In a stunning vote by the NFL owners, there will now be 14 teams in the playoffs starting next season.
A few players like Aaron Rodgers were concerned about the new playoff format and they have the right to think that.
Honestly, there are a few cons with each conference adding another team to the playoffs. However, there are more good things than bad things about the new format and they are explained below.
We get to see more football, two more wild card games to be exact. We can never get too much football and now we’re getting more of it for wild card weekend.
If your team usually misses the playoffs by one or two spots, they now have a better chance to make the playoffs. If the new 14-team format started last year, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Rams would be in.
In fact if the new playoff format started two years ago, the Steelers would have qualified as they finished in seventh place in the AFC in each of the last two seasons.
With a seventh team going to the playoffs next season, we could see more history with a bigger underdog story. In the 2017 playoffs, the Philadelphia Eagles shocked the world as the top seed in the NFC to be the underdog in each of their playoff games and win their first Super Bowl championship. Is it possible for a seven seed to win it all next season? We’ll find out in 2020.
One last good thing about adding another team to the playoffs is that the NFL will get more revenue from ticket sales. Adding two more games could give players bigger paychecks and bigger contracts as well as upgrades to their stadiums.
With the new format, the number one seed in each conference will be the only team to get a bye in the wild card round. While that will be great for whoever gets the bye, the other six teams will have to play in the first round. How is this bad? The second-seeded team will play the worst team in the playoffs.
Imagine if this happened last year. In the AFC, the 12-4 Kansas City Chiefs would play the 8-8 Steelers. That could have easily been a blowout at Arrowhead Stadium. While the other two games could be more exciting with no. 3 vs no. 6 and no. 4 vs no. 5, the second-best team against the worst playoff team could be devastating except for the home fans.
After the wild card round, the top team in each conference will play the lowest remaining seed in the divisional round. A problem for the second overall team would mean possibly facing more injuries.
Before next season, the best NFL teams focused on getting the top two spots in each conference. Now that the second-best team has to play on wild card weekend, it could result in injuries. One thing that those teams could do is rest some of its best players since they are playing the worst team in the playoffs.
Other than that, this new playoff format could be interesting next season. While some players and maybe some fans are skeptical about the new format, it could possibly lead to bigger things for the NFL and its fans.
preview photo credited to NYPost.com