If NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the team owners have their way, the league could be expanding the playoff landscape to include two more teams, while cutting the preseason to three games from four.
That’s what Chris Mortensen reported yesterday. Here’s what he tweeted:
THIS JUST IN: The NFL is mulling the possibility of expanding to 14 playoff teams and cutting preseason to 3 games. (via @MortReport)
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) September 29, 2013
Cutting the preseason to three games is a great idea. Those four weeks in August have become nothing but a magnet for injuries among every team’s best players. That’s nothing but a waste of talent.
However, the move to add two more teams to the playoff plate might be a stretch. That’s nearly half the teams in the league and waters down the talent pool. Sure, it gives two more cities the opportunity to get into the tournament and will surely help raise more revenue for the league, but I would hate to see the NFL become another NBA or NHL, where teams with losing records qualify for the playoffs.
In my humble opinion, the current setup with 12 teams qualifying is the “just right” approach for the NFL. It’s been that way for quite some time and has seemed to work quite well. With the eight division winners and two wild-card teams from each conference qualifying for postseason play, the NFL has had a setup that puts the best teams in the game at that point in the season. The league expanded the postseason to 12 teams from 10 in the 1990 season.
How many of those last two proposed teams qualifying would ever make it to the Super Bowl? Nothing is out of the realm of possibility, but it’s a stretch to think one of those teams over the course of a decade would make it.
This might be an interesting concept, but one that probably needs a bit more thought before a decision is made.
What do you think? Is this a positive development that would help the NFL?