Every year, the debate concerning the current playoff format continues. Some will say that seeding needs to be based on wins and losses, without taking into account divisional standings. Others claim that the current format is a great system that ensures only the best teams will make the playoffs.
This year, there’s a new wrinkle to the discussion. Now, it seems changes to the current format may be coming. While nothing official has been stated, the NFL would like to see more teams making their way into the postseason. After all, more teams means more games, and more games equal bigger paychecks.
From the fans’ perspective, it’s hard to make a compelling argument in favor of change. As it stands, any team making the postseason has a legitimate chance to win the Super Bowl. Because of that, adding teams will in fact add potential contenders, taking away some of the value of actually battling for a playoff spot.
Still, adding two more wildcard positions to each side of the playoffs won’t drive fans away, and it transfers some of the late-season drama into the postseason.
Adding more playoff positions makes sense from the NFL’s perspective simply because there would be more money to be had, and frankly, I’m okay with that. I understand that, ultimately, the NFL is a money-drive league, as are the rest of the major sports leagues.
Still, from my recliner, I would like to see the current format left alone. Maybe down the road, after the NFL has added a few more teams, expanding the playoffs would make more sense, but right now, it’s a winning formula that provides a great balance between late-season drama and wildcard madness. That’s a balance that would be thrown off if the NFL decided to move on plans to change the current format to include 8 teams from each conference, which would account for half of the teams in the league.
As of today, it takes more than a middle-of-the-road team to make it into the postseason, but that may be changing in the next few years as the NFL continues to mull over more ways to add revenue to the coffers.