As the NFL has continued to evolve over the past few years, expanding the post season and including more teams has been a hot topic of discussion. When thinking about this question, there are a few things to consider on why the NFL should drop this notion.
A prevalent issue throughout the NFL and sports in general is concussions. This past August, the NFL reached a settlement of $765 million for 18,000 retired players suffering from brain related injuries. Currently, the league is combating concussions by penalizing and fining players for hits to the head. In a game of violent nature in which the sole purpose of a defensive player is to bring another man to the ground, there will undoubtedly be more head injuries to come. Extending the post season and creating more games with significant importance is counterproductive to the player safety issues the NFL is trying to address.
Another thing to consider when debating playoff structures is how the current system stands. The NFL, unlike the old BCS system or current MLB system, has a largely successful playoff format. Adding games could create matchups that are less interesting thus diminishing the quality of play. In changing the format, the NFL would have to consider a lot of technicalities such as if there should still be first round byes and where added teams would be chosen from (two teams from each division, 4 wild card teams with the best record, etc). As a whole, changing something that does not need to be fixed could cause fans to gripe and could create unnecessary complications for the league.
We all know that the NFL and other professional sports leagues are in the entertainment business. While there is money to be made in making a post season longer and a benefit of creating “fairness” for previously snubbed teams, extending the post season would be a bad move for the NFL.