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Competition committee to consider playoff re-seeding proposal

By Mark Maske

FORT WORTH, Tex.--Atlanta Falcons President Rich McKay, the co-chairman of the competition committee, said he expects there to be discussion this offseason about a potential re-seeding proposal.

Under such a proposal, it would be possible for a wild-card playoff team with a superior record to be seeded ahead of a division-winning team.

Currently, division winners get the top four playoff seeds in each conference, and the wild card teams are seeded fifth and sixth. The higher-seeded team gets to play at home in each postseason matchup.

"I think it should be discussed, and I think it would get more support than the last time," McKay said.

Such a proposal would have to be approved by at least 24 of the 32 teams, and McKay acknowledged that getting 24 votes for the measure "is a tough hill to climb."

Similar proposals have been rejected in the past by the owners.

"We've talked about that a few times over the years," said New York Giants co-owner John Mara, a member of the competition committee. "That will be discussed. I can't tell you I have a lot of hope for that passing. A lot of people feel like there should be a reward for winning your division. I understand it, but I don't necessarily agree with it. If you win 10 or 11 games, I don't think you should have to go on the road to play a team that won seven or eight games."

Said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell: "It's not a new conversation. We've had an awful lot of discussion about over the past several years, and I'm sure it will come up again for discussion. I see the merits of what they're talking about. But I also believe that our playoff system has worked quite well also."

Goodell said that in the past, owners "were focused a lot on that the priority should be win your division, get a home game. And that's what clubs really felt should be the priority."

It's possible sentiment could change after this season, in which a team with a losing record could win the NFC West. No team with a losing record ever has reached the NFL postseason.

"It's a tough question," Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said. "If you're in a very difficult division, it's tough to achieve a great record.... We tend to go back and forth on that from one year to the next."

By Mark Maske  |  December 15, 2010; 8:03 PM ET  | Category:  League Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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