In recent years, there has been growing pressure on the NFL from outside sources to change its playoff format. The sport is by far the most popular in the country, but there is always room for improvement. What the exact changes would be remain unclear, but they could include either adding more teams to the playoffs or changing the matchups to favor teams with the better record in the regular season. Let’s look at the arguments for and against changes to the NFL’s playoff format.
In order to maintain sporting supremacy, the NFL needs to change and evolve with the times, which in itself is an argument in favor of changes. On top of that, why should a lowly 8-8 or 7-9 team play a home playoff game simply because they won a lackluster division? For that matter, why should they get in over a 10-6 team that plays in a difficult division but is left out of one of the two wild card spots? The best teams should participate in the postseason no matter what. Moreover, if adding more teams ensures that every team with a legitimate chance at reaching the Super Bowl makes the postseason, then that’s the way it has to be.
If it’s not broke, there’s no need to fix it. This doesn’t sound like much of an argument, but it does hold water. There are deserving teams that get left out of the NFL playoffs, but that’s true in every sport. Meanwhile, adding more teams is just going to take a first round bye away from teams, and in football, added rest late in the season is a huge advantage, so why shouldn’t teams with the best record during the regular season have that advantage? Despite some grumbling, things are working out just fine with the current format.
There’s almost no wrong decision to make here. There’s certainly no need to make changes, and that point can’t be stressed enough, but fans would certainly embrace the chance to watch more playoff games. However, at the end of the day, the NFL should keep its current playoff format. The league can’t alter things just because things don’t work out perfectly every single year. If you have something that works, just stick with it.