ADDITIONAL PLAYOFF TEAM
When I first heard the NFL was going to add another playoff team, I was against it. The exclusivity of the NFL postseason is what sets it apart from the likes of basketball and hockey – two sports that have relegated their regular seasons to sub-meaningless status.
Then I thought some more about it. And thought a bit more. And you know what? I like it. Here’s why:
- Unlike basketball or hockey or ever baseball, there is no series involved. By adding a single team to each conference it would simply add two games to the already-existing wild card weekend. A six-game playoff weekend? Marriages be damned!
- There is now EVEN MORE value placed on winning the top seed in each conference as the top seed in each conference will be the only team receiving a bye.
- The 3-6 and 4-5 games stay intact.
- From a piece by Kevin Seifert at ESPN: “Fears of allowing undeserving teams a chance to play for the championship seem exaggerated. Over the past 11 years, the presumptive No. 7 seeds would have had at least a 9-7 record in 16 of 22 instances. Six would have been 8-8 and none worse than that. ” A below .500 team would never have qualified and I think that’s important.
- If the the 7th seed is a substandard team, they are going on the road to the 2 seed on wild card week and will be dispatched posthaste.
One note on all this: the NFL has to stop right with one additional team. If they let in an 8th team and put half the league’s teams in the playoffs, they will have officially watered down the product.
Does anybody actually care about this? Do extra points bother anyone? They take about nine seconds. Why does this have to be fixed? What’s wrong with it?