NFL may expand to Friday night, Monday night playoff games


If the NFL decides to expand the playoff field to 14 teams, the biggest question is, When would those additional playoff games be played? And the answer might be Friday night and Monday night.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said on NFL Network that an expanded playoff format with six games during the wild card weekend might include three games each on Saturday and Sunday, or it might include a Friday night game and a Monday night game.

“The big discussion would be the first weekend, the wild card weekend of the playoffs, how would you structure that? Three on Saturday, three on Sunday? We’re looking at every alternative, and I think that’s what the membership ultimately is going to have to decide,” Goodell said. “Would you play a game on Friday night, two on Saturday, two on Sunday and another on Monday?”

Monday Night Football has become so ingrained a part of American football that it makes perfect sense to have playoff games on Monday nights as well. An NFL playoff game on a Friday night, however, would seem just plain strange. The best format for a six-game playoff weekend might be two games on Saturday, three on Sunday and one on Monday.

Goodell acknowledged that there are plenty of issues to straighten out, including whether it would be fair to the team that wins the Monday night game to require it to play a divisional-round game on a short work week. And Goodell said he doesn’t expect the NFL to have all the issues sorted out in time to expand the playoffs for the 2014 season.

“I would be surprised if it happens this year. I think if it happened it probably wouldn’t happen before ’15,” Goodell said.

The bottom line, however, is the bottom line: Two more playoff teams would mean two more playoff games, which could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue for the NFL. It’s probably just a matter of time before the NFL squeezes two more games into the first weekend of the playoffs.

94 responses to “NFL may expand to Friday night, Monday night playoff games

  1. Until 8-8 division champs have to travel to face 11-5 wild card teams, I don’t care about any playoff changes

  2. Monday night playoff games sound epic. If they do Friday night playoffs, the should kick off at 10pm eastern

  3. Bottom line is the bottom line: Two more playoff teams would mean two more playoff games, which would mean less emphasis on the regular season, which would mean 7-9, 8-8 teams in the playoffs more often than not, which would eventually lead to undeserving champions, which would end up diluting the overall product.

    It was never broken Roger. Please stop trying to fix it. Someone give this guy a rubik’s cube or something to keep him from constantly tinkering.

  4. I think the NFL needs to be put into a conservatorship this guy Goodell is out of control

  5. I guess the NFL has never heard the saying “if it isn’t broke don’t fix it” with all these dumb ass changes they are talking about.

  6. I would LOVE Monday night playoff games. Only problem is that in northern outdoor venues it would be significantly colder to kick off at 7 or 8 pm vs 1 or 2 in the afternoon. 20 degrees in full sun is a lot easier to take than 10 degrees in the dark.

    Personally I have never been a fan of Saturday playoff games… too much else to do on Saturdays that time of year… but we’re probably stuck with those.

  7. So fans love Monday Night Football, except when it comes to playoff games? I swear some of these fans don’t even stop and think for a second before shooting down one of the NFL’s proposals.

  8. Forgive this Canadian for a silly question…

    Are there still Friday Night High School football games in January in the States? If so… Not a great idea?

  9. A Fun fact,
    East Carolina University coach Steve Logan, who led ECU to a national top 10 ranking and is still the schools winningest coach, actually lost his job because he wanted to play a college football game on Friday night and “Destroy” the sanctity of High School Football.

    A man way ahead of his time ?

  10. All you guys do is whine and whine about Goodell. Yeah he is out there to make an extra dollar, but you are telling me that if you were in his shoes, none of you would try to make an extra buck? Come on guys! Yeah it sounds greedy, but no one ever likes any rule changes or anything that changes in general with the NFL, and for the most part after the changes have been made and a season goes by everyone loves it! Yeah there are a select few, but seriously guys grow up! If you had a chance to make more money, you are going to do it! Don’t act all high and mighty and think you wouldn’t!

  11. So one team in each conference gets a bye? It’ll only be a matter of time before they go from 14 to 16 if they do that.

