Should NFL look to expand its playoffs?

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It's no improvement

Dan Pompei

Chicago Tribune

Expanding the playoff field is a better idea than expanding the regular season to 18 games, but why does the NFL have to do either? The league needs to start thinking more about what makes the best product rather than what makes the most money. More playoff teams will diminish the postseason. It should mean something to make the playoffs. Does the league really want multiple .500 teams in the postseason?

If there were 16 teams in the playoffs one year ago, we would have added the Bears, Cardinals, Titans and Chargers to the playoff mix. The Titans were the only team of the four to finish with a winning record.

The presence of those teams in the playoffs would not have made for a better postseason, but it would have made for a more lucrative one.

dpompei@tribune.com

Fans will stay interested

Chris Perkins

Sun Sentinel

The NFL should definitely expand its playoffs. This is about money and fan interest, and few things create those better than a playoff appearance, or possible playoff appearance. Additional playoff games means more of them on TV; expanded playoffs mean fans in many markets stay attached to their teams longer.

It won't water down the playoffs to allow 14, or even 16, of the 32 teams into the postseason. Sure, a .500 team might make it every year. But last year the Broncos won their division (and a playoff game) with an 8-8 record, and the Giants won the Super Bowl with a 9-7 record.

cperkins@tribune.com

Leave it alone, NFL

Sam Farmer

Los Angeles Times

Remind me again why we should want an expanded NFL playoff field. Is it in the spirit of inclusiveness, to make everybody feel like winners? Is it so the league can milk even more money out of the system, creating pro football's answer to the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl, or the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl?

No, fans don't want an expanded playoff field, just like they didn't want an 18-game regular season. It's troubling enough when a team with a losing record advances to the postseason, the way the Seahawks did two years ago. Leave the regular season as it is, leave the playoffs as they are, and don't even think about growing beyond eight four-team divisions until you're selling out every game in every stadium.

sfarmer@tribune.com

Playoffs should be special

Iliana Limón Romero

Orlando Sentinel

Of course the NFL, television networks and a long list of others could surely profit from more pro football games. Extra playoff games would surely generate high fan interest.

But the playoffs are supposed to be special. The NFL would be in danger of rewarding teams carrying losing regular-season records with playoff bids, seriously diluting the prestige of the postseason. It would also reduce the importance of early regular-season games.

Expanding the NFL season also could be a health risk for players. Players on mediocre teams would be tasked with facing elite franchises one more time, opening the door to more injuries.

ilimon@tribune.com

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