Giants Owner Predicts LA Football, Says NFL Not Ready for Expanded Playoffs

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The Associated Press
New York

Third-generation owner of the New York Giants John Mara whipped out his crystal ball on Sunday, predicting that expanded playoffs will not happen in the near future and Los Angeles will be home to one or two teams by next year.

Once considered to be a done deal by 2015, Mara explained that expanded playoffs still need further vetting by league owners. “We’re going to discuss the expanded playoffs, but I don’t think there is a proposal out there to make any changes,” he asserted. “I think it’s going to happen at some point. It just doesn’t look like it’s going to happen next year.”

Mara has expressed in the past that he is not an enthusiastic proponent of expanding the current 12-team playoff system. Some of the problems that Mara points out relate to extending more games for teams playing in the colder states, as well as possible conflicts with the college football playoffs.

The Giants’ owner stated, “I prefer it the way it is, but I don’t feel as strongly about it really maybe as I once did. Because [expansion] is going to happen. One of my concerns about it was when are you going to play those extra games? One of the proposals was playing it on a Monday night. I just think playing on a Monday night in January in northern climates is not the ideal.”

ESPN NFL reported that one of the potential playoff scenarios would be adding one extra team from each conference to the mix. There would then be a total of six playoff games the first week. The new system would grant only one team a first week bye, rather two teams as the current policy mandates.

Mara weighed in on widespread speculation that Los Angeles appears to be headed once again to house a NFL football franchise, reported Newsday.

“I think there’s going to be one or two teams playing in LA next year — 2016,” he said. “Maybe a temporary stadium [next year], but I think — and this is just my opinion — that one or two teams will be playing somewhere in L.A. next year. But we’ll see.”