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.
The NFL owners have confirmed, via a vote on today’s teleconference, that there will be expanded playoffs after the 2020 season, source said. Expected and now official. One more team per conference.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 31, 2020
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.
— This likely makes regular season games more important for all, with top teams fighting for the one by per conference.
— Had this been adopted in 1990, just 1.6% of teams would have had a losing record. A bunch more 10-win teams would’ve gotten in. https://t.co/mspFzj7zXL— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 31, 2020