Seattle Seahawks

NFL officially adopts expanded 14-team playoff format

Seattle Seahawks

We knew this was coming, but now it's official: The NFL has adopted an expanded 14-team playoff format that will go into effect immediately.

Starting in 2020, each conference will now have a seventh seed. That team will play the No. 2 seed in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs. In addition to two extra games on Wild Card weekend (now three on Saturday and three on Sunday), the biggest change is that only the No. 1 seed in each conference will get a first-round bye.

The change is an obvious money grab, but the expanded playoffs should be a home run as far as TV ratings are concerned. Nobody is going to argue with more football, and, as Rapoport noted, in most cases the added playoff teams will have double-digit wins. There is now an added urgency to claim the No. 1 seed while more clubs will be in the playoff race until the bitter end. The result should be fewer teams resting starters in Week 17.