There has been some talk of expanding the NFL playoffs after teams like the 10-6 Arizona Cardinals stayed at home. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that is under consideration.
“That is under serious consideration,” he said, via NFL.com. “We think it’s one of the great things about the NFL, besides the fact that it’s unscripted. Every team and their fans start the season with hope. You mentioned the fact that for 11 straight years we’ve had a team go from last to first, that’s unique to professional football and the NFL, that doesn’t happen in other sports. And that’s because we have such a competitive league and we want to keep that.”
To add a seventh team to the playoffs doesn’t make sense. They’d almost have to add another round with the two lower seeds playing a play-in game like currently in Major League Baseball. You’d have to expand to eight teams which would likely eliminate first round byes. There is some way they could keep first-round byes but it gets sloppy.
The NFL just really wants to keep the Week 17 drama alive.
“The races we had this past season, we had 16 games every weekend, the final weekend we have division games, so your opponent is a division opponent and 13 of those 16 games had playoff implications on the final day of the season,” Goodell continued. “That’s extraordinary and we want to keep that. If we could increase that, and again this is about believing in better, can you make it better, can you make those (division) races better by adding two more teams? That’s compelling and that’s what we’re looking at.”