Sources: Expanded NFL Playoffs Could See Eight-Game First Round Over Two Weekends
If the NFL Playoffs are to expand, there is "a chance an eight-game first round would be spread over two weekends," according to sources cited by Peter King of SI.com. Another possibility is three games per day on Saturday and Sunday, "with two of the games pushed to Monday night, a la the first weekend of the season on ESPN." King wrote this is an "extremely bad idea" (SI.com, 1/7). In N.Y., Judy Battista writes the NFL this offseason will "ruminate on an idea to expand its playoff field by two or four teams," but the league, "among the most reliable draws in entertainment the last few years, might risk turning off fans with an extra week." The "extra layer of playoffs could come in exchange for a preseason reduced to two games, while the regular season would remain at 16." That makes expanded playoffs "seem more appealing," but last weekend’s games "do not." This year's Wild Card round "limped along with mistake-riddled, sporadically competitive play that raised the question: they really want more of that?" The games were "so unmemorable that the biggest story lines" yesterday were Redskins QB Robert Griffin III’s knee injury and a "ginned-up spat between Houston running back Arian Foster and the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy, who wrote a column mocking the Texans’ chances of beating the Patriots next weekend." No single play or individual performance "captured the imagination" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/8).