The NFL has officially expanded its playoff format to 14 teams in time for the 2020 season.
Starting with this upcoming season, the playoff field will expand from 12 to 14 teams, allowing one more wild-card team from each conference.
Here are a few of the major points of this new format:
• The AFC and NFC will each have seven playoff teams, but just the top seed from each conference will have a first-round bye in the playoffs.
• In wild-card weekend, the other 12 teams will play — the No. 2 seeds will host 7s, the No. 3 seeds will host 6s and the No. 4 seeds will host 5s.
• For this upcoming season, wild-card weekend will have three games on Saturday, Jan. 9 and three games on Sunday, Jan. 10.
• One of the additional wild-card games will be on CBS on Jan. 10 at 4:40 p.m. The other will be on NBC on Jan. 10 at 8:15 p.m.
This is the NFL’s first expansion of the playoff format since the 1990 season, when the field went from 10 to 12.
The Eagles made the playoffs as a division winner with a 9-7 record in 2019 and that would still be an option with this new format. This change simply adds another playoff team in each conference. In the 2019 NFC that would have been the 9-7 Rams.
Two notes:— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 31, 2020
— 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
If you’re looking for a recent example in Eagles history of how this new format would’ve helped, look back at the 2014 season. The Eagles finished with a 10-6 record in Chip Kelly’s second season but missed the postseason. If this format was around, they would have been the third wild-card team after the 11-win Lions and Cardinals.
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