We all know that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is doing whatever he can to expand the NFL season to 18 games. I was always a fan of this idea until this season when I realized that it could potentially be a disaster and make the season far too long. It could wind up giving the league a ton of meaningless the last month of the season, and like I mentioned in my podcast last week, you could have a team like the Colts playing 4 games that won’t matter. The league wants to expand the schedule to make more money, which they should try and do, but I have a better idea---expand the playoffs.
In the NFL, 12 of 32 teams make the playoffs, that’s 3/8 or 37.5%. Over half of the teams in the NBA and NHL make it. I think its time for the NFL to go to 14 or 16 playoff teams. This would give the league 2 or 4 more playoff games, which would be national TV games, and it would bring more money to the league. Not as much as adding a week or 2 to the schedule, but it would certainly add more excitement.
I would rather 8 teams make the playoffs in each conference than 7 because I don’t like the idea of having just the top seed get a bye, but I would be ok with it because increasing your playoff teams by a third could be a little drastic, and I’m sure some people think that allowing half of your teams in the playoffs cheapens the playoffs to a degree, and they a right. The first round of the NBA playoffs isn’t exactly exciting, especially when you have to sit through 4 games of the Cavs/Pistons series, knowing that there is no way Detroit will win a game, much less four. Luckily for us, the NFL is a single elimination tournament.
Imagine how much fun it would if the playoffs were expanded to 16 teams. PLAYOFF QUADRUPLE HEADERS!!!!! That’s right, you would have to play 4 playoff games each day to get through Wild Card Weekend, talk about a lazy weekend. You would start with a game at Noon Eastern, 3:30, 7:00, and 10:30. That would basically be 28 hours of NFL Playoff games in one weekend. The NFL would simply own the weekend.
You can have too many regular season games, but you can’t have too many playoff games, at least you can’t in the NFL. Adding extra playoff games will increase TV revenue because these are games that will get huge ratings, as opposed to a week 18 games between a team that is 6-11 and a team that is 5-12 in a half empty stadium. Its time for more playoff teams, and I think it’s also time to eliminate the first round bye. I don’t think teams care about them as much as they used too anyways. In fact, it might be more of a disadvantage.