    If one team runs away with the first seed, then the rest of the contenders have little to play for. Basically the same problem that plagues the regular seasons in the NBA and NHL.

    I don’t even watch those two leagues until the playoffs begin because the regular season means NOTHING with so many teams getting in. NFL CANNOT make this mistake.

  12. I didn’t think there could ever be a worse sports commissioner than Gary Bettman.. But Goodell could very well take that honor.

  13. Just what the NFL needs- most likely more mediocre teams making the playoffs after sucking it in the regular season and then sucking it in the playoffs leaving fans with more watered down games. The playoffs are already bad enough as it is.

    Why stop with adding 2 more teams if the fans supposedly want more playoff games? Just add 75% or even all 100% of teams and make the regular season worthless like it pretty much is in the NHL and NBA.

    The NFL is fine as is. They don’t need to add more teams to the playoffs or add more games to the regular season. Every single change they make to that league these days makes things worse. Well OK, the OT change is probably an improvement and perhaps the automatic instant replay after turnovers and tds even though they review such obvious plays that it slows down the game big time.

  14. I suppose if we have to give out participation trophies to make 8 year olds feel less line losers, the NFL just as well have them too.

  15. Leave the damn game alone please! Enough changes!!! How is it fair for a playoff team to have extra or less rest? Should they play it in London?

    The rule changes alone are ruining the game. Ever hear of tradition Goodell?

  16. Just say no to shorter turnarounds between games, especially playoff games. It just creates more inequities in scheduling, especially for road teams. Bad enough during the regular season with the Thursday night game short weeks, hate to see them mess with the playoffs too.

  17. The quality of football on Thursday nights is TERRIBLE. They need to stay away from this.

    You know something’s going to happen where a team plays on Monday night and then the next Saturday. No matter how much they say it won’t.

  18. they need to change the playoff game schedule to Sat prime time, sunday 1pm, 4:30pm and 8:30pm just like the regular season is. hate the current way the playoffs go down now.

  19. The way things are going, the season would be more compelling if it were played in reverse.

    Have the SB in September, then add teams and playoff games until the regular season starts in mid-October, then finish the regular season at the end of January and see if the regular season winner has as many wins as the September SB champ.

    Sounds ridiculous right? This is the sound I hear every time that FAH Goodell opens his mouth.

  20. I am prone to agree with the changes Roger makes because I look at the changes from the viewpoint if a business owner, so I always try to view the changes from the viewpoint of the owners and how it would benefit them since that would ultimately benefit the game. The more money they make, the more money they will invest in the game. But this time I disagree. From a fans perspective, there is enough mediocre teams in the playoffs as it is. To expand the playoffs would have allowed two 8-8 teams into the playoffs. Potentially we could end up with a team that has a losing regular season record into the playoffs. A .500 team sounds bad enough but a losing team? C’mon. I am all for the owners getting as much as they can out of their product, but this would go too far.

  21. Real close to saying bye bye….did it to baseball and basketball can do it to the NFL . . . Total crap that you can’t argue with all this moron has done….There is no reason that the NFL was not going to be as big as it is now if the rules had remained the same

  22. I agree. Cant wait to get my wife’s reaction when i tell her i can’t go out on a Friday night because i want to watch football lol.

  23. Friday nights are for high school football in Texas. There is NO need for more mediocre 8-8 teams in the playoffs. Are they trying to match MLB with teams losing 75-80 games making the playoffs? Leave it alone.

  24. Stop it! Leave the numbers of teams alone. Keep the playoffs the same. Give up the London crap. Keep extra points as is. Fix the replay system and hold officials accountable for all the blatant mistakes that effect an embarrassing number of games each week. When the league is strictly trying to improve profits, it’s only a matter of time before corruption takes hold (if it hasn’t already). There are fans that believe that certain teams are favored and many games seem rigged due to inexplicable officiating snafus. This will continue to grow as long as the league continues to pray at the altar of $$$

  25. I understand the idea of business is to find ways to generate more revenue, but if I had a golden goose, I sure as heck would make sure I don’t kill it. As has been mentioned, too many playoff teams leads to people not liking the NBA and NHL. I have asked before and I’ll ask again? Any doesn’t Roger ask all season ticket holders what changes they’d like to see and what they don’t want to see? Then focus on those.

