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Should we change the playoff structure?

MJD
Shutdown Corner

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A small bit of news about the possibility of shaking up the NFL playoffs was buried, somewhat ironically, by the awesomeness of the playoffs themselves. To me, that suggests that the playoffs don't need changed, but what the hell, I'm open to new ideas.

Roger Goodell wants to make it so that in the first round of the playoffs, division winners wouldn't automatically have a home game. If they played a wildcard team that had a better record, the wild card team would get the game in their own crib.

The idea is that it gives teams more incentive to play hard throughout the end of the regular season, so we don't end up seeing something like a Charlie Batch vs. Jim Sorgi matchup in Week 17.

For example, this year, the Bucs couldn't have sat on their hands in weeks 16 and 17, knowing they had their division sewn up. If they wanted to play a home game in the first round, they'd have had to take the field in Week 17 with a line-up a with a little more firepower than was brought to the table by Luke McCown, Michael Bennett, and Chad Lucas.

I'm not opposed to this idea, necessarily. It makes perfect sense, and a team with a better record probably deserves a home game.

However, if it was put to a vote, I'd vote no, and here's why: If there's a coach out there who saw the Colts and Bucs tank the end of this season, and saw the Giants put forth a gargantuan effort with nothing to play for in Week 17, and then saw what happened in the playoffs, and that coach is still dumb enough to be letting his players collect rust over the last two weeks of the season, then I'm opposed to the league stepping in and saving this coach from his own idiocy.

If this year's postseason didn't hammer home the "tanking is bad" message for a coach, then he deserves a savage beatdown in the playoffs next year.

• Roger Goodell Considering Changing NFL Playoff Seeding Structure / Larry Brown Sports
• Commiss Considers Playoff Shakeup / NY Post

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