Alright, in consecutive seasons we have seen a pair of double-digit teams miss the playoffs, being the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 and the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014. Winning the division should absolutely be worth something, so adding a 7th seed will do a lot of positive things for the NFL.
Meaningful games for all 17 weeks. It was smart to make it rivalry week, so even the teams that aren’t playoff bound would have something to play for. There shouldn’t be any re-seeding when the playoffs hit, a home game should be the reward for all division winners. The offseason strategy is based around division rivals since those are 6 of the 16 games on the annual schedule.
What comes with adding an extra team in each conference, is the fact that the wildcard picture can keep up to a half-dozen teams in the hunt. I can see the excitement that would bring to the final week of the regular season, especially since it doubles
This postseason, for example:
- The AFC would have had 8 teams positioning instead of 6.
- (1) Patriots, (2) Broncos, (3) Steelers, (4) Colts, (5) Bengals, (6) Bengals
- In the hunt for Wildcard and/or Division: Chargers, Chiefs, Texans
- Would be in the week 17 hunt: Bills, Dolphins
- Date back to 2013 and 11 teams would have been in the picture in the final week.
Similar to college football adding a final four playoff for the National Championship, and even Major League Baseball adding another seed themselves. It benefits the league financially, with the fans, especially with fantasy football that continues to grow. Decreasing opportunities for starters to be benched sounds good to many NFL fans. Maybe not this year’s Packers, since the second seed would not have a bye week, which wouldn’t have given Aaron Rodgers time to heal his hamstring.
- 1st seed still gets a bye week and home-field advantage
- 2nd seed would no longer get a bye week, but would play the newly-installed 7th seed
- 3rd seed would still play against the 6th seed, and the 4th seed would still play the 5th seed
Adding seeds to the championship bracket seems to be the trend, and well, who doesn’t want more football? You may not be a fan of it until you witness your favorite team missing out to this year’s Panthers. I didn’t really care about the Cardinals winning 10 games last year and missing out because every other team won double-digit games as well, but watching the Eagles win three more games than the Panthers gives me enough reason to change my mind.