It's Official: NFL Expands Postseason to Include Pretty Much Everyone but the Bengals

Illustration for article titled It's Official: NFL Expands Postseason to Include Pretty Much Everyone but the Bengals
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A longstanding rumor is now official: The NFL will extend its postseason to include 14 teams.


While the timing is a bit peculiar considering the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, ESPN reports that the new format will go into effect this upcoming season and include two major changes:

• Each conference will now include three wild-card teams instead of two.

• The No. 2 seed in each conference will host the new No. 7 seed in the wild-card round, so only No. 1 seeds will have first-round byes.

With the new format in place, coaches will enjoy a bit more job security thanks to increased odds of reaching the playoffs, while owners will be preoccupied with making it rain additional revenue—an estimated nine-figure increase annually.

There’s also plans to broadcast at least one playoff game on Nickelodeon, according to ESPN:

Wild-card weekend will feature back-to-back tripleheaders on Jan. 9 and 10, according to the league. CBS will broadcast one of the new games, scheduled for a 4:40 p.m. ET kickoff on Jan. 10, and it will be streamed on CBS All Access. That game also will be aired on Nickelodeon in a production geared toward a younger audience.

NBC, its new streaming service Peacock and Spanish-language Telemundo will broadcast the other new game on Jan. 10 at approximately 8:15 p.m. ET.


The last time the NFL expanded the playoffs was when it jumped from 10 teams to 12 in 1990, so the new rules going into effect will be a game-changer. The last team to make it to the Super Bowl without a bye was the 2012 Ravens and in the last seven Super Bowls, every team had earned a bye. And while the argument could be made that the playoffs will now feature a weaker field, it could also include 9- or 10-win teams that otherwise wouldn’t have made it in—like the 2008 Patriots, who missed the postseason despite winning 11 games.

Players can also expect a noticeable raise in salaries, between an increased salary cap and easier-to-attain playoff bonuses, which will range from $33,000 to $30,000 per player.


In all, it’s gonna be an adjustment for teams and fans alike, but as long as the end result translates to competitive football it sounds like a win for everyone.

Well, except Bengals fans.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for y'all to stop putting sugar in grits.



NFL on Nickelodeon?

Gatorade bucket better be filled with green slime at the end of the game.