Noting that “nothing energizes fans like the chance to see their team qualify for the playoffs and compete for the Super Bowl,” NFL clubs voted on Tuesday to expand the postseason from 12 to 14 teams, effective with the 2020 season.
Under the new set-up, two additional Wild Card teams – one each in the American and National Football Conferences – will qualify for the playoffs. The No. 1 seed in each conference will receive a bye in the Wild Card round, while AFC and NFC Wild Card games will have the 2 seed host the 7 seed, the 3 seed host the 6 seed, and the 4 seed host the 5 seed.
(I haven’t written this much about seeds since The Last Ship Season 4.)
The expanded Wild Card Weekend will consist of three games on Saturday, January 9, and three games on Sunday, January 10, 2021. CBS will broadcast one of the additional Sunday match-ups as well as livestream it on CBS All Access and produce a separate simulcast of said game for Nickelodeon, tailored for a younger audience.
Another of the added Wild Card games will simultaneously air on NBC, its new streaming service Peacock, and Telemundo.
The NFL last expanded its playoffs for the 1990 season, when it increased the field from 10 to 12.