The League

Zach Leibowitz
Sideline Reporter

Zach Leibowitz

A former sideline reporter for ESPN

NFL not the NHL


I wouldn't touch the NFL playoff system. It's a long, grueling regular season as it is. The top teams play the best football and earn a well deserved bye. That's the luxury that should come with regular season success. There are 16 teams in each conference. Six make the playoffs. Keep it that way.

In the NBA and NHL, more than half of the teams automatically make the playoffs just for being in the league. Trust me, there's something much more respectable about fighting for the final wild card spot in the NFL with a 9-7 record. Sure beats the 39-43 kind of record that earns you an 8th seed in the NBA. Since 2002, every NFC team has made the playoffs at least once with the exceptions of Detroit and Arizona. Most have earned post-season spots multiple times in the last six seasons.

The NFL landscape is one injury or freak play from changing overnight. There are certainly no guarantees who will make the playoffs in any season and it's better that way.

It should be a hard earned victory just to make the playoffs. Don't saturate the system. It can easily be taken advantage of and frankly, teams at .500 or worse shouldn't be in the playoffs. That's what you're risking by increasing the number of playoff teams to seven or eight as proposed.

Keep the system as it is and force teams to battle it out on the field for the right to earn one of the six precious conference playoff spots.

Let the odds be against the teams to make the playoffs. Challenge the teams to defy them.

By Zach Leibowitz  |  October 16, 2008; 10:25 AM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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as long as the redskins aren't boxed out because of the tough division they are in

Posted by: arlin from arlington | October 16, 2008 3:10 PM

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