Is it Time to Expand the Playoffs?


By G.Stryker

I know a lot of football fans are unsettled with the current CBA looking to expand the playoffs from 6 to 7 teams per conference. I understand the beauty of 4 teams earning a first round bye after 16 grueling games of football, but now players are being asked to play 17 games with only 2 teams receiving byes. It would seem unfair by the outside observer. Increase the number of regular season games and decrease the reward for the top teams to earn some well deserved rest. It doesn’t seem fair, does it?

Thinking outside of the box, I’d have to say that the competition to earn that 1 seed now becomes much more intense. Less players resting at the end of the season since only one team in each conference earns a bye. That free pass to the divisional round would be more coveted because a free week of rest at the end of the season is a big advantage over teams continuing to play each week. I’d expect a spike in the frequency of 1 seeds winning the Super Bowl after that change, but we won’t know for sure until the playoffs and regular season expand.

Fairness aside, I have a simple metric to decide whether or not a league should expand their playoffs. It can be applied to any league.

Has the lowest seed ever won a championship?

In the NFL, that answer is yes. Twice in fact. The Pittsburgh Steelers did it in 2005, then the Green Bay Packers did it in 2010 against the Steelers. Lowest seed has won a championship? Check!  It’s OK to expand in my book. Same could be said for the NHL (since the 8th seeded LA Kings won in 2012), and MLB (since 5 wild card teams have won the World Series). The NBA remains the only major sport with no wins by an 8th seeded (or 7th seeded) team. So in the NFL, 6th seeds have won. Time to see if a 7th seeded team can do the same.


Do you think the NFL should expand the playoffs?  Leave your comments below.


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