Roger Goodell has hinted this year that the NFL is exploring the possibility of expanding the playoffs to 14 or 16 teams. Many football fans complained mightily that (gasp!) an under-.500 team might make the playoffs. There is evidence for their concern, too. In 2010 the Seattle Seahawks went 7-9 and still earned a playoff berth, leading many to complain about the NFL’s playoff system. “How can a team that didn’t go at least 8-8 make the playoffs?” Many “purists” pouted and stomped about.
My answer to this is, “Who cares?” More football is a good thing and the records don’t matter once the ball is kicked off on Wild Card Weekend.
The Wild Card and Divisional rounds are some of the best weekends on the sports calendar. How could this possibly be made worse by having a triple-header on Wild Card Saturday and Sunday?
Okay, okay, I still hear the naysayers shouting from the rooftops about a 7-9 or 6-10 team making the playoffs, and I think there is some validity to that point. However, a little tweaking to the playoff system could make it even better than it is now. So, let’s take a look at the changes that would need to be made and how this year’s playoff might have turned out under a seven team system.
Do note, though, that I am going to have the same two Super Bowl teams for argument’s sake so keep that in mind if you don’t think that the results for the Ravens or 49ers would have been the same.