Posted February 27, 2014

NFL playoff field could expand to 14 teams as early as 2015, per report

NFL Playoffs
(Carlos Osorio/AP)

Under the new format, the NFL could expand wild-card weekend to include Monday night. (Carlos Osorio/AP)

The NFL postseason field could number 14 teams as early as 2015, per a report by the Washington Post‘s Mark Maske. According to that report, owners could vote on such a proposal next month during the league’s annual meetings.

“I think there’s a lot of momentum for it,” a source told Maske. “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.”

A second “person familiar with the matter” added that Roger Goodell seems behind the idea. And why wouldn’t he be, given what a cash cow the playoffs are for the NFL? Wild-card weekend for this past season featured record television ratings, as SI’s Richard Deitsch reported. An average of 34.7 million people tuned in for the four opening-round games, with a remarkable 47.1 million watching San Francisco’s win over Green Bay at frigid Lambeau Field.

An added team would eliminate one bye per conference and add two extra games to the first round — giving the league six in total that weekend. Maske reported that “the league seems to favor” splitting those six games over three days: two on Saturday, three on Sunday and one on Monday, which would mark the first time that the NFL has pushed its playoff schedule into a prime-time, weeknight slot.

The argument against such a setup might come in relation to scheduling for the teams in action on Monday. Presumably, the winner of that game would play again the following Sunday, with one less day to rest and prepare for the divisional round.

Under the 14-team playoff model, Arizona (NFC) and Pittsburgh (AFC) would have qualified for the playoffs in 2013, with the Cardinals then visiting Carolina and the Steelers traveling to New England in Round 1. That Pittsburgh-New England game likely would have drawn massive ratings, right in line with the rest of the postseason schedule.

135 comments
giwan1259
giwan1259

Foolish I believe the NFL is optimum as is. Will people watch if there is more. Yes more than likely as little else is on BUT it is watering things down

Aguilas
Aguilas

Saying that the NFL is a business is stating the obvious,   We all know that business want to make money.  This idea, like much of RG ideas are idiotic.  He doesn't respect the history of the game.  Football includes kickoffs, extra points, etc.  We are talking about this business and the fact that they  want to expand the playoffs so teams that were not good enough now get included with a chance to compete for a championship.  The result is that each regular season game will now be worth less because hey, "if we lose this game we will still make the playoffs".   We want teams competing and giving their all during the regular season.  If 10 win teams don't make the playoffs, they need to win divisional games aka handling your business.   This is more hypocrisy.  Fact adding more games will create more injuries.  Adding more teams to the playoffs will create more injuries.  Get rid of this clown.  We need a  football guy at the helm with business knowledge.  Not a business guy with football knowledge.  The NFL is a garbage cartel that is ruining football as we know it.

qt3dot14
qt3dot14

heres and idea:  lets have an 8 game season and then let all 32 team in the playoffs that way they all get a trophy for showing up.

MMoney0021
MMoney0021

Garbage...leave it alone.  Lets not water down the field and let in what is the average record for a 7 seed at 9-7.  Do not reward mediocrity like the NBA and NHL do.  I do not care if you have one off years where Arizona went 10-6 and was left out.  They came in third in their division, end of story.  A first round bye for a 2 seed is far more valuable in a contact sport, than having to play a garbage 9-7 team and risk key injuries.  

TheHip1
TheHip1

RG keep your greedy hands and ideas off the game! Expanding the playoffs is a dumb idea, as is putting a team in London, or expanding the season to 18 games,  or eliminating extra points or...well you get the point. Ask yourself this Roger, if it wasn't for the money would you do this anyway? Do you really think having a couple of 8-8 or 7-9 or even 6-10 teams in the playoffs is a good idea? I think that answer is NO

PackersFanNumeroUno
PackersFanNumeroUno

2014 NFC Power Rankings:

1. Green Bay

2. San Fran

3. Seattle

4. Arizona

5. N.O.

Kopernicus1967
Kopernicus1967

Just a fan with an idea.


Keep the playoffs the way they are.


Get rid of the pre-season.


Make the regular season 18 games, where the first four weeks can be played with a 70 man roster.


All teams take a 'bye' the same week in each conference.  AFC teams say 2nd week of October, NFC the third.


Get rid of the Pro-Bowl as a game.  Simply make the Pro-Bowl a honorary 'team' to be elected to by the fans.  Make it a big internet/Twitter/media event.



KristianColasacco
KristianColasacco

It's already been said but I just want to sign here as well saying 14 teams is too many and waters down the playoffs.  It needs to be hard to get into the playoffs, not made easier.  I don't like this idea.

Don12
Don12

" Playoff games are a sure cash cow!" Boy doesn't that tell all. Goodell needs to be reigned in and if he had not personally suggested this, he most certainly planted the seed. As long as they continue to hang $$$signs out for grabs the owners and players will willfully get sucked in and put on a stamp of approval.

Just another attempt to reach into the pockets of fans. You can change the playoffs to include only the BEST records in either conference, regardless if a particular division  is not represented and you would be sure to have the "best" (at least on paper) teams.

scotto80
scotto80

I think no more than 40% of  the teams in a league should make the playoffs in any sport. The NFL in its current format qualifies approximately 37 %  of the teams while it goes over 40 if you bump it up to 14  teams. There is always a temptation to expand the playoffs but do you want  the NFL to look the the WNBA sometime in the future where 80% of the teams are playoff bound?

