The idea of expanding the NFL playoffs has been talked about for the past few years. Thanks to a new report from the Washington Post, a timetable is coming into focus that could have a larger playoff field starting in 2015.
There is growing support within the league for expanding the NFL playoff field by two teams, likely beginning in the 2015 season, and the chances are increasing that the franchise owners will consider and potentially vote on such a proposal when they meet next month, according to several people familiar with the deliberations on the issue.
“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.”
With the number of playoff teams in each conference growing from six to seven, only one team per conference will earn a first round bye. The expectation is that two Wild Card games would be played on Saturday, three on Sunday and one on Monday night.
An argument against expanding the playoffs is that doing so would water-down the field. While the argument has some validity, adding two playoff teams mostly just restores the playoff field on a percentage basis (43.8%, 14 teams out of 32) to what it was when it last expanded in 1990 (42.9%, 12 teams out of 28). It is important to note that 1990 was still in a period of restricted player movement. Since then, league parity to the point that a six seed can win the Super Bowl. A 14-team playoff field is more of a good thing.