More is less after NFL adds two playoff teams

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Andrew Whitworth, Jared Goff
(Photo: Parker Waters)

The NFL’s move to expand the playoffs from 12 to 14 teams, has flown under radar.

And for good reason.

America has much bigger concerns than a professional sports league diluting its product in order to charge the broadcast networks more money to show it.

But there’s no doubt the NFL is looking more and more like the National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association.

That is not good.

In the new format, seven teams from each conference will make the playoffs. Only the number one seeds will get a bye. Everyone else will play on the first weekend.

Pardon me while I yawn.

This season, allowing that extra team into the postseason mix would have put the 8-8 Steelers and the 9-7 Rams in the playoffs.

The Steelers stumbled around all season when they lost quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to injury.

The Rams were one of the biggest disappointments of the season.

Both would have made it though.

Not good.

Pittsburgh would have played the 12-4 Chiefs in the first round of the playoffs. The Chiefs, with a point differential of plus-143, would have played a team with a point differential of minus-14. A bloodbath was likely.

That’s entertainment?

In the NFC, the second-seeded Packers, who won 13 games including 10 games in the conference, would have played the Rams, who stumbled to seven wins inside the NFC.

So, the Chiefs, terrific all season, would only gain the advantage of hosting the Steelers in the first round.

We know what the NFL will say.

In 2005, the 6th seeded Steelers won the Super Bowl, a feat repeated five years later in the NFC by the 6th seeded Packers.

So what?

One of the best things about college football is that the regular season still means something. Even that will one day go to eight teams in the FBS playoffs. It is a good business decision, but a decision that also produces bad football.

This season, college football had three very good teams. The fourth, Oklahoma, was humiliated by LSU in the Peach Bowl. The game was over by halftime. The Sooners would likely not have faired much better against No. 2 Ohio State or No. 3 Clemson.

The best teams LSU played all season were Auburn and Florida. The Gators, with two losses, didn’t get a sniff in the playoffs.

More games mean more money, but let’s be sure about this, too. It means more bad football.

In January, assuming we have a football season, you’ll be watching more playoff football.

There’s no guarantee it will be quality.

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Ed Daniels

Ed Daniels

WGNO Sports Director/106.1 FM

Ed is a New Orleans native, born at Baptist Hospital. He graduated Rummel High School, class of 1975, and subsequently graduated from Loyola University. Ed started in TV in 1977 as first sports intern at WVUE Channel 8. He became Sports Director at KPLC TV Channel 7 in Lake Charles in 1980. In 1982 he was hired as sports reporter…

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