Patriots

NFL enters new world in 2020 by approving expanded playoffs, going to one bye per conference

From the NFL:

NFL clubs voted today to expand the postseason by two teams beginning with the 2020 season. Expanding the NFL postseason was addressed in the new NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Today's vote during a league meeting held remotely follows the recommendation of the Competition Committee, Management Council Executive Committee and Media Committee on increasing the number of playoff teams from 12 to 14. Two additional Wild Card teams – one each in the American and National Football Conferences – will qualify for the playoffs.

CBS will broadcast one additional Wild Card game on January 10 with kickoff at approximately 4:40 p.m. ET. The game will also be available via a livestream on CBS All Access. Additionally, as part of CBS' coverage, a separately produced telecast of the game will air on Nickelodeon, tailored for a younger audience. NBC, its new streaming service Peacock, as well as Telemundo will all broadcast an additional Wild Card game on January 10 with kickoff at approximately 8:15 p.m. ET. ​

Wild Card Weekend for the 2020 season will consist of three games on Saturday, January 9, and three games on Sunday, January 10, 2021. ​

​The NFL last expanded the playoffs for the 1990 season, increasing from 10 to 12 the number of teams to qualify for the postseason. Since 1990, at least four new teams have qualified for the playoffs that missed the postseason the year before – a streak of 30 consecutive seasons.​

Seedings/first round (2019 AFC seeds used for example)

1. Bye (Ravens)

2. Chiefs
7. Steelers

3. Patriots
6. Titans

4. Texans
5. Bills

Additional news via the NFL: the league is, at this point, planning for a full season, and for the schedule to be released at the latest by May 9, which is three weeks later than normal.

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