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  1. I like the idea of 8 teams per conference. It’s more games, more cities involved, more of everything. The big thing the NFL has a problem with is that it means 8 games the first weekend instead of six games the first two weekends. Considering that they will play Saturday and Sunday’s there’s a 1 PM, 4 PM and 7 PM game each day. Where do you put the other two games? You could put a game on ESPN and Fox Sports Net I suppose but the NFL probably doesn’t like taking the games off of broadcast TV. You could play a Friday night and a Monday night game, but that gives short weeks to some teams.

    Comment by Michael Conlen — 01/01/2021 @ 01:14:25 PM

  2. I just realized that last season if there were 8 playoff teams a team with a loosing record would go to the playoffs. On the other hand if the Carolina, Washington and Dallas win there would be a 10-6 team that doesn’t go to the playoffs.

    Comment by Michael Conlen — 01/01/2021 @ 02:09:05 PM

  3. That’s exactly what I was going to bring up: Whenever you expand the playoffs, you risk letting in sub-.500 teams (even with the current format, you’ll see an 8-8 team sneak in every few years). It’s great for fans, but aesthetically, it unnerves me.

    As for where the extra-round games would televise, there’s always NFL Network (don’t laugh — looking 5 years into the future, the league is definitely looking to shift some games there).

    Otherwise, the four networks would fall over themselves to give extra playoffs broadcast time; NFL broadcasts are practical cash-cows for TV. And it would be nice trinity of TV time: 1PM, 4PM and 8PM games both Saturday and Sunday…

    Comment by CT — 01/01/2021 @ 02:46:52 PM

  4. I also don’t think it out of the question that the NFL Network would start taking on some games. However I think between the big networks and two ESPN channels they could certainly handle more games.

    Some years would definitely bring some less than quality teams to the playoffs with expansion, but this year is an example of the good outweighing the bad. I guarantee you that every team in the AFC playoffs is quite glad that neither San Diego nor Kansas City is in, especially the Chiefs and Larry Johnson.

    Comment by Joel — 01/03/2021 @ 12:41:27 AM

  5. Yeah, but it’s not a question of the league’s current broadcast partners being able to accomodate more football games; of course they can. The reason the NFL Network was started was to give the league leverage for pricier deals short-term, and longer-term, to eventually become their own broadcaster. Cutting out the middleman. I don’t think that’ll happen in five years, but they can certainly start the baby steps by then.

    Sure, this year some quality teams got shut out of the playoffs. But that’s not always going to happen. In fact, I’d guess statistically, weaker teams would occupy those new 7th- and 8th-place slots most of the time. Ultimately, fans don’t care — they just want to see their teams make it in, regardless of how they do it. But again, I could do without the dilution.

    Comment by CT — 01/03/2021 @ 04:20:30 PM


    Weeks ago, I made a couple of observations about this year’s NFL playoffs:

    Regardless of which team it is, the AFC Conference Champion will be the Super Bowl winner, owing to the overall weakness of the NFC teams
    The historical futility of l…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 01/22/2006 @ 06:26:24 PM

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