The NFL will move to a new playoff structure beginning next season.
Agreed upon in the new collective-bargaining agreement, the new structure will see the NFC and AFC each send seven teams to the postseason, with only one bye per conference. The change should instill hope in teams on the playoff bubble and, hopefully, discourage tanking. Obviously, there is a major financial incentive for the league and its owners.
So, what would last season’s playoff seeding had looked like under the new format?
Take a look:
Here's what last year's NFL playoff picture would have looked like under the new CBA. pic.twitter.com/glgTube9P5
— ESPN (@espn) March 15, 2020
Neither the Pittsburgh Steelers nor the Los Angeles Rams looked like legitimate Super Bowl threats last season, but both teams nevertheless would have had opportunities to make deep playoff runs. And hey, the Tennessee Titans proved teams who barely squeak into the playoffs should be taken seriously.
The new CBA brought many other changes, including the arrival of a 17-game schedule in 2021. The new deal also might prove awfully important for the New England Patriots.