NFL Playoff Expansion: Please No
Wild Card Weekend is now complete and we’ve learned a few things. The Seattle Seahawks are really good, the Cincinnati Bengals are still the Bengals, the Green Bay Packers look scary and Mike Shanahan blew it with Robert Griffin III. There’s one more thing we learned and we can only hope that Commissioner Roger Goodell learned the same thing; expanding the playoffs would be a terrible idea.
There has been talk for a couple of years now of adding one more wild card team in each conference but after this weekend; how can anyone be in favor of that idea? The games were awful this weekend and with the exception of the game between the Seahawks and Washington Redskins; they were almost unwatchable.
The Houston Texans won a playoff game solely because they were playing the Bengals and they almost blew that one. If the Bengals are a playoff team, then maybe we should consider eliminating one team; not adding one. Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings is a great player but the Vikings are not among the league’s best. I’m not advocating that the playoff field should be smaller; only that making it bigger would be a fatal mistake.
Take this season, for example, if there had been one more team in the playoffs; the New York Jets would have been in the race for that spot right down to the end. Does anyone really want to watch the Jets get beat by 50 in a playoff game? I concede that the Pittsburgh Steelers are a decent team and would have been the last team in on the AFC’s side, but they could not beat the Bengals at home when they had to. Do they really deserve to be playing right now? Of course not.
It is true that number sixth seeds have won the Super Bowl in recent seasons but those were good teams that got hot at the right time. Most of the time, the last team to qualify for the playoffs is bounced early. For every Packers team that barely gets in and then wins it all there are 50 teams like the Bengals and Vikings.
The NFL is great for a lot of reasons and one of those reasons is the fact that the playoffs are perfect. The first two weekends, this season notwithstanding, are the best two weekends of the year. Two games on Saturday and two more on Sunday; why mess with that. Goodell and the owners are always looking for new revenue streams but adding playoff teams would hurt the quality of play. Don’t fix what isn’t broken; the NFL playoffs are fine just the way they are. If you want more teams in the playoffs; the NBA and NHL are always looking for new fans.
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