The NFL playoff bracket underwent changes this offseason but it still needs fixing. Here’s how the NFL could improve its current playoff bracket.
Here is how the current bracket holds up:
2020 NFL Playoff bracket – As it stands.
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There are changes that could be made, however. The NFL playoffs are in no way predictable as we often see major upsets (Titans vs. Patriots and Saints vs. Vikings just last year), but that doesn’t mean they can’t get better.
Division Winners Should Not Be Guaranteed a Playoff Spot
It’s sad to think about how a 6 or 7 win NFC East team will make the playoffs over a potentially 8 or 9 win Cardinals, Bears, or Rams team.
The simple solution to this is to remove the importance of a division title. Not only would this mean that the best seven teams in each conference would certainly make the playoffs, but it would also make for more entertaining playoff games.
After all, do we really want to see the Buccaneers thrash the Washington Football team when instead we could get a much more decisive matchup. Here’s how both conferences would look if division winners were removed:
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Buffalo Bills
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Tennessee Titans
- Baltimore Ravens
- Miami Dolphins
- Cleveland Browns
- Green Bay Packers
- New Orleans Saints
- Seattle Seahawks
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Los Angeles Rams
- Chicago Bears
- Arizona Cardinals
Although not much changes for the AFC, there are major shakeups in the NFC. Firstly, all three of the Bears, Rams, and Cardinals would make the playoffs. Secondly, the Bucs would have a much tougher opponent in the Rams who they have already lost to.
Additionally, a division winner also gets home field advantage in the first round. That is a massive advantage and in some cases it should be completely negated.
Thus, remove the notion that division winners are assured a playoff spot.