  26. The NFL (Goodell) wants more games and games play in shorter time spans in the name of safety and not money.
    If anyone does believe that, I have a couple of bridges to sell you!

  27. I don’t see the union signing off on the Monday game without a big bribe to their members. If they are ok playing on short rest (I would think the owners might have a problem with putting their teams at a disadvantage), I’m certainly ok watching on a Monday.

    The only reason the players might say yes is because it would increase the amount of union members getting playoff payouts.

  28. It’s a terrible idea but I agree with others, it’s inevitable. Mediocrity will be rewarded. The regular season will be cheapened.

    But, most importantly, the NFL will make even more boatloads of money.

  29. At some point they’re going to start making each playoff round a best-of-seven series. You think I’m joking…

  30. Not interested. If the league dilutes the product even more and we see 7-9, even possibly a 6-8 team get into the playoffs I won’t be watching those games.

    Defense can’t hit much any more. Kickoffs moved forward so far fewer returns cutting out very exciting plays. Going to eliminate the extra point. Now dilute the playoffs ?

    I can feel my interest in the NFL dropping at an ever increasing rate.

  31. We don’t need a longer season or more playoff games. Don’t dilute the game!

    I am all for change, when it makes sense.

  32. As a season ticket holder, STOP IT! I hate Thursday games, I hate Friday games and I hate Saturday games. I’m used to Monday night now, but I don’t even like that much. It’s too much, you’re diluting your product, you are alienating your bread and butter fans. Enough already!

  33. The NFL goose is pretty healthy, but Goodell is going to eventually kill it.

    Someday a 30 for 30 will begin with “Can the implosion of a billion dollar industry really be traced to this one man? A look at the tenure of Roger Goodell….”

  34. Are you kidding me? Friday night and Monday night traffic is brutal getting to games. Can’t really tailgate since most of us work. Not to mention this is a competitive disadvantage for teams to play on Monday. This whole thing of expanding playoffs reeks of caring about the owners and not the fans. You’ve already screwed up kick offs and made them boring, and now extra points?

  35. Two more playoff team means ONE more playoff game, unless two byes are also eliminated. That would be a significant part of this change, although the article does mention it. Currently the top two seeds in each conference get a bye; would this move us to only the top seeds in each conference getting a bye?

  36. Seriously surprised at the comments here??? When Goodell recommends something or institutes it do you really think he is making these decisions?
    It is the owners behind all of this or the majority of it. The balance of the responsibility ( or people behind these ideas…) are the players.

    They ALL want to make more money!!! You (negative attacks) are simply shooting the messenger!

  37. Who the hell wants to watch 8-8 or 7-9 teams make the playoffs? What a terrible idea.

    Why not have a playoff for the bottom four teams to decide the top 4 picks? You can have it on Saturdays and MOndays following the final two weekends of pre SB playoffs.

    You could also have an extra bye week during regular season so more regular season games can be on tv while each team still plays only 16 games. There are ways to increase revenue without ruining the playoffs system.

    When you have a 9-7 and 8-8 team make playoffs in recent years, that is a sign that there is no need to expand the playoffs.

  38. Goodell acknowledged that there are plenty of issues to straighten out, including whether it would be fair to the team that wins the Monday night game to require it to play a divisional-round game on a short work week.
    Although this didn’t happen this playoff the NFL already does this. Had the Eagles beaten the Saints the 49ers would’ve had to play at Seattle the following Saturday after playing on Sunday. Same with the Bengals had the Bengals beaten the Chargers they would’ve played at New England on Saturday after a Sunday game.

