Crowded AFC and NFC wild card picture

You could make an argument that crowded NFL playoff fields like this are a product of having a 7th seed that shouldn’t have been added. Regardless, I was OK with that expansion.

Both conferences are a logjam. In the AFC, the Ravens nearly led the division to now almost having to win against the Bengals due to their poor division record. The Colts started out 1-4 thanks to a lot of untimely injuries and training camp COVID, but are 7-2 since that point. The Browns would have led the division had they beaten the Raiders, and are now in 12th.

The NFC is similarly crowded. Three 7-7 teams currently being tie-broken by the common games tiebreaker, and the 6-8 teams could still strike.

I feel like every year we say “I can’t remember it being this crowded”, but the Browns going from what could’ve been 4th all the way to 12th says a lot, I think.

On the 538 chat on NFL, someone asked about the 7th spot race, and another said, “Well, all the teams are mediocre.” Of course they are, by definition! 7th out of 16 is the best of those mediocre teams!

That is the exact reason I pay no attention to the NBA regular season… it only filters out the garbage.

At least in the NFL, the top seeds are still in competition for a bye. I initially wasn’t happy with the extra team, but I’m OK with it now.

Thing about the AFC is, look at the bottom of the conference. After Denver at 7-7, it drops all the way to the Jets at 3-11. There aren’t any “middle-bad” teams.

Wondering how long this 17-game shit goes on. MONEY-MONEY-MONEY!!
I wouldn’t mind a second bye week and a 16-game, 18-week season.

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Absolutely zero chance of 16 games returning; if anything, we’re headed for 18 games, and only 2 preseason games.

Speaking of that… does anyone know much about what NFLPA has said about an 18-game season? Supposedly MLB is trying to use a 154-game season to lure MLBPA into expanded playoffs. (MLBPA, please please please do not agree to expanded playoffs, NO!!!)

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Yep, it’s definitely all about maximizing money (for the owners), and hopefully increasing the size of the pie so that players can realize gains as well. Every sport is like that.

For the owners it’s definitely about money, but are you sure that the players view it through the same lens? MLBPA definitely does NOT want expanded playoffs because they think that it will incentivize teams to be less competitive, and spending less money to field a more competitive team. A .500 team could sneak into the playoffs and then go win it all.

I haven’t seen what NFLPA thinks about the 18-game season, as there would be more injury exposure. NFLPA is not nearly as powerful as MLBPA, FWIW. We’ll see how powerful MLBPA remains once (if?) they get a new CBA.

Yep, I’m definitely looking from the owners’ lens here. Players should not simply go along with playoff expansion–not without reducing the # of regular season games. And yeah, why would anyone (besides greedy owners) want mediocre teams to qualify for the playoffs? Merely shifting more games to post-season makes a good case for players to say that 152 regular baseball games is much more than enough to weed out the terrible/less-than-mediocre teams.

However, having said all that, if player salaries go up commensurate with or better than current salary/revenues, I’m sure they’d be more than a little bit interested. I personally don’t think this would happen, but I’m no expert. It’s likely much more nuanced than I’m saying here.