MarkCalasade
MarkCalasade

12 teams is perfect. 14 too many. Speaking of too many, there have been WAY too many changes to the NFL in the past few years. The game is becoming a ghost of its former self.

mkmck69
mkmck69

If they want to reform the playoff structure, stop letting 7-9 teams in just because they won their division while an 11-5 team gets left out. Let the six (or seven, I guess) best teams in each conference play and seed by record.

Pat11
Pat11

Come on, why not let em all in and give out trophys to everyone for participating. THey have 16 games to prove there a playoff team, 12 teams is enough.

JMP878
JMP878

@Aguilas As RG dumb's down my beloved sport -- "let everybody play in the playoffs and give everyone a trophy!  Self-Esteem is SOOO important...

What happen to the INTEGRITY?  Winners win, Losers stay home.  It's been that way since the beginning of time.

At $9+ Billion revenues, the owners will continue to pay his $30 million plus salary.  The ticket prices will continue to go up;  cities, like my Cleveland, will be held hostage to repair stadiums that our clueless and financially inept leaders signed up for, with our tax money, to repair them.  

It will not end until the ticket paying fans go on strike.    

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@qt3dot14 Why don't you write up your plan and submit it to Roger Goodell.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@Aguilas Why?   The NFL is a business looking to make money and apparently this will help it do so.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@TheHip1 Apparently you are not aware that 10-win teams missed the playoffs that past two seasons. 

MatthewMinor
MatthewMinor

1. Seattle

2. San Fran

3. Carolina

4. N.O.

5. Arizona

Honorable mention: St. Louis, Geeen Bay, Chicago, Philly

The NFC West might canniblize itself next year.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@Don12 Maybe you are not aware of this, but the NFL is a business.  Businesses are in business to make money.  No one will force you, or anyone else, to watch or attend any games, including any additional playoff games.  Show your disapproval by boycotting the NFL.  Bet you won't.

houndstoothunderwear
houndstoothunderwear

@Don12  You fell for the emotionalism of a tabloid article. Every word was carefuly planned to elicit a pavlov  like anger response from you.  Goodell is not your enemy SI is...and now that they have you salivating at the silicone sisters just before you get to this article...they want to Ti---t tillate your outrage that ...in fact more playoff games means more fans get to spend more money on more games and the season you lust for will go on through the dead of February...sharply cutting into depressions and suicides. Feel better now ?

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@Pat11 Why don't you boycott the NFL to show how upset you are?

Aguilas
Aguilas

@JoeCabot @Aguilas  I get it, I have a degree in International Business Joe, you water down a product that is already beginning to be watered down.  It's as dumb as eliminating the Extra Point.  At some point don't you want to respect the history of the game!?


MMoney0021
MMoney0021

@JoeCabot @TheHip1  Who cares, the average record for a 7 seed is 9-7.  Arizona came in third place in a FOUR team division.  End of story.  Should have beat SF or Seattle. 

KristianColasacco
KristianColasacco

@JoeCabot @KristianColasacco We all know that boycott's don't work.  People will either watch or not watch.  I do find myself losing interest more and more though as these years go on and blatant money grab after blatant money grab build on each other.

DamionMosher
DamionMosher

Dude, stop it with the boycott talk. We get it, you are sucking off RG hard, and you think anyone who has an differing opinion should boycott because obviously you can't have an posing viewpoint without being extreme. Do I like the idea of more teams in the playoffs, not really. Does that mean I won't watch, probably not. Do I see a huge problem with this plan, yep. 2 12-4 teams tie for top record with no head to head games, same divisional and conference records, and the top seed, and thus the only bye, gets decided by point dif. You want to drop the bye, fine, go the full hog and make it a 16 team field and completely nullify the meaning of the regular season!

StevedeKater
StevedeKater

@JoeCabot @Pat11It may already be starting...even though most of the revenue comes from TV, didn't most of the early playoff games need time extensions in order to get sellouts?

Aguilas
Aguilas

@JoeCabot @Aguilas  Your left out the fact that teams were added to the league as well.  It's relative then.  You're missing the point.  It's only thriving from a business perspective.  Football purists and the majority of fans see it otherwise.  You're the minority.  Glad I could make your day.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@Aguilas Adding a couple of teams to the playoffs is disrespecting the history of the game?  Was is disrespectful to add two teams in 1978?  In 2002?   Seems like the league is thriving in spite of this watering down that you are claiming.   Oh, and thanks for the info on your degree.  That really made my day.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@qt3dot14 Adding two teams to the playoffs is going to ruin the sport?   How so?

qt3dot14
qt3dot14

@JoeCabot @MMoney0021or we could voice our opinions as fans before resorting to a boycott and hopefully keep them from ruining the sport for the fans.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@MMoney0021 Are you aware that you have the option of boycotting the NFL to show your disgust?

Aguilas
Aguilas

@PackersFanNumeroUno @MatthewMinor  Packers are not in the top 5 bro,  Rodgers may be the best QB in the league but your Defense is shaky and you don't have a great OLine.  Right now your team is 8 at best.....not to say you can't get to top 3 soon.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@StevedeKater They did, although some of that was attributable to weather.  The NFL puts plenty of time and money into researching its decisions, so if playoff expansion is on the table, there must be plenty of signs that it would be financially feasible.