  39. I hate it being on Monday… But Friday is actually doesn’t sound as bad.. but might as well just leave is alone

  40. And the worst part is…this crappy idea will get voted on by the owners because they’ll see the opportunity for their mediocre team to make the playoffs now. :-\

  41. People complaining about Friday night being for HS football – you realize that HS football ends in December, right?

  42. Good for the NFL!!! I was starting to worry about them. Glad they can make a couple of bucks. Times were getting lean. Goodell and guys like Snyder were down to only 3 yachts.

  43. Have to get the high school fans? On a Friday night?
    Pretty soon, they’ll want to be on every night; slowly saturating the market to where people won’t care. Why? Because it will be on virtually all the time.

  44. I used to think he’d be a good commissioner but between this and the London crap, he’s obviously not too bright.

  45. Yes.

    Football fans always bitch about changes, then embrace them later.

    Wildcard Weekend was the best weekend of football all year. Expanding it makes sense.

  46. Why not let every team regardless of record be seeded in a “playoff” tournament ? One game elimination, and the football season will last until June just in time for Baseball season to begin.
    The players can have a month vacation then begin the off season work-outs. If your paying an employee millions of dollars a yr. then they should work 11 months a yr.,,,right?

  47. Bottom Line is Greed. He will do anything to line his pockets. The problem is that he works for the owners and if he is making them more money, then they aren’t going to stop him, they are just as greedy. I love the NFL, but I wish the owners and Roger would stop making it so blantley obvious that they are a bunch of greedy rich guys looking to take more money out of fans.

  48. nunezmc says:
    Jan 21, 2014 5:12 PM
    Until 8-8 division champs have to travel to face 11-5 wild card teams, I don’t care about any playoff changes

    8-8? Ha! You’ll be seeing 6-10 (and yes, possibly worse) teams “making” the playoffs, FFS.

    I really think this could be the thing that does real injury to pro football. Done in by pure unadulterated greed.

  49. As A Hawks fan we get so much grief for being the only 7-9 team to make the post season and now they want to expand the post season?

  50. Ok now I’ve heard it all.

    Goodell has done nothing short of making the game safer (something that has to be done) and started making these fools pay for their bad decisions and he’s “tinkering” too much?

    Then he proposes 4 days of playoff football, in a row, and it’s “strange” or “meddling.”

    This has gone beyond being haters. Tons of people complain about him because it’s apparently a cool thing to do in wannabe sports world.

  51. For the love of God, ENOUGH with the night games!!!! I know a lot of you office guys don’t have to get up untill 7 or 8, good for you. The blue collar working man ( that actually has to WORK) gets up much earlier. My alarm goes off at 3:30 am every morning.I work in the DC metro area, and believe me, there are thousands of others on the road when I’m driving in! ……. But just like your sky high ticket prices, screw the working man, the NFL is all about the wealthy these days!!!!

  52. Let’s see…if we move the Senior Bowl to the weekend after the Superbowl, then we can have the NFL combine the week after that. We should move the draft up to the following weekend. Then we can start OTA’s for a month, then mini-camp for a month, then full camp for a month after that. Then we can expand the schedule to forty games and expand the league with teams in London, Vancouver, Hongkong, Singapore, & Tokyo. We can start churning through players like a meat grinder, all the while telling them how much we care about player safety. Then we can have football 24/7 365 and when players start dying on the field from exhaustion, it will be so glorious that all the angels will come down from heaven and worship the GODdell. And the NFL will take over the world!!!! BooooHaaaaHaaaaHaaaa!!!!!!

  53. Goodness, Roger, are you that desperate for money that you’ll ruin the game by expanding playoffs to include 14 teams? Next thing you know, you’ll be pushing March Madness into April!

  54. The last time we had Friday Night Football, Billy Cole pulled out a gun, shot two defensive players, and then blew his own head off in the end zone. Let’s not go back to those times.

  55. Let’s just expand it to have all the teams make the playoffs! Really what is the point of the playoffs if half the teams are in it before the season even starts!?

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