NFL Considering 16-Team Playoff As Potential Contingency If Games Are Lost


ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that the NFL competition committee expects to present a resolution to owners based on a contingency of expanding the playoffs to 16 teams if games are lost due to the pandemic.

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Several teams have already had their bye weeks, which leaves the NFL with limited options in case games need to be rescheduled due to COVID-19 issues in the coming months. 

Mortensen says that the committee met by Zoom on Monday to discuss the possibility.

The NFL has already expanded the playoffs this year to include seven teams in each league, so this proposal would amount to eight teams in both the NFC and AFC should the league need to go this route. 

Mortensen explains that this contingency plan would include four division champions and four wild card teams from each AFC and NFC.

The playoffs would be seeded as:

  • 1 vs. 8
  • 2 vs. 7
  • 3 vs. 6
  • 4 vs. 5

In hindsight, the NFL would have been smart to have included two bye weeks for each team in case the schedule needed to be adjusted. However, that’s no longer an option and they will need to hope their new COVID-19 protocols are enough to prevent major outbreaks like the one the Titans dealt with last month. 

We’ll have more regarding potential playoff changes as the news is available.

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