Goodell believes expanded playoffs wouldn’t water down postseason


It’s becoming more and more clear that the NFL wants to expand the postseason.  Owners will consider the situation next month, and Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the issue on Friday at a fundraising effort in Tampa for the Brooks-DeBartolo Collegiate High School.

We’re very cautious on that,” Goodell said, via  “You want to make sure that you don’t do that.  We have 12 teams out of 32 that make our playoffs now. This would only take us up to 14.

“The competitiveness of our league, that’s the difference to me.  It’s not just adding two more teams that didn’t have a chance to proceed in the playoffs.  That wouldn’t be something that we’re interested in.  I think what we’re seeing now is such a competitive league that a team that got in on the 13th or 14th spot has a chance to win it all.”

He’s right.  Completely and absolutely.  Despite the dominance of the Seahawks last season, recent years have proven that any team that can get to the playoffs can thrive.  Teams that get hot in December and make it to the playoffs by the skin of their teeth are arguably even more dangerous.

“The reality is there are a lot of teams that other playoff teams are afraid of coming in in those 13th and 14th spots,” Goodell said.  “We’re going to make it more competitive.  I think that’s the positive spot.  That’s what our Competition Committee, our membership, our ownership has all looked at and feels comfortable that, yes, it will be competitive.”

Again, he’s right.  But competitiveness in the postseason doesn’t account for the potential lack of intensity down the stretch, as teams jockey for playoff berths.  Last year, multiple teams were facing after 16 weeks final outcomes ranging from securing bye weeks to bidding farewell to the playoffs.  With one more playoff spot per conference, more teams will clinch more quickly.

Of course, a scramble will still remain for the final spots in each conference.  And the teams that barely get seats at the table will still be capable of running the table.

So, yes, expansion of the playoffs would be a good thing.  Here’s hoping the NFL ultimately can convince the NFLPA to go along with it without having to give up something more than the NFL is willing to sacrifice to make it happen.

156 responses to “Goodell believes expanded playoffs wouldn’t water down postseason

  1. He also believes in putting a team in London, and making the draft a month long event. Just because they’re ideas doesn’t mean they’re good ideas.

  2. Watching the attrition that took place at the end of last season, I’m for expanding the playoffs and avoiding an 18-game regular season. 11 win teams such as Arizona and N.E. have been left out in the past. Still against any division-winning sub .500 team going in if there are superior teams being left out.

  3. Goodell is ab$olutely correct. Thi$ i$ all about giving fan$ the best po$$ible product, and giving worthy team$ a chance to get into the playoff$ and win a $uper Bowl. I applaud the league’$ effort$ to make the game everything it can po$$ibly be.

  4. Then why not just add two more, that would only take you up to 16.

    But how many teams do we have now cause I keep forgetting, oh wait it’s 12 as I see that Goodell informed us today on how the process works. Thanks for the math demonstration and explaining this to us like we were 4-year olds.

  5. I’m a Cleveland Browns fan (who is most likely to benefit from a playoff expansion), and even I don’t want the NFL to expand the playoffs to include more teams. It will assuredly water down the product.

    Don’t do it.

  6. Of course Goodell says that, expanded playoffs means more money for the NFL. I’m not one the Roger Goodell haters but I think he is wrong on this one. The playoffs are perfect as they are.

  7. Watering down the postseason isn’t the problem. The new #7 seeds may well come in hot and in some cases make deep runs in the postseason. The issue is that they don’t really deserve the opportunity. Thus, the problem with expanded playoffs is diminishing the significance of the regular season in determining playoff worthiness. I’d rather give a second team a bye than open up the playoffs for the seventh best team in each conference.

  8. Comment #2: If given the devil’s choice as a fan…..give me an 18 game schedule over expanded playoffs any day of the week.

    Each team has 16 games to prove it’s worthy of a chance at the championship. If nearly half the teams get into the tournament….all you need to prove is you are mediocre.

    I 100% agree that the 13th and 14th best team can go on a run…….but they had 16 games to go on a run and could not. So why do they need a 17th chance to go on that run?

  9. The regular season would be watered down. The post season would be okay since the dumb bye week for top seeds would be over

  10. Roger Badell will be the death of this league. He can’t go a single season without making drastic changes to the league and is driven solely by money with no regards to the integrity of the game and the will of the fans. There is one change us fans would like to see him make and that would be to remove himself as commissioner of this league.

  11. He wouldn’t care if the product is watered down or not, his job is to make more money.

    More playoffs = more premium games = more $

    This isn’t about anybody’s opinion especially not Goodells. This is the opinion of 32 franchise owners.

