    More games to gamble on, but don’t tell God dell were doing it! It’s a secret, shhh!!!!

  55. jdphx says: Feb 27, 2014 6:43 PM

    Boo Goodell…

  56. jdphx says: Feb 27, 2014 6:49 PM

    “Expansion to 14 playoff teams likely after 2015 season”

    “Starting with the 2015 season, the NFL is likely to expand”

    Ummm… So which is it? After.. or starting with?
    And nobody saw that yet?

  57. brownsmakemecrazy says: Feb 28, 2014 2:33 AM

    My original thought was expansion a few years ago on the letting more teams into playoffs because too many good teams were being left out of the playoffs. Now, i would keep it the way it is. The first round teams are avg teams that have good records, i.e. Bengals, Saints, Chiefs, Colts, Chargers, Packers

  58. sailbum7 says: Feb 28, 2014 8:41 AM

    This is a bad idea. There is no reason to do this other than the greed of the league and the owners. If they are going to do this then why don’t they go even further and have it so half the league is in the playoffs by expanding to 8 teams per conference. It would get them closer to the NBA and NHL models where the regular season has little relevance except to determine the seeding in the playoffs. Going to 8 teams per conference would actually make more sense than going to 7 teams because it would eliminate the byes so all playoff teams play every weekend. This would also keep any teams from having the perceived advantage of the extra week of rest and prep time that a bye gives them.

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