NFL Playoffs: Is The Bye Week Really Needed?
It's the year 2005, and the Colt's are the #1 seed for the AFC. They rest their players and get a bye week, a well deserved break right? I mean they dominated that regular season like they just owned every team, it was like watching the Globetrotters.
So it's the first playoff game against the 6th seeded Pittsburgh Steelers and what happens? One and done. Pittsburgh took a 14-0 lead after the first quarter and never relinquished it.
its 2007 now, and the Colts again, look great like they always do in the regular season. I couldn't think of a regular season I didn't see this decade when the Colts were just ordinary. 13-3 was their record, and they were the 2 seed to the unbeaten at the time New England Patriots.
They enjoy their bye week again, and it was thoroughly earned as they demolished their division. Then game time rolls around, and its the hotshot San Diego Chargers coming in Indianapolis. What happened? One and done. The Chargers hung the entire time to beat the Colts 28-24.
Which leaves me to question, why even give them a bye week? Lately I've seen a lot of top seeds just drop their first round game like they didn't do anything in the season. More than likely, top seeded teams come out flat after they rest their players after a bye week. Just ask the 2008 Titans and Giants, both top seeded teams who both made first round exits. One and done.
I think the bye week before their first playoff game leaves them flat to a fired up lower seeded team who got to strike while the iron was hot. Ask The 2008 Cardinals.
I'm not saying the bye week is bad for everyone, but I do think there is another solution.
No bye week. Simple as that. You might be asking "With 6 teams in the playoffs, how will one of them not have a bye week?" Well it might sound Unorthodox, but add 2 more teams on both sides to the playoffs. let 8 teams have a shot instead of 6. With this system, half the teams in the NFL will make the playoffs. In a way it sounds like too many, but it isn't too many, usually the 16th place team would have a 9-7 or an 8-8 record.
Last I checked, It was an 8-8 team that represented in the last Super Bowl, almost won it as well.
It would be more of a gauntlet tournament, making it possible to go 20-0. Technically it's possible to go 20-0 Now, or even 19-1. Allow me to explain.
Unrealistically, Lets Say The Colts, The Patriots and The Chargers never play each other. They all have great seasons and Go 16-0. The Pats and The Colts get the number 1 and 2 seed, leaving the Bolts at number 3. The Super Chargers still have to Play 4 more games, assuming they win out. Lets say they do in fact win out. Boom, 20-0, a record that not even a one of two seed can get, no matter how hard they work.
So I suggest a 16 team bracket. Eight from each the AFC and the NFC It sounds like a lot, but its only one game extra for those top seeded teams.
19-0 can be surpassed technically, obviously this is a fantasy, but it would be really cool if 3 teams in a conference can go undefeated. Also it would be interesting if the NFL would try out the 8 man bracket.
Besides, I'm tired of top seeded teams flopping over and coming out flat-footed after the bye that was supposed to help them.
Just something to think about.
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