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After an epic weekend of playoff football, including three games that came down to the wire, the NFL has reasons to be interested in expanding the playoffs to include more wild card teams. However, despite a rumor that the top brass are ready to do so, the league said that it has made no decision.
The rumor started when Sports Illustrated’s Andrew Perloff tweeted that The Dan Patrick Show’s Dan Patrick heard from league sources that there will be a third wild card team added for each conference.
According to SI.com, if that happened, 14 of the NFL’s 32 teams would reach the playoffs and fans would get three games on wild card weekend for each conference rather than just two. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had said in October that if this happened, there would only be one team with a bye week - the No. 1 seed.
While that would make the fight for the No. 1 seed even more important than it is now, the NFL said that no decision has been made. “It would require a vote of the clubs and it has not yet been taken up with them,” a league spokesman said.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy had previously said that any number of scenarios have been discussed.
This discussion about expanding the playoffs usually comes up when a team with a great record misses the playoffs. This year, the Arizona Cardinals had a 10-6 record, but they missed the playoffs as both the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers from the NFC West made it. The 49ers actually ended up playing the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, even though the Packers had a worse record. On the AFC side, the 8-8 Pittsburgh Steelers missed the mark, but would have made it in if there was another wild card.
image: Wikimedia Commons