The NFL owners voted to officially approve the expansion of the postseason to 14 teams starting in the 2020 season.
The decision was made during a conference call Tuesday that took place in lieu of the NFL League Annual Meeting, which was canceled earlier this month as part of the league’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
— NFL (@NFL) March 31, 2020
The expanded format, agreed to in the new CBA, added one team per conference, creating a total of six wild card slots. According to league data, since 1990, when the playoffs expanded from 10 to 12 teams, 44 of the 60 teams that would have claimed the seventh seed had winning records, including 10 different teams with 10 wins. Only the 1990 Dallas Cowboys would have made the playoffs with a losing record during that span in a 14-team format.
Adding an additional playoff team at each conference means that only No.1 seeds in the AFC and NFC will get a postseason goodbye, a huge plus for the best club every year.
Changes are made before the start of the new season in the NFL
The move to 14 playoff teams means 43.7 percent of all NFL teams would qualify for the postseason, compared to 33.3 percent in MLB (33.3), 51.6 in NHL, and 53.3 in NBA.
Other possible changes for 2020, including proposed rule adjustments, are currently expected to be voted on at the league meeting currently scheduled for mid-May, Judy Battista of the NFL Network previously reported.