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Friday, February 08, 2021

avoiding the tank
If you’re tired of seeing teams dog in it Week 17 of the National Football League season because they’ve already locked in their postseason berth, then you’ll like this: the league is considering changing the playoff structure to make it more record-based:

[NFL commissioner] Roger Goodell wants to make it so that in the first round of the playoffs, division winners wouldn’t automatically have a home game. If they played a wildcard team that had a better record, the wild card team would get the game in their own crib.

The idea is that it gives teams more incentive to play hard throughout the end of the regular season, so we don’t end up seeing something like a Charlie Batch vs. Jim Sorgi matchup in Week 17.

This deemphasizes the significance of winning a division, making that crown nothing more than a playoff ticket. I suppose there are scenarios where a division winner would still make it into the postseason despite having a poorer record than another conference team, which would preserve some importance for the division win.

Normally I’m not in favor of the disregard for divisional alignments, but I admit this is a good idea. From an entertainment standpoint, it’s better for fans to watch a “real” matchup late in the season instead of a backups bowl. You could argue that it robs the No. 3 division winner of a functional bye for its starters, but those are the breaks.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 02/08/2021 05:42:52 PM
Category: Football
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