Report: NFL Owners Approve Expanded 14-Team Playoff Starting in 2020

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2020

The Wild Card logo is shown below the NFL shield before an NFL wild-card playoff football game between the Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

The NFL will expand its playoff field to 14 teams beginning with the 2020 season, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

Per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the new structure will feature seven teams per conference, with just one bye going to each of the top seeds.

The changes were initially approved in the new collective bargaining agreement, which was ratified earlier this month.

The league is also planning to expand the regular season to 17 games beginning in 2021.

The playoff changes required approval from three-quarters of the 32 owners, and it passed at Tuesday's conference call in place of the traditional annual league meeting.

With the latest adjustments, there will be three sets of wild-card games in each conference, including battles between the No. 2 seed and the No. 7 seed. In 2019, this would have featured games between the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC as well as the Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams in the NFC.

Though some would question adding undeserving teams to the postseason, Kevin Patra of NFL.com noted only one team since 1990 would have earned the No. 7 seed with a losing record (1990 Dallas Cowboys). Of the 60 teams that would qualify, 44 would have a winning record.

A fewer percentage of teams would still make the playoffs in the NFL (43.7 percent) than in the NBA (53.3 percent) and NHL (51.6 percent).

These changes will mean earning the No. 1 seed becomes even more important as the only first-round bye.

The last 14 participants in the Super Bowl dating back to 2013 all had first-round byes.

Related

    Black Lives Matter to Us

    Here are some links so you can get involved ➡️

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Black Lives Matter to Us

    Google
    via Google

    Dak to Donate $1M to Reform

    Cowboys QB to donate to improve police training and education to fight systemic racism

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Dak to Donate $1M to Reform

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report

    Sherman on Talking with Teammates About Racism

    Richard Sherman tells B/R how NFL locker rooms can allow for real conversations about race without 'stereotypes of society'

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Sherman on Talking with Teammates About Racism

    Mike Freeman
    via Bleacher Report

    Why Nuk Wears No. 10

    Hopkins tweets the ‘real reason’: ‘My big cousin from SC did 10 years in jail for $600 worth of drugs, Let that sink in’

    NFL logo
    NFL

    Why Nuk Wears No. 10

    Joseph Zucker
    via Bleacher Report