According to ESPN and other sources, the NFL playoffs could change as early as next season.
As part of the ongoing collective bargaining talks, there is a real possibility that seven teams from each conference could make the post-season instead of the current six.
Only two teams would receive byes and Wild Card weekend would include six games instead of four.
How It Would Look
If this had been instituted this past season, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Rams would have made the playoffs and the matchups would have looked like this:
AFC: #1 Baltimore (bye), #2 Kansas City v #7 Pittsburgh, #3 New England v #6 Tennessee, #4 Houston v #5 Buffalo
NFC: #1 San Francisco (bye), #2 Green Bay v #7 LA Rams, #3 New Orleans v #6 Minnesota, #4 Philadelphia v #5 Seattle
As you can see, the #3 v #6 and #4 v #5 games would remain the same, but the #2 seed would have to play the #7 seed rather than getting the week off.
Baseball Considering It Too
The proposal comes not long after Major League Baseball floated the idea of adding two more teams to its post-season.
Currently baseball has six division winners and four Wild Card teams, with a rumoured two more Wild Cards potentially added for a total of 12.
MLB has the lowest percentage of teams making the post-season when compared to other major competitions in the US and Australia, with the NFL second lowest.
The % Of Teams In Post-Season
50% or more
NBA: 30 teams, 16 make post-season = 53.3%
NHL: 31 teams, 16 make post-season = 51.6%
NRL: 16 teams, 8 make post-season = 50%
Between 40 and 50%
AFL: 18 teams, 8 make post-season = 44%
NFL (proposed): 32 teams, 14 make post-season = 43.8%
MLB (proposed): 30 teams, 12 make post-season = 40%
Less than 40%
NFL (current): 32 teams, 12 make post-season = 37.5%
MLB (current): 30 teams, 10 make post-season = 30%