Changes Could be Coming to the Playoffs


The NFL is considering a change to its current playoff seeding system.  A proposal is currently being considered by the competition committee that would base the seedings on record rather than division winners.

Last year, under the current rules, the Giants finished the season at 10-6, second in the NFC East while the Buccaneers finished 9-7, winners of the NFC South.  Because the Bucs had won their division they played host to New York in a first-round playoff matchup despite having won fewer games.

Under the proposed system, that would change.  The team with the better record would be the home team.

The argument for this new system is that it would benefit better teams, especially those playing in tougher divisions.  Teams in weaker divisions, or divisions won by teams with fewer wins, would no longer benefit from competing against lesser opponents.

Then there’s the argument against this new system that says that teams in divisions like the NFC South are playing in overall better divisions because they are more competitive.  A team entering the playoffs with a 9-7 record and a division title aren’t necessarily the beneficiaries of playing against lesser opponents but against more balanced competition within their division.

Based on comments made by Rich McCay, the president of the Falcons, the new seeding system is far from a sure thing to pass.  “There are definitely people on both sides,” McKay said Thursday at the NFL scouting combine, “and I think there are good arguments on both sides.”