How will the NFL playoffs work now?

How will the playoffs work now with the new realignment? I hear a rumor that there will only be one wildcard per conference. Sounds stupid to me.

I think I heard that there will be two wild cards per conference. Basically, not much will change; six teams per conference will make the playoffs, as before. However, with four divisions (per conference) instead of three, there will 4 division winners and room for only two wild cards.

I despise the idea of wild cards. If you weren’t able do at the very least win your division, you shouldn’t be in the playoffs. Hell, I think there should be fewer divisions, not more. Only the best regular-season performers should be able to get a chance at the championship.

Okay smart guy what if say the Vikings and Bears both have identical 13-3 records at the end of the season and they are both TIED for 1st place in the Northern Division?

Steel cage death match to decide who gets the division crown? I don’t think so.

Please try and keep in mind that the NFL is a BUSINESS and they are in it to make money and the more games they have on TV, the more money the league makes.

If you hate it so much, then don’t watch it.

Simple as that.


If they’re truly tied, then there should be an extra playoff game. But second place is second place and shouldn’t get you into the playoffs.

acsenray: What if 9-7 wins you a weak division but 12-4 is only good for second place in a strong division?

I’d say them’s the breaks. What makes games interesting is that they really count. Maybe you were the better team in some overall measure, but you didn’t get first place, so you’re out of there. If you’re going to keep giving second chances, then why bother with the regular season at all? Just have one long tournament.

I think WSLer’s point was that it’s may not be in the league’s best interest to have one of the best teams in the league locked out of the postseason by a “one team per division” playoff structure.

When the NFL went from two wild cards per conference to three a few years ago, there was much moaning and groaning. People predicted that the only excitement in the playoff races would now be in determining which “bubble teams” would squeak in (only to serve as cannon fodder to the truly deserving teams).

Opinions on this vary, but there are many who believe these folks’ predictions have not come to pass, and that playoff races are as exciting as ever.

I say it makes them more exciting. If you just have the winners from the divisions going you are not gonna have as many people from different places watching at the end of the year. If you are in Seattle and the 'hawks are 8-5 but the Broncos are 11-2, the 'hawks fans are not gonna give a shit about the last 3 games. In the current format, the 'hawks fans are still excited about possibly making the playoffs. More asses in the seats, more asses on the couches, more dollars for the team, better players in the future(in theory).
[sub]I know the Seahawks are not in the AFC west anymore.[/sub]

Then you get all the money for the extra several playoff games, its a win all around for everyone. If you dont want the extra playoff games, dont watch them.

I asked for the playoff format (fact), not an argument over who deserves to go if there is a tie (opinion). That’s why I put this in GQ, not IMHO. Go rant and rave somewhere else.

How I understand it now is the two best division winners get a bye, the other two play the wildcards. The winners there play the bye teams. Those winners go to the conference championship. Am I right? If I am, then it’s a lot more symmetrical now, and better.

Let’s confine the discussion to how the playoffs will work, not how they should work. This is General Questions, after all.

moderator GQ

Thank you bibliophage. That’s what I wanted for the thread. I hate it when people change the subject.

Anyway, back to the playoffs…

Yes, I believe that’s right.

Strangely, I wasn’t able to find confirmation of this on the NFL website. However, I’m pretty sure I read it somewhere when the ramifications of the realignment were being hotly discussed.

For some reason doesn’t have the playoff setup. I really don’t like that page.


Yeh, when bottle throwing is one of the NFL tie-breakers.

It’s a shame we (Jaguars) and the Browns (what the hell IS a brown?) won’t be in the same division any more - good rivalry beginning with the (baby) bottle bowl.


and to the OP, and the solution posted, that seems to make sense, this way you could have a 12-4 second place team as a wildcard playing a 9-7 first place team.

Hey, don’t trash me! I’m just as ashamed of the bottle bowl as you are!

I would have liked a rivalry between Jax and Cle, but things move on. Have a good time with Ind, Tenn, and Hou.

Maybe we’ll meet this year in the playoffs.