An Expanded Playoffs Hurts the Chiefs

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Tony looks at how recent rumors regarding the new CBA may negatively impact the Kansas City Chiefs and other playoff contenders

With a new CBA comes the opportunity for the NFL to change the way the season operates, and according to Schefter the new CBA will mean more playoff teams and fewer byes.


Whether or not this is good from an entertainment perspective is up for debate, but from a competitive standpoint the pros and cons are very clear.

Obviously this most benefits those teams who are borderline to make the playoffs. Had this format been used in 2019, the 8-8 Steelers and 9-7 Rams would have made the playoffs.

On the other hand, this hurts the top teams who are competing for those first round byes. In 2019 the 13-3 Packers and the 12-4 eventual Super Bowl Champions Chiefs would have had to play on wildcard weekend.

Given that the Chiefs now have the best quarterback in the NFL, and will for the foreseeable future, they are far more likely to be that 2 seed who now has to play an extra playoff game than the 7th seed who would have otherwise made the playoffs.

The single elimination playoffs are far more random than the 16-game regular season, meaning that more playoff teams leads to lower odds of the top teams winning. If there were no playoffs the 14-2 Ravens would have gone to the Super Bowl.

The one upside for the Chiefs is that it provides more of a buffer if Mahomes misses part of the season due to injury. Imagine a scenario where Mahomes had missed 8 games after his knee injury instead of 2, and the Chargers were as good as they were in 2018. That extra wildcard game could allow the Chiefs to sneak into the playoffs, then ride Mahomes to a playoff run.

More broadly speaking, more games and more playoff games reduces the important of an individual regular season game. This is especially true for teams like the 2019 Chiefs, who were way ahead in their division but also way behind the top seed. Those last games wouldn’t have mattered had the 2nd seed not gotten a bye.

Overall while I’m fine with a 17 game schedule (although only if there’s a 2nd bye week), but I don’t like expanding the playoff field. I’ve always felt that 6 teams making it out of 16 was a good number. You should have to be among the best in your conference to make the playoffs, and 7 out of 16 is to close to half for my taste.

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legal_kush
legal_kush

Wait… the NFL wants to send another undeserving team to the playoffs?
Doesn’t that make the NFC East even more irrelevant?

Brylowman
Brylowman

However, it would help fans of downtrodden teams have hope of actually making the playoffs. Since we’ve finally won the big one I’m not opposed to making other sad fans happy. Who knows, maybe the Browns could do the impossible and become a factory of happiness?

TNCHIEFS

Downtrodden teams generally have crappy owners. So that’s on them. The league shouldn’t have to bail them out.

Also, they can get in line or go buy happiness pills. (It’s not You. I just think this really bad eith sime easily predictable bad consequences.)

Berserker
Berserker

So the only reason for the playoff change is to grab that nighttime primetime slot on WC weekend without giving up the usual daytime slots.

The one additional team isn’t to “expand the playoff field,” it’s just so that they could keep a bye as a reward to play for so that at least some of the top 6 or so playoff teams and their paying fans won’t just totally check out the last week or two of the regular season.

And there’s only one extra team instead of two, an awkwardly odd 7-team bracket, because many times mid-tier team owners don’t like dealing with potential extra expenses that come with having to play just one playoff game that they’ll probably lose and therefor not make much money off of (h/t to Mike Brown for being arrogant enough to actually admit that out loud once).

It would not surprise me at all if this change in playoff format was instigated entirely by the TV networks, just to get those two other games on WC weekend. And the 7-team format is just the owners’ attempt to work around the networks’ demands while spending a minimum amount of money on their own part.

None of this has anything to do with on-field competition or with the game itself, at all. The elites making these decisions don’t give one crap about those things, and I’d bet most of them honestly don’t understand why any of us do.

Tyrone

It’s really frustrating and sad that they treat the people who actually care about the integrity of the competition with complete contempt.

Tyrone

The people who fill their pockets have no say in anything.

Berserker
Berserker

Yes, we are just a collective wallet.

But I think that cynicism applies less so to some individual owners than to others, of course.

But, I also think that it applies 100% to the networks/media industry. In fact, I’m probably being naively charitable about the way that industry thinks of us.

upamtn

FIFY!

Given that the Chiefs now have the best quarterback in the NFL, and will for the foreseeable future, they are far more likely to be that #1 seed who now has an extra week every year for Andy Reid to plan ahead

Tyrone

Only the piece of shit NFL, with their shithole owners and fuck stick Goodell would totally compromise the integrity of competition purely for money like this.

This absolutely compromises everything. Fuck you NFL.

