As the Steelers sit at 7-0, the NFL is considering expanding the playoff playground from seven teams to eight teams per conference.
Just for this incredibly bizarre season.
That means if the Steelers get their only playoff match at AFC, there might not even be a good-bye game to enjoy.
Before you get too impatient, here̵7;s just a recommended contingency plan if the tournament loses the games – or the whole game week – because of a coronavirus outbreak.
Backup, if needed, will take 4 league champions and 4 wild tag teams from each AFC and NFC.
The playoff seed will be 1 vs 8, 2 vs 7, 3 vs 6, 4 vs 5. https://t.co/bSHoU1OAKd
– Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) November 2, 2020
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was on the playing committee. He said the team is preparing themselves for contingencies if the pandemic reduces their ability to play a regular 16-game, 17-week schedule.
“We had a conference call (Monday) and talked about some important things regarding the playoff structure and seed,” said Tomlin. “If something should grow – and that’s the key – if something should evolve, we’re just doing our due diligence.”
Tomlin is in a predicament. His organization is on the AFC top seed list. His organization has barely been selected as the last seed in the last two seasons. And he is on the committee. So I appreciate that he feels the need to come up with such a pointless answer.
I don’t have such burdens. So let me just say, I hate this idea.
It is not necessary. It’s not fair for the best teams in the tournament. It is logically inconsistent. And it’s only considered on Park Avenue from a revenue standpoint.
If the NFL loses games from the regular season TV deal, they’ll want to make up for them with featured playoffs featuring their favorite post-season games from each conference.
But football’s impact on the balance of competition is largely inconsistent and frankly outdated. In fact, from the outset, I’ve been fanning the idea of expanding into seven teams per conference this season.
Hey, you watched 8-8 Steelers last year. Was it the team that shouted “deserve a playoff” at Week 17? Because they will be the last entry of AFC in 2019.
What about 9-7 Los Angeles Rams? They will be the seventh team on the NFC side.
Now we are talking about expanding one more area. Geez, the dreaded NFC East could have two teams in the post-season frame if we keep pushing with this idea.
The goal appears to be to widen the scope of playoff participation because of the potential for coronavirus destruction of regular season games. That could affect the competitive balance so much that the eighth team could be disqualified from the competition after the season, against the seventh team.
Strong. I hear your argument.
For example, in previous years, if the 7-8 Steelers were eliminated from the qualifiers because they were unable to play against the 5-10 Browns in Week 17 and as a result the 8-7 Dolphins made it when they scheduled . To fight division champion Buffalo Bills in the canceled final week, we will be furious.
Gotcha. But consider this.
Let’s say the virus will appear for two weeks of the season after Thanksgiving. And 13-1 Steelers received AFC’s top seed as they fought like frantically for the win against captain 13-1.
But now because a less trivial number eight seed is involved, there is no goodbye and the Steelers face 7-7 Raiders in the # 1 vs. 8 match. There are almost no fans in front. . In January. At Heinz Field.
That was like a minimum reward for winning the top seed.
Furthermore, does the tournament really want a top seed captain, the Seattle Seahawks or the Steelers team to be at increased risk of discomfort, injury or coronavirus exposure?
We are talking about the top team of each convention and star players like Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson or Ben Roethlisberger. They will have to go through an additional match potentially injuring, escaping early or spreading covid-19.
Why? So just one .500 Browns or Detroit Lions team in attendance?
That contrasts with the competitive balance of bringing the best teams to the Super Bowl.
If any year, this is the season to shorten the playoff playground because of the coronavirus threat to favorite contenders. And by favorites, I – of course – mean the top TV draws.
Or create a play-in round like NHL did in its bubble. After all, that’s great for Canada Montreal … Anyway, keep going.
All this discussion, Tomlin asserts, is a “broken glass in an emergency” conversation.
“Our focus is on being productive,” says Tomlin. “Not just about staying clean and doing the things that we need to follow from a common point of view, but also keeping an eye on what’s happening globally. Our desire is to play every football match ”.
Agreed. Avoiding any additional knockout matches is also part of that goal.
At least I have hope. I bet Tomlin too.
Tim Benz is an employee of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Tim at email@example.com or via Twitter. All tweets can be reposted. All emails may be published unless specified otherwise.
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