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Report: NFL considering adding 1 playoff team per conference

A huge change might come from the new CBA.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

The NFL world was hit with a bombshell on Wednesday afternoon, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that there may be a large scale change to the NFL postseason bracket starting in 2020. According to the report, a seventh team will be added to each conference’s individual playoff bracket. The first-round byes will be reduced from one to two, with the second seed in each conference having to host the seventh seeded team.

This is a fundamental change to the NFL playoff system. Allowing another wild card team allows each team more margin for error in order to make the playoffs, while the reduction of the byes means less margin for error for the best teams in the league.

These changes are yet to be confirmed, and may not go into effect if the NFL Players Association and the owners do not agree to it within the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement.

This move would be good for the Lions, as it increases their chances of sneaking into a wild card spot. It also causes more variability in the playoffs themselves, which is better for a team who is not likely to enter the season as top playoff favorites.


Per a follow up by Schefter, an additional regular season game may also be added, along with the removal one one preseason game. This would create a three game preseason alongside and 17 game regular season.

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