  12. While I am not a soccer fan… I am starting to look forward to the Premier League expanding into the United States.

  13. Really, God-del does not care what he does to the game as long as more and more money comes in.

  14. The NFL is not deeper than it used to be. The reason more teams have a shot is because they tweaked the rules to heavily favor the pass.

    Passing is much easier than it used to be which means that more teams have a shot in a game vs a better opponent if their WB has a hot game.

    The loosened passing rules have turned a lot more games into shootouts where anybody can win.

    Before they tweaked the rules, the good teams would just choke out the bad teams with defense and running the ball. Back in the 90s, You fell behind the cowboys or steelers by 10 and it was game over.

    The league is not better. They just made it easier to win while playing bad football, so long as you have a QB.

  15. 14 wouldn’t be that bad…but only giving one team in each conference a playoff bye week doesn’t feel right. Those bye weeks are what the good teams are shooting for at the end of the season…. As a fan, I don’t mind the extra playoff games…

  16. So, yes, expansion of the playoffs would be a good thing. Here’s hoping the NFL ultimately can convince the NFLPA to go along with it without having to give up something more than the NFL is willing to sacrifice to make it happen

    Yea so let’s expand the playoffs so that plenty of 8-8 and 7-9 teams will have a better chance at making the playoffs.

    Secondly….why should the NFPLA simply go along with accepting this without asking for greater concessions while the owners play hard ball on everything?

  17. Another dictatorial proclamation that makes no sense , is bad for the game, and the fans don’t want from Fidel Goodell.

  18. Are we going to push the start of the playoffs back to May too? Ruining the NFL one step at a time.,,,,

  19. “It’s not just adding two more teams that didn’t have a chance to proceed in the playoffs.” That’s exactly what it does… If it weren’t for those two extra spots, they wouldn’t have a chance. It’s simple: Win your games, especially divisional ones. goodell (I won’t capitalize his name) is a greedy idiot.

  20. Who cares what Goodell “believes”? His “beliefs” haven’t turned out very well so far, and everything he does waters down the game. He’s destroying it liuttle by little like a mad man.

  21. No, it’s a horrible idea. Another BAD idea from Goodell. Leave it alone! It’s nothing but a money grab, which is par for the course for Goodell.

  22. Why can’t the game just be left alone? What is this incessant need to change everything???

    Goodell will ruin this game if he is left in charge long enough, that much I’m certain of.

  23. A good thing for the business of the NFL.
    A good thing for the media that is limited in the amount of substance it can cover.
    A good thing for the extra fans who’s teams give them one more week of hope.

    A horrible thing for overall quality.

  24. Goodell also believes a Super Bowl in London is a good idea.

    Goodell also believes that we should change the rules so quickly and drastically that the game will become unrecognizable.

    Goodell also believes that we should outlaw tackling by calling it “flagrant”

    Goodell also believes that we should have an NFL team in Mexico City or Tokyo.

    And, most importantly, Goodell also believes that the opinions of all of the fans are less important than his.

  25. He is wrong. I live in the ATL and grew up liking the Hawks and they’re up 2-1 against the #1 seed but I won’t buy a ticket because they were 9 games under .500 and eventually they’ll lose.

    Same will happen in NFL. You’re having a hard enough time selling out Wild Card games! (See: last season) Supply must equal demand and another layer of games is not in demand.

  26. With that move lord goddell has just rendered the regular season moot and in fact made the nfl the nba and nhl. Let’s reward mediocrity. It’s all about the $$. The owners and Lord goddell don’t care about the healt of their players. I’m starting to believe mark Cuban is right. I disagree with Cuban on one point whereas he believes the nfl will implode in 10 years. I believe the nfl will collapse in 8 years. I’m a parent and based on the concussion studies I will not allow my son to play football. Most of my friends have also made the same decision as well that they will not allow their sons to play football

  27. “We have 12 teams out of 32 that make our playoffs now. This would only take us up to 14.”

    And what will the average record of those last two teams be? 8-8 or 9-7 or 7-9.

    Those shouldn’t be playoff teams because it makes your regular season not matter.

    “the 13th or 14th spot has a chance to win it all.”

    That actually leads to more disappointment than thrill. It doesn’t make for a good league when it becomes common a 13-3 team often ends up being all for nothing. If your one of those teams, why bother trying to dominate. Just do enough to “get to the tournament”. Aim to be ordinary. Why bother watching the regular season if you’re a fan when it no longer matters? Just watch your team and that’s it because the other games mean nothing.

    You have a league that is only ridiculous and not to be taken seriously if an 8-8 team can win your championship. May as well rank the teams on paper and then just start with the playoffs.

