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Virginia Viking

New Playoff Structure

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If the league goes to an 18 game schedule, like many think they will, I would propose that the league restructure it's divisions in both conferences from 4 to 2, and eliminate both the wildcard and divisional rounds of the playoffs.  Only the 4 division winners would compete and the first game of the playoffs would be conference championship games.  The two winners would advance to the Super Bowl.

I would divide the 16 teams in both conferences into a North and a South Division:

AFC North - New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, NY Jets, Indianapolis Colts, Pittsburg Steelers, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs

AFC South - Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens, Las Vegas Raiders, LA Chargers

NFC North - NY Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks, SF 49'er's

NFC South - Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, LA Rams, Arizona Cardinals

Each team would play every other team in it's division annually.  Home team is based on previous seasons records.  The remainder of the games would draw from teams in the other three divisions.

Under this structure the AFC Championship Game this season would have been between the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens (Played at MB&T Stadium).

The NFC Title Game would have been between the New Orleans Saints vs. San Francisco 49'er's (Played at Levis Stadium)

Pros: 1. The teams with the best records, who performed at the highest level all season would be in the playoffs. 2. Eliminates the possibility of someone going to the playoffs with a losing record. 3. Every team would have to go to the coasts several times a year, eliminating the complaint of unequal travel. 3. Would return the Super Bowl to being played in January.

Cons: 1. Eliminates some natural rivalries. 2. Takes away the idea of a "Cinderella Story." 3. Leaves winning squads out of the playoffs. 4. Might cause more coaching changes.

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No interest at all in this. This seriously reduces the ability of teams to make fast progress. The great teams will really dominated the post season. 

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That isn't happening, even though it's an interesting idea.  Plus, the league already dropped the idea of going to 18...they've now settled on going to 17.  And the league isn't going to lessen the number of playoff participants, the likelihood is that they are going to increase them (to 14).  I would expect that to happen with the new CBA, which would go into effect after this next season.  

So, you're going to have 17 games, 4 division winners in each conference with 3 wildcards, and only the team with the best overall record in the conference (and HFA) will get a bye.  Everyone else will have to play in the wildcard round.  For example, this season, the Steelers and the Rams would have both made the playoffs as the 7 seed and the other wildcard round games  would have been:

Steelers at Chiefs

Rams at Packers

Then, if the Rams had beaten the Packers (which certainly would have been possible), the Vikings would have played at Seattle instead of San Francisco in the divisional round.  

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I'd just rather take the top-6 teams from each conference like the NBA does.

This way you get the 6 best teams in the conference instead of ending up with a team that's 8-8 making it over a team that's 9-7 or 10-6 or something but lost out on the wild card due to a tie breaker.

Same structure....#1 and #2 seeds get the bye. 3 vs 6 and 4 vs. 5 in the wild card round. Just like it is now but if you're doing a straight 1-6 seeding instead of divisions, I think you'd have more teams fighting for that 6th seed which makes for more compelling football instead because an 8-7 team may have a shot at the #6 seed going into week 17 even though their division winner is 13-3 and there's a 12-4 team taking the wild card.

This will prevent a team like Philly from getting a home game over a team with a better record.

Or just keep it the same with the division winners and two wild cards but the playoff teams get re-seeded ranked 1-6. So instead of Philly being 4, they would have been 6.

 

 

Edited by Vikes_Bolts1228

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17 minutes ago, Vikes_Bolts1228 said:

I'd just rather take the top-6 teams from each conference like the NBA does.

and then seed them according to W-L records and tiebreakers.

no more 8-8 Division winners being seeded higher than 10-6 Wildcard teams.

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5 minutes ago, vike daddy said:

and then seed them according to W-L records and tiebreakers.

no more 8-8 Division winners being seeded higher than 10-6 Wildcard teams.

Yep exactly.

You're getting rid of the wild cards to add the 6 best teams in the conference.

Simple. Easy. Can keep EVERYTHING the same as far as divisions and conferences but the 6 best teams go to the post-season and there's going to be 3-4 more teams fighting for a playoff spot come week 16-17 which makes for more meaningful games which will keep stadiums full which will keep the NFL and owners happy.

EDIT: There were NINE teams that were 8-8 or 7-9 teams in 2019 (and one 9-7 team). 7 of them didn't have a chance by week 15 due to division winners being 13-3...12-4.

