NFL playoff expansion would be “a dumb idea,” according to Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen.
Allen was reacting to speculation that the NFL may add more teams to the playoffs. At Wednesday’s owners’ meeting, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league would spend the next few months looking at the idea of NFL playoff expansion.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Allen argued the idea of more teams in the postseason games would undermine the league itself:
“It’s stupid. I think it’s a dumb idea. The reason our league is so much better than other leagues, I think, is because of that competition. Every game means something. There are 162 games in baseball and you’re like, ‘Ehhh.’ No one really watches until the end, right? Basketball, same way. There’s no real significance on every game. And I think you damage the sport if an 8-8 team [has a greater playoff chance]. You know what I mean? Now our games become less significant each week if you know, like, ‘Oh, I can still lose half my games and sneak into the playoffs.’ “
Currently, 12 of the 32 NFL teams make the playoffs each season. All eight division champions qualify automatically, while two wild cards from each conference also make it through. This system has been in place since 1990; previously, only ten teams made the playoffs.
On Wednesday, Goodell said the league was considering adding two to four playoff teams. If the latter is chosen, that would mean half of the league’s 32 teams could qualify.
As it happens, Goodell’s proposal could serve Allen’s own Vikings team well – Minnesota are currently 7-6 and locked in a battle for an NFC playoff spot – but Allen still prefers the league as it is:
“With all these changes, it’s not necessarily always a good thing. I know it probably is for owners. They make more money. And TV and all that good stuff. But at some point, the identity of our league and what it stands on and why it’s so good is because every game means something.”
Do you agree with Jared Allen about NFL playoff expansion? Would 16-team playoffs cheapen the NFL’s image and reputation?