Raiders' chance to end playoff drought would improve with NFL proposal

Brian Witt
NBC Sports BayArea

More isn't always better, but in the Raiders' case, it nearly would have been.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the NFL reportedly is considering a proposal that would expand the postseason structure to add a seventh playoff team to each conference.

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If the proposal passes, only one team per conference would receive a first-round bye in the playoffs, as opposed to the top-two seeds under the current format. With the No. 1 seed getting a bye, the No. 2 seed would face the No. 7 seed, No. 3 would face No. 6 and No. 4 would face No. 5 in the wild-card round, with the higher seed playing at home.

Had the proposal been in effect this past season, the Raiders still would have missed out on the postseason, but just barely. At 7-9, Jon Gruden's club finished a full game behind the 8-8 Pittsburgh Steelers, who ultimately would have been the seventh team and final team in the AFC playoffs.

Adding to the excruciating factor, one-third of the Raiders' losses came by four or fewer points, including two in the final three weeks of the regular season. If they end up winning those nailbiters, that might have been enough to sneak into the postseason under the new proposed format. On the other hand, Pittsburgh lost its final three games of the season, including two by one score, so the Steelers could make the same argument.

[RELATED: Report: Growing sense teams could trade for Raiders QB Carr]

What's done is done, however, and the Raiders now have missed out on the playoffs three years running. Adding another playoff spot automatically would increase their chances of ending that drought in their first season in Las Vegas, but then again, it also would the playoff chances for the other 14 teams in the AFC.

Raiders' chance to end playoff drought would improve with NFL proposal originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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