Originally Posted by ol#7
Rep. This Exactly this.
I am really suprised so many don't see it this way, I think it is just a Goodell reflex. Watching the Broncos go 10-6 in 81, 11-5 in 85 and 9-7 2006 and stay home sucked. I know the field was smaller in 81/85 06? and not the current 12 but the same argument exists, just look at the 11-5 Patriots staying home as proof. Your much more likely to get a ****ty division winner than extra wild card team with a bad record with the 4 division setup. It almost guarantees it.
Yep. Up until 1990, the playoff field was 5 teams per conference. All 3 division winners had byes, and the 2 wildcards played each other the first weekend.....for a true "wildcard" matchup. Then there were 4 teams for the divisional round, as is the case now.
In 1990, they added a 3rd wildcard, for a total of 6 playoff teams.....which meant 1 of the 3 division winners no longer had a bye, and only the top 2 (rather than all 3) had byes. Still, 4 teams remained for the divisional round.
Then in 2002, the re-alignment happened......we still have 6 teams....but 1 wildcard had to be eliminated in place of a 4th division winner.
I guess the league just figures we've been at 6 playoff teams for nearly a quarter century.......time to change things up (again).
I said before, I might consider adding ONE more, to make the field 7 teams. That way ONLY the 1-seed gets a bye. All the marbles, if you will.....they get the only bye and homefield throughout.