    Also if you’re going to now have 4 rounds of playoffs, that’s one quarter the length of your season. It shouldn’t take that much time to drag through the playoffs.

    The Super Bowl is now dragged out into February. The draft is now dragged out to 3 days. The start of the draft is now dragged out. See the common theme? Now the playoffs will be… drum roll please…. dragged out.

    The NFL is going to become exhausting and too tedious and ultimately frustrating.

    If baseball ever cleans it’s performance enhancing issues up, if baseball contracts some teams to quit the watered down pitching, if baseball ever gets a salary cap and if there is ever a proper college football postseason, the NFL is done if the whole thing keeps heading down the track of dragged out tedium and oversaturration.

    Iceberg, straight ahead.

    You can’t be making the playoffs at 8-8, that’s just ridiculous.

  28. Thats a Big fat BS! It perfect the way it is. The only reason to expand, is to line the pockets of people who’s pockets are already full.
    Watered down? Yeah it will be watered down alright.

  29. “$$I think what we’re $eeing now i$ $uch a competitive league that a team that got in on the 13th or 14th spot ha$ a chance to win it all.$$”

  30. Why do they keep on insisting on trying to fix something that isn’t broken? This will work out about as well as moving the draft to May…

    Goodell isn’t worth a penny of that massive bloated salary.

  31. It would be a joke. Who’s paying you Mike?… Any team below 10-6 should not make the playoffs. Strong teams can pick and choose games to play their stars based on the strength of season adversaries. If team X sees they can get in and still have a home game they will forfeit games to stay healthy and hedge the post season run on this tactic. It’s exactly what you see now when teams don’t play their starters at the end of the season because of a great win record, hence fortifying games that if they had won another team could have made a playoff birth but didn’t because the team they are tied with wins a contest most likely to lose.

  32. Boo hoo. If you weren’t good enough to be one of the top 6 teams in your conference, then you can’t cry about how you’re not getting a chance to sneak in at the last second and get hot in January. Consistent performance during September-December still has to count for something.

  33. Dear Roger you are doing your best to destroy the game some of us love you have made it all about making money and forsaking the true football fans to cater to people that only care about fantasy football – someone please get this idiot away before he does any more damage

  34. Mark Cuban is right. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. The NFL has gotten hoggish enough to get slaughtered.

    Why bother with a regular season at all? Just let everyone into the playoffs no matter their record. The top two teams in each division draw Byes and home field advantage throughout for the top team in each division. The last team in each division must play two extra playoff games and all games on the road.
    And maybe monkeys will fly out of our butts.

    Enough already.

  35. this 3 week delay of the draft is all about greed – it was a stupid mistake and when you put 5 hour shows on the network about the schedule coming out is shows me you truly are clueless – and please god help us if you make it 4 days please put it back to 2 days on saturday and sunday

  36. Water down or not, its a undeniable fact that this will create more revenue for the “non-profit” entity known as the NFL

  37. It’s more than just ’12 to ’14’. It means that teams that earned a bye week (when most needed) won’t get it.

  38. No good. Only the division winners
    should get into the playoffs—that’s why
    there is a season—-when playoffs expanded
    to add 2 wild cards it made division races
    irrevalent —it’s looking like the NBA
    the NHL & theNCAA Everyteam that is
    standing on one leg goes to the playoffs
    Back in the 60s only the division winners
    in the NFL. &AFL got into the playoffs
    as well as the AL & the NL for the World

    Since then it’s been watered down so that
    the season champions are NOT the best

  39. 14 out of 32 teams in the playoffs is definitely not “watered down.” Especially not when a 10-6 Cardinals team gets left out because there’s only two wildcard spots. Considering how many wildcards or teams with less than 11 wins have won the Super Bowl in the last ten years (Giants twice, Steelers, Packers, Ravens) I don’t see any problem with widening the field as far as competitive balance is concerned. And more football is never a bad thing as far as ratings goes, people continue to tune in by the tens of millions to every big game on TV. So why not?

  40. The idea that more teams will clinch quickly is not necessarily true. It wouldn’t have changed a thing in the AFC race this past year. There just would have been 5 teams battling for two spots instead of 4 teams fighting for one. The extra playoff spot would have meant the Jets wouldn’t have been eliminated heading into Week 17, but the Steelers beating the Browns that week would have done the trick anyways. So that’s not why I’m advocating expanding the playoffs.

  41. This eventuality is illustrative of the NFL not being in tune with the vast majority of fans who’ve loyally supported the league for decades.

    The current playoff system is perfect. Proclaiming this expansion doesn’t “water down” the product is in fact the exact opposite of the truth.

