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#pounditSaturday, November 27, 2021

Report: NFL making major changes to playoffs in 2020

Roger Goodell

Major changes are coming to the NFL playoff format under the proposed new CBA.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the NFL is set to expand the playoffs to seven teams in each conference, reducing the first-round byes from two teams to one and essentially adding an extra Wild Card game per conference. The changes are contingent on the NFL and NFLPA agreeing a new collective bargaining agreement, which is growing likelier, and would take effect for the 2020 season.

Schefter reports additionally that players on teams that receive a first-round bye would receive postseason play for that weekend, which is a change from the current rules.

The proposal is similar in some ways to recent changes floated by MLB that have proven unpopular. The reason is quite simple: two more playoff games would mean two more TV broadcasts and a lot more cash. It also opens the door for teams that hover around the .500 mark to make the postseason. Some will like this because it opens the door to more playoff teams, but expect plenty of criticism over potentially devaluing the regular season and rewarding mediocrity by letting more teams that stagger to 8-8 finishes into the postseason.

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