Good news for fans of mediocre NFL teams, the chances of your team making the postseason just increased as the league’s playoff expansion officially passed on Tuesday. One additional team from each conference will make the playoffs starting next season pushing the number of playoff teams to 14.
Adding an additional playoff team in each conference means only the top seeds in both the AFC and NFC will earn a postseason bye, according to Kevin Patra of NFL.com. Now, with the No. 1 spot earning an even bigger advantage than previous seasons, it could make the final weeks even more important for clubs battling for postseason positioning.
These changes now mean that there will be three sets of wild-card games in each conference, including battles between the No. 2 seed and the No. 7 seed with just the top seed earning byes.
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, according to NFL.com.
It’s worth noting that the last 14 teams to play in the Super Bowl since 2013 all had first-round byes.