  42. I think its a great idea to add two more teams to post season play. It gives us fans more chance of seeing our team of choice make the playoffs and more of a chance to see a underdog team go all the way which is what makes memorable moments of NFL Seasons.

  43. It would certainly water down the regular season as well as forcing each conference’s second seed into an extra playoff game, most often against a .500 or sub .500 team.

    But nooooo, that doesn’t water down the playoffs, right? Goodell is the worst commissioner the NFL has ever had.

  44. Bad teams reaching the playoffs would be good thing? Really?
    This is FOOTBALL, a sport in which unpredictability and upsets are more possible than in any other sport, mainly because of turnovers, weather conditions and injuries in a one-and-done tournament.
    Had Jacksonville played Denver in the playoffs last season and somehow won, would that have meant that Jacksonville was the better team?
    Keep out the rift-raft.
    The playoffs belong to the elite.

  45. Goodell is just a smarmier David Stern. Like the former NBA commish, Roger will not be content until nearly half the league is in the playoffs, defense is less than an afterthought and every player but the marquee ones (QBs) are disposable anonymous slabs of meat.

    I wonder if all those posters who supported Goodell and his fight for the owners during the CBA holdout are wiping the egg off their faces by now. Seems to me De Smith and the NFLPA will be the only ones who can save the NFL from becoming the ‘watered down’ product Goodell seems hell bent to have it become.

  46. Last season the NFC team that just missed was probably the Cardinals. And the AFC team probably the Steelers. I doubt either team would have made the super bowl.

    It’s like the expanded field of teams for the NCAA basketball tournament. Those lowest teams aren’t going to win it. It’s about the money.

  47. At this point, teams with losing records are going to get into the playoffs – just like in the NBA. When will Goodell. Just. Stop?

  48. Honestly, I can’t stand Goodell – but there IS NO DOWNSIDE to this proposal

    The CURRENT system lets IN Division “winning” 8-8 teams (or potentially worse) and keeps OUT non-division winning 11-5 teams

    Under the proposed playoffs, the only difference would be that the 11-5 team would now be let in.

    I don’t want mediocre teams in the playoffs any more than the next guy – but we have that now.

    We just don’t let the better teams in right now – but we should.

  49. This is a done deal. We’ll all complain but at the same time we’ll all keep watching.

    Wish I had the stones to say, “enough’s enough. I’m done.”

  50. I’d rather find ways to make the preseason more relevant. 18 games would be nice but I don’t like how that would affect all the NFL records. I wouldn’t mind expanded playoffs after seeing 11 and 10 win teams not being able to make it. But how would that affect the #1 and #2 seed during the playoffs? would they not have a bye week anymore?

  51. You can’t use Arizona winning 10 games and getting left out or NE in ’08 winning 11 games and getting left out as a reason to expand. Did we change the format because Seattle got in at 7-9 in 2010? No. They’re an anomaly.

    We don’t need to turn this into the NBA 2.0

  52. Hate this idea sooo sooo much. Already got rid of Sunday ticket that I’ve had for 10 years because enough is enough….they go to 14 playoff teams and it’s a no brainer to stop paying attention to this sport. What complete f’ing a-clowns Goodell and the owners are to try and get this, and an 18 game schedule. I know my money means nothing to these a-holes but at least I know I’m not contributing quite so directly to their greed. Just can’t leave well-enough alone…..

  53. He also believed pushing the draft into May was a great idea…………hows that working thus far?

  54. I know I have seen Roger Goodell wearing a disguise at Lincoln Financial Field playing a guitar ,hat on the ground in lot AA because you can NEVER make enough money !!

  55. Just make the playoffs 21 games long – like the Champions League ‘Cup’ in soccer – two big sets of round robin mini-leagues, before finally entering the knockout rounds, played over two legs (one home, one away). Then something else happens, but by then I’ve lost concentration on how the hell anything works.

    Oh, and throw in a few ‘preliminary rounds’ for the crappiest teams in the league, instead of preseason.

    Or, if a team is getting blown out at half time, they can pay Goodell $1m a point to get them to within a touchdown. That will keep games competitive and interesting.

    Plus, just think if you outlaw tackling a receiver until they’ve started running upfield, the stats will go through the roof.


  56. Goodell is a horrible commissioner. He is the best argument for putting Paul Tagliabue in the HoF. This would be awful, an even further degradation of the intensity that makes the NFL great. He just doesn’t get it. He doesn’t love the game.

  57. DILUTION is the issue

    7-9 and 8-8 teams should not make the playoffs. Under the current system, it happens on rare occasion.

    That’s a reason to *reduce* the number of playoff teams, not to add playoff teams.

    Saying that on rare occasion you might get the additional teams to be competitive, with win or two, is not compelling.

