It’s been talked about it for a while, but now it’s official: The NFL will move to a 14 team format.
The new playoff format is effective immediately and will take place at the end of the 2020 season, assuming there is a 2020 season.
As Pro Football Talk reports:
The playoffs will now feature the four division winners in each conference as well as three wild card teams in each conference. The team with the No. 1 seed will earn not only home-field advantage throughout the playoffs but also the only bye week.
The first weekend of the playoffs will include six games, with six division winners hosting six wild card teams. There will be three games on Saturday, January 9, 2021 and three on Sunday, January 10, 2021. CBS and NBC will each broadcast one of the additional games.
The move, though controversial among those who fear watering down the NFL playoff format, comes at a good time for the league. As Falcons Owner Arthur Blank recently told Peter King, if the NFL plays this year, it’s likely that they will do so in empty stadiums.
An expanded playoff format will bring in a significant amount of additional revenue to the league, which will help offset at least some of the budget shortfalls sustained by lost ticket sales.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn