While we don’t know when the 2020 NFL season is actually going to get underway, when it does get started, there will be one playoff spot in each conference for teams to compete for.
On Tuesday, the NFL officially approved the league going to a 14-team playoff format, meaning that an extra team in both the AFC and the NFC will qualify for the playoffs. It’s the first change to the NFL playoff format since the league expanded to the 12-team in 1990. Prior to that, there were five playoff teams in each conference for a total of 10.
This change means that only the #1 seed in each conference will receive a first-round bye, making having the best record in the conference that much more important. The first weekend of playoff football will now feature six games, with triple-headers on both Saturday and Sunday.
In each conference, the #2 seed will now host the #7 seed in the expanded Wild Card weekend, while the other two games will be the same as they’ve been in the past. . .the #3 seed will host the #6 seed and the #4 seed will host the #5 seed. It still appears that the top four seed will all be division winners, so winning your division will still get you at least one home playoff game.
Had this rule been in effect over the past ten seasons, it would only have resulted in one extra playoff appearance for your Minnesota Vikings. That would have been in 2018, when the 8-7-1 Vikings would have gotten into the playoffs as the #7 seed in the NFC and gotten a first-round trip to play the eventual NFC Champions, the Los Angeles Rams.
What do you think about the NFL adding an additional playoff spot in each conference, folks?