    The crux of the argument against adding the teams is you dilute the playoff pool. This is one playoff addition too many. Historically, I respected the NFL and MLB for keeping the regular season and playoffs meaningful.

    If you have a great bourbon and add a little water, which is not my thing, but fine. At some point you add too much water (hello NBA and NHL) and you get sucky bourbon flavored water.

  58. It waters down the regular season! Why should a 7-9 team get in the playoffs. It will happen regularly if they expand. It makes the regular season into a joke. Right now it’s perfect. It’s like 16 weeks of playoffs. If you spend the whole season trying to put away your division and then the team you put away gets in anyway, it will suck. The Wildcard is enough as is. Also, the advantage for the top 2 seeds is huge right now, as they basically get an automatic playoff win with the bye. Take that away and what motivation do teams have to finish strong. The season will be over after week 12. Please leave it alone!

  59. Goodell is a worthless money grubber who could care less about the integrity of the NFL playoffs. He only cares about the money angle and keeping that texas crybaby jerky jerry jones happy. What we’ll end up with are teams with losing records making the playoffs for the first round which won’t be worth watching.

    I’ll not bother to watch the first round of playoff games if this idiotic idea goes through. Then again I’ve reduced dramatically how much NFL product I can stomach.

  60. For those saying Goodell is ruining football…..isn’t it more popular than ever? the NFL is seeing greater revenues and more success under his leadership than they have in their history. I realize you may not like all of this ideas, but give the devil his due……

    I like the idea of expanding the playoffs by another team. Why not? Good for the fans, good for the league, good for the players. We have had 8-8 teams make it under the current scenario as it exists today and we have had very good teams (who can forget the Cardinals last year) that don’t make it with excellent records. I’m sure the NFL world will keep turning if they expand the playoffs.

  61. This all comes from the Jerry Jones of the league.

    Complete BS.

    Goodell actually thinks he’s responsible for football’s popularity instead of right place at the right time. He thinks his ideas make the difference.

    NBA 2

  62. THis won’t “water down” the playoffs. We are talking about adding 1 team, not 3. Most of the time, that would mean adding a 9-7 team (this year would have been a 10-6 Cardinals team and an 8-8 AFC team). The lower seeds have went on to win a lot of Super Bowls recently, including the Ravens 2 years ago, the Packers and the Steelers in recent memory.

    I also think this could help the top seeds, as now the #2 seed will have to play a first round game instead of getting a bye. Outside of the to the next round), I’ve always thought that the bye weeks actually hurt a team.

  63. Goodell is terrible… mediocre but entitled corporate lawyer that navigated in to this job so he could “steal” as much money for himself as possible

    dude has little talent.. but made over $40M last year

    I think it is bad but league should just go ahead and make it an 8 team playoff per conf and eliminate byes….

  64. If this system were in place in 2013 the two additional wild card spots would have gone to a 10-6 team and added another 8 win team to the playoffs

    Same thing in 2012

    In 2011 a 9-7 team and another 8-8 team would have gotten in – again, no different than the current system

    In 2010 under the CURRENT PLAYOFF STRUCTURE a 7-9 team went to the playoffs. Two 10-6 teams from the NFC stayed home and watched along with a 9-7 AFC team

    In 2009 two more 9-7 teams would have made the playoffs (joining the 9-7 teams already there)

    And of course in 2008 fans were treated to watching a 8-8 team in the playoffs rather than an 11-5 team that was left out

    If fans actually stop to think they’d see that mediocre teams are ALREADY in the playoffs…

    The only thing that will change is now you’ll have more 11-5 and 10-6 teams.

    Everyone said expansion was going to ruin the NFL in 1990 as well folks. Wake up.

  65. Think about it this way. Under this proposal, the top 43% of teams will have season records deemed good enough to let them compete for the championship. This is the rough equivalent of letting 56% be defined as a passing grade in school.

  66. If you want to expand the playoffs just say that all division winners make the playofs and any team with a winning record .625 or greater that is not a division winner gets into the playoffs. that way all 10-6 or better teams make the plaoffs. Wild card teams would all have to try as hard as possible to win at least 10 games. Now that would be an interesting twist. It means that each year you would not have a set playoff structure but you could figure out the difficulties, they do it anyway when some team or another wins a spot on the last game of the season.

  67. I like it but the expansion should just be for two additional NFC teams cuz the AFC sucks. Oh, and on a side note, dem Cowboys still wouldn’t get in!

  68. The league as a whole has been mediocre with no dominant teams. You are going to end up with a six win team in the playoffs. The last thing the NFL needs is for the regular season not to mean anything.

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