Roger Goodell's idea to expand the NFL playoffs would be devastating for fans, players and the entire sport. Expansion would prove to be an utter disaster, because there is no legitimate reason to justify its implementation, except for potential profit.
Yes, the NFL is first and foremost a business, and added teams would mean more games and a bigger revenue stream. However, is adding teams going to help the actual product at all?
Is expanding the playoffs a good idea?
In 2010, we saw a 7-9 Seattle Seahawks team "earn" a playoff berth. Does the NFL really want to embrace and reward mediocrity to a greater degree?
Let's look at what Goodell actually had to say, per NFL.com: "Right now we're with 12 teams obviously. We'll look at probably 14 or 16 teams."
16 teams in the playoffs would mean that half of the league would be playing in the postseason. Not only would this water down the quality of the games, but it would also increase the risk of injury.
There is a reason that NFL players do not want to add games to the regular season schedule, and that is because more games presents more opportunities to get hurt. How can a league that is trying to reduce injuries feel comfortable adding unnecessary games to its schedule?
Simply look at how banged up some of the league's current crop of playoff contenders are. Players like Robert Griffin III, Jordy Nelson, Charles Woodson, Ahmad Bradshaw, Ray Lewis and Brooks Reed are all currently out with injuries.
Injuries are an unavoidable consequence of football, but Goodell has no reason to add games to the schedule and allow more chances for players to get hurt.
Week 15 of the NFL season has six contests between teams with winning records, so in many ways, the playoffs have already begun:
Best NFL-watching day ever? Today is latest calendar day in NFL history with 6 games between teams with winning records (h/t Elias)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 16, 2012
Goodell and the NFL competition committee have had good ideas in the past. The changes to overtime, in particular, have been almost universally applauded. However, adding more games to the playoff schedule will be a complete disaster. And it would only add to Goodell's image of being a greedy dictator of a commissioner.