With this seeding idea, those teams that finished 8-8...7-9 and missed the playoffs would have had something to play for up until week 17.

Edited by Vikes_Bolts1228

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7 minutes ago, Vikes_Bolts1228 said:

I'd just rather take the top-6 teams from each conference like the NBA does.

This way you get the 6 best teams in the conference instead of ending up with a team that's 8-8 making it over a team that's 9-7 or 10-6 or something but lost out on the wild card due to a tie breaker.

Same structure....#1 and #2 seeds get the bye. 3 vs 6 and 4 vs. 5 in the wild card round. Just like it is now.

This will prevent a team like Philly from getting a home game over a team with a better record like say Minnesota..... 

 

The NBA takes the top 8, but I get the point.  I do think there should be reseeding in the playoffs because a wildcard with a better record than a division winner, but I do think being a division winner should mean something.  The divisions in the NBA, as it currently is, is meaningless and I hate that.  

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With a 17 game season and 14 teams making the playoffs, wouldn't week 18 be irrelevant to most teams?

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13 minutes ago, swede700 said:

The NBA takes the top 8, but I get the point.  I do think there should be reseeding in the playoffs because a wildcard with a better record than a division winner, but I do think being a division winner should mean something.  The divisions in the NBA, as it currently is, is meaningless and I hate that.  

Right the NBA (and NHL) do take the top-8 but that'd be over-kill in football and add another round of playoffs which would make it even harder for the 7-8 seeds to make it to the Super Bowl as they'd have to win 4 road games in a row to make it to the Super Bowl.

The divisions not meaning anything when it comes rewards is a slight problem but I mean I don't see the NFC North for example becoming meaningless because you're still going to be playing bitter rivals like Green Bay and Chicago twice a year unlike the NBA where true rivalries haven't existed since probably Miami vs. Lakers 10 years ago.

Edited by Vikes_Bolts1228

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5 minutes ago, Vikes_Bolts1228 said:

Right the NBA (and NHL) do take the top-8 but that'd be over-kill in football and add another round of playoffs which would make it even harder for the 7-8 seeds to make it to the Super Bowl as they'd have to win 4 road games in a row to make it to the Super Bowl.

The divisions not meaning anything when it comes rewards is a slight problem but I mean I don't see the NFC North for example becoming meaningless because you're still going to be playing bitter rivals like Green Bay and Chicago twice a year unlike the NBA where true rivalries are pretty rare.

The NBA should just do away with conferences period and just keep divisions (although realign them) and that would make the NBA better, but as far as the NFL, expanding the NFL playoffs by 1 or 2 on each side, doesn't change the number of games, it only lessens the amount of teams that get a bye.  Adding 1 on each side still gives the top team a bye, but adding 2 on each side means no one gets a bye.  I don't really like that option.

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2 minutes ago, swede700 said:

as far as the NFL, expanding the NFL playoffs by 1 or 2 on each side, doesn't change the number of games, it only lessens the amount of teams that get a bye.  Adding 1 on each side still gives the top team a bye, but adding 2 on each side means no one gets a bye.  I don't really like that option.

You're right. Don't know my logic on thinking there'd be another round.

I just keep it at 6. No need to expand the playoffs. It's fine the way it is with 6 teams.

Edited by Vikes_Bolts1228

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14 hours ago, SemperFeist said:

It’s not broke. No need to fix it. 

I kinda think it is broke.  Too many teams in the playoffs and sometimes with regular season records of .500 or worse!  The present structure promotes the notion that being a contender to make the playoffs is enough. In other words...to many franchises are satisfied just making the playoffs.  Despite the Titans improbable run this year, the 5th and 6th seeds in the playoffs have hardly any chance of winning a championship.  But, I hear the criticism that my proposal might create dynastic teams.  Well, we've had a dynasty, in the Patriots, for the last 20 years.  Hopefully, that's ending.  But, to promote teams getting better, I would propose the following:

1. Continue with the team with the worst record being awarded the first draft pick in the new season.

2. The team with the worst record will be awarded an additional home game the following season.

3. The Super Bowl Champion will lose a home game the following season.

4. The team with the worst record will have an additional $5,000,000 of cap room added.

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I don't get the notion that the 6 teams with the best records are the 6 best teams

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