Tyrone

Why not just have a 15 game regular season, then every team makes the playoffs? Because it’s a stupid idea? Well so is what the NFL is proposing.

ChiefUdall
ChiefUdall

There will be an extra “bye” because seeds out of reach of #1 will rest and sit players in week 15-17 once it is sealed that they will be a playoff team.
Gonna be like the NBA with resting their “stars” if they don’t watch out.

Slayer0810
Slayer0810

The single elimination playoffs are far more random than the 16-game regular season, meaning that more playoff teams leads to lower odds of the top teams winning.

This is the biggest issue for me. In the NBA, you have a 7-game series that almost always ensures that the better team wins (assuming there’s a talent disparity; of course, two similarly-talented teams might end up with a 4-3 series that doesn’t always reflect a win by the slightly better team). In the NFL, it’s too easy for a team to have a bad game (or just a bad matchup) and be going home early. Winning a Superbowl always has some elements of luck involved; adding additional teams and taking away the 2nd bye week just amplifies the amount of luck required to win.

This proposal gives a huge advantage to the team with the bye, and you might as well flip a coin for the rest to see who is in the conference championship. And although we’ve heard it a million times leading up to this year’s Superbowl, let’s revisit the bye week stat: Since 2013 (the last 7 years), the Superbowl has been played by two teams that had a bye. Since 1990, 73% of championship teams have had a bye. And in that same time period, at least one of the two teams has had a bye. To repeat: in the last 20 years, we’ve never had a Superbowl with two wildcard teams. So I’d say that bye is pretty important.

Berserker
Berserker

Byes are also generally gotten by the best teams, the teams that have the best odds to win the SB anyway.

Armychiefj
Armychiefj

I’m not generally an old fuddy duddy who hates change, but the NFL amount of teams, weeks of play, and number of playoff teams has seemed ideal to me since we got to the 4 team 4 division format and I dont want to see it change. I dont want 17 games (how will it be decided which team that is?, will it be a rando from the other conference, like who ever was in the same overall conference rank as you the year before?) I dont want 7 teams to make the playoffs. But it will happen and I will still watch because the Chiefs are the one team I cant quit.

irafreak
irafreak

Not a fan of the playoff change….however, we have the best QB in the league. So if we can just get that 1 seed, it’ll be easier to get to the superbowl.

EAFOX

If the NFL decides to run with a 17 game schedule, they need to expand rosters and get rid of the inactive list for each week. Set the total of playoff teams per conference to 8, rather than 7, so the number one seed has to play in the first round as well. Could have a bye week for all playoff teams at the end of the season – we would have to wait that extra week to get the playoffs started.

NovaChiefs
NovaChiefs

I would be ok with 8 teams & a bye between season’s end and the start of the playoffs. All division winners get a home game, like now, and then it goes to records

upamtn

that’s what they do … expanded rosters, bigger caps, more $$$ for both Players and Owners

Berserker
Berserker

The inactive list is actually to help injured players, and teams that have injured players.

DenverDonkeyHater
DenverDonkeyHater

Do 9 win teams really deserve the playoffs? I had to look all the way back to 2015 when the jets had 10 wins and missed the playoffs.

Baseball has too few. Hockey and basketball have too many. NFL is just right and Goodell has to go and fuck with it.

upamtn

yanno, how about this: 4 division winners: no bye weeks … 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3 … then the conf champ then SB

this year woulda meant No Buff No Tenn and No Minn No SEA

Berserker
Berserker

He said

Baseball has too few.

SuperMegaChief
SuperMegaChief

I could live with an extra game but I’d rather they not change it at all. For me, injuries ruin the game. They happen in football but adding extra games is just asking for more injuries. If they do add another game, they have to add a second bye week. I’m totally against the new playoff idea though.

Warpath
Warpath

I dislike change.

MidKan Chiefs Lifer
MidKan Chiefs Lifer

What about changing from Smith to Mahomes at QB? Lol

Tarkus

Or changing from not winning playoff games to winning the Super Bowl.

NovaChiefs
NovaChiefs

It hurts every team but two. I really hate this idea for a few reasons. Too much of an advantage to the one team with the bye & it waters down the field.

TNCHIEFS

My comment from the morning huddle…

“The proposal for only one team per conference getting a bye in the playoffs is a BFD.

That means a 17-game season (with probably one week off), then 3 straight playoff games before finally getting an extra week to prep for the SB. The reduction in preseason is largely meaningless since most starters are doing work-lite till the last preseason game. Huge advantage for teams with a bye, plus they won’t be traveling.”