NFL still has issues to iron out before expanding playoffs

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The NFL seems to want to expand its playoff field from 12 teams to 14, and the reasons for that are obvious: That would add two playoff games a year, which could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in television revenue.

But the way the playoffs would be scheduled with 14 teams is less obvious. And as a result, the league can’t get a 14-team playoff format done this year.

At first, it looked like the NFL would play six games during wild card weekend: Two on Saturday, three on Sunday and one on Monday night. But there are questions about whether that schedule would really work. The team that won the playoff game on Monday night would have to play its next playoff game on a short work week, and the Monday night format could also conflict with the college football national championship game.

“This is something we’ve been evaluating over the last couple of years and I think several factors went into the decision to at least postpone the expanded playoffs,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “We want to make the regular season more important, more exciting and have more teams in the race. . . . We also have scheduling issues as far as when we could play the games: Saturday, Sunday, we’ve looked at a Monday night. College football has the national championship on Monday night, we certainly don’t want to conflict with that. So there are a number of factors that are going on, so we just felt the right thing to do was take another year and evaluate all this.”

Goodell said he could see selling the new postseason games to a network along with the Thursday night TV package, which would help make it even more attractive to networks.

Eventually, expect the league to expand the playoffs. But only when they can find a schedule that makes sense.

50 responses to “NFL still has issues to iron out before expanding playoffs

  1. 14 is too close to 16.

    Half the teams making the playoffs?

    What a way to devalue making the playoffs, and the “Product”

  2. The only way to make the Thursday night package more appealing would be to allow teams to play Thursdays after their bye week so they are full strength. Thursday night isn’t appealing because it becomes a war of attrition and both teams are woefully under-prepared. The home team has a huge advantage by not having to travel on a short week. The better team also has a huge advantage because with less time to prepare the inferior team is going to struggle to stop them.

  3. Like, the fact that at least one or two teams that make the playoffs every year under the current system already shouldn’t even really be there?

  4. Fans have voted overwhelmingly against these new proposals, you’d think the NFL would listen once in a while.

  5. We are already letting teams into the postseason with below .500 records and now we want to dillute the playoffs even more. Goodell and the owners disgust me.

  6. It’s only a matter of time before we see the first 6-10 team make it under expanded playoffs.

    I can see the appeal for owners, though. Owners of mediocre teams want to increase their chance to make it in. Owners of good teams want an easy first round matchup.

  7. NOBODY wants the expanded playoffs. ONLY the owners do. They want EVEN MORE money. If it comes at the cost of tax payers or the health of the players they purport to care about, who gives a da*n, right?

  8. The play-offs should be for the best teams, not nearly half the league. If it happens, it’s a virtual cert a 6-10 team plays on Wild Card Weekend.

  9. How does having more games support their emphasis on player safety?

    Expanding the playoffs would promote player safety because adding more games would increase the amount of time the players would spend wearing their pads and helmets!! – Spinmaster Goodell logic.

  10. DO NOT EXPAND THE PLAYOFFS. Teams that win their division SHOULD get a home game. Sometimes injuries play a role in why the teams record is bad (See 2013 GB Packers – if Rodgers is healthy they win 12 games instead of 8-7-1).

    This is not the NBA where 3+ teams have a losing record and make the playoffs. Please dont turn it into that.

  11. Not that I am advocating for expanded playoffs, but what is so difficult about scheduling 2 extra games? 6 games on Wild Card Weekend. Three games each on Saturday and Sunday. Start times are 1pm, 4:30pm, and 8pm. I don’t get why it is so hard.

    The Shield knows exactly what they are doing. This is all about waiting for the TV contract to come up for bid next year.

  12. Like how to fit 5 lbs of crap into a 10lb box?

    It is past moronic and purely greed driven at this point. It is meglomaniacal.

  13. What the NFL should do instead is re-align into 4 divisions, with 8 teams in each, thus ensuring that the best 12 teams make the playoffs each year. Under the current 8-division format, a bad team in a bad division sneaks into the playoffs, while a far superior team in a better division misses out. This year, the Carolina Panthers made the playoffs with a 7-8-1 record, but the Eagles had double digit wins and missed the playoffs. What a joke.

  14. When will these NFL turds learn that less is more?

    Fewer games means more excitement. Fewer teams in the playoffs means more excitement.

    In the NFL, it MEANS something to make the playoffs.

    It should stay that way,

  15. sammyias says: Mar 25, 2015 4:46 PM
    14 is too close to 16.
    Half the teams making the playoffs?
    What a way to devalue making the playoffs, and the “Product”
    It’s closer to 4/10 of the teams.

    14/16 is a LOT different from say… 98/100.

    Just sayin…

  16. It doesn’t matter how many fans complain about this. The owners and NFL execs know that the vast majority of complainers will hypocritically watch the expanded playoffs each year. They also know fans will sing a different tune if/when their favorite team only makes the playoffs due to the expanded number of slots.

    If you truly despise the NFL like some of you yammer on about, then stop watching it. If the bottom line is not affected, the NFL will not take your complaints seriously.

    #lessQQ #lesshypocrisyismore

  17. I’m all for expanding the playoffs to 14 teams. No one is saying “there is too much football during the season” Also, this makes it so that the #1 seed in each conference is the only team with a first round bye – it’s add more value to being the #1 seed in the conference. People complaining about teams with losing records getting into the playoffs – it doesn’t happen often and that team still won its division. The third wildcard team to make it may be a team with a negative record or it could be a 10 win team – noone knows. Either way, each would have a great story if they make a Super Bowl run.

  18. Dilute the sport more. Added playoff games is stupid and deflating too. Regular season will be a little more irrelevant when you can wait to root for your team in the playoffs. The NBA regular season is irrelevant because of so many playoff teams. Your perennial playoff teams, NE, Baltimore, Indy, Cinncy and Pittsburg to name a few will always be in the new format, teams always looking in that squeak by will be mostly one and done contenders.

  19. so, with 7 teams only one gets a first round bye?
    and, essentially if an 8-7-1 team that wins goes to the only team on a bye wouldn’t that make it more greatly easier to reach the conference championship round for a team already 13-14 wins during the regular season??

  20. Jesus, it’s really not that difficult. They really need to wait another year to figure out how to schedule 2 more games!?

  21. On the contrary adding two additional wildcards makes all the sense. From 2003 onward thirty-one teams with winning records missed the playoffs and thirty-two 8-8 teams in that same span missed the playoffs. The simple fact is the league has seen too many good teams not make the playoffs.

  22. Why is it so hard to have 3 games on sat and 3 on sun? Oh I forgot Goodell is in charge.

  23. 4thquartermagic says:
    Mar 25, 2015 4:46 PM
    Money is the main driver for this decision.

    Owners and advertisers win, the game suffers.

    Don’ forge: he players win, too.

    For every $$dollar$$ of new revenue, players get half. This is why the salary cap goes up every year.

    Posters here always seem to forget this. It’s so trendy to bash the owners for being “greedy” (in fairness, they probably are), BUT THE PLAYERS BENEFIT, TOO.

  24. I’m not for expanding the playoffs, because it dilutes the quality of the teams playing. Conceivably you could have sub .500 team winning the Super Bowl if that team got hot at just the right time. The possibility already exists with the existing format, but to add two teams to the mix would even increase the chances of that happening.

  25. Move the start of training camp back three weeks. Build in two bye weeks. You still get two extra weeks for playoffs.
    No team should qualify for the playoffs unless they have 9 wins. If not enough teams in a bracket have at least nine wins, then those that do get a bye. So you could have 14 POTENTIAL teams for the playoffs, but you still would only have teams that have played above .500.

  26. if its not broke don’t fix it Thursday games are stupid why not fri night Saturday and sunday, no more sunday night or Monday night ,kids like to watch football too, to late for kids and people that have to work

  27. I’m all for it. For all the teams who are 8-8, there are too many 10-6 and even 11-5 teams that don’t make it. I’d rather see reseeding, but what do I know?

  28. It is perfect the way it is now… If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it! Why have basically half of the league in the playoffs? It takes away importance… why not just let a 6-10 team into the playoffs? NO!! NO!! NO!!

  29. Their Agenda is to ruin football! Why…just why?? All for the $$$$, but theyre making BILLIONS already! If it aint BROKE dont FIX!

  30. a better headline would be: “NFL fans have issues with expanded playoffs”.

    if it isn’t broke….

  31. At 16 teams in, half of NFL franchises make the playoffs every year.

    Just feels the window for that should be slightly smaller..

  32. The solution is simple:

    Three on Saturday and three on Sunday, possibly with the Saturday games being at 2:45, 6:15 and 10:00 with the 10:00 game a non-eastern time zone playoff game (unless all six games the first weekend are in the eastern time zone). That to me would be the best way to do it.

  33. I like the idea of expanded playoffs. Just do 3 games on Saturday, 3 on Sunday. 1PM, 4:30PM, and 8:00PM.

  34. When the CURRENT playoff system not only lets in 7-9 teams, but also gives them HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE…

    … while at the same time keeping 11-5 teams OUT OF THE PLAYOFFS something is wrong and needs to be fixed

    No one can defend the status quo, which does NOT place value the regular season record, but rewards teams in bad divisions

    At the very least, expanding the playoffs to 14 teams may not prevent teams with losing records from getting into the playoffs as the CURRENT system allows

    But playoff expansion WILL ensure that 11-5, 10-6, even 9-7 teams are allowed in to “compete” with the 7-9 teams that the CURRENT system allows

    Including teams with WINNING records is not watering down the current playoff structure that allows teams with LOSING records into the playoffs

  35. Rejigger the last 2 weeks of the season as a 24-team play-in tournament (down to 12 after 1 week and 6 after the regular season finale). The 6 play-in winners will join the 8 division winners for the real playoff. The top 4 of those 6 will receive byes, giving division winners a reason to play those final 2 games. Keep the playoff at 12 teams and if the 6 play-in teams do not include at least 2 division winners, the worst division winner (ala the Carolina Panthers) is booted.

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