Mark Maske of the Washington post reported earlier today that there is growing support among the NFL brass to expand the playoffs to 14 teams starting in the 2015 season. Franchise owners are expected to discuss the issue in anticipation of a potential vote on the matter during the owner meetings coming up in March. Here is what one source had to say to Maske on the possibility of playoff expansion:
“I think there’s a lot of momentum for it,” one of those people said. “I don’t know for sure if the votes are there yet [among the owners] or not. But there is momentum. A lot of people seem in favor of it.”
“I do think the commissioner wants it,” that person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized by the league to comment publicly on the internal deliberations. “I’m not exactly sure when it might get voted in. But if the commissioner wants it, I assume it’ll happen at some point.”
It’s interesting to note that Roger Goodell is likely in support of the change to the NFL playoffs. He has been a proponent of season expansion for a while now, but has faced backlash from the NFLPA. Playoff expansion is a nice compromise though, and will surely increase revenue much more significantly than another regular season game.
Maske noted that some owners are skeptical of the change, citing a dilution of value for the other playoff teams. The rule would need votes from 24 of the 32 owners in order to go into effect. If the rule change did come into effect, the post-season teams would increase from 12 to 14. Only 1 team from each conference would receive a bye in the 1st round and there would be an extra two games played in the first round of the playoffs.
The scheduling conflicts bound to arise are the biggest issue for me. Maske introduced the idea of a Monday Night Football game on the opening weekend of the playoffs. While the NFL currently schedules opening weekend with 2 Saturday games and 2 Sunday games, they would have to find a spot for 2 more games, and at least 1 will likely land on Monday. Making the playoffs should be an accomplishment, rewarded with favorable scheduling that gives both teams the best chance to succeed. What if a team is playing on a short week in the divisional round after a Monday night opener? They would have to be damn good to survive with less preparation and recovery time than their opponent.
What do you think about the NFL considering playoff expansion to 14 teams?