SPORTS
12/12/2012 08:14 pm ET

NFL Playoffs Change: Roger Goodell Mentions Expansion To 14- Or 16-Team Playoff Format

He's talking about playoffs? Playoffs?

Making his first public remarks since the suspensions he handed down against four players connected to the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal were overturned by his predecesor, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell managed to briefly change the subject by mentioning a possible change the league's playoff format.

Goodell, addressing reporters after an owners' meeting near Dallas, suggested the league could consider expanding the playoffs to include as many as 16 teams, according to various reports.

The NFL playoffs currently include 12 teams, with each division winner gaining a bid along with the two Wild Card entrants in each league. In the current format, the two teams with the best records in each conference gain a bye in the opening round of the playoffs. Expansion to 14 or 16 teams would not only allow lesser teams to play for a Super Bowl berth but it would also further complicate the road of the top teams.

Is this a good thing? Entering Week 15 of the 2012 season, the New York Jets (6-7) probably think such a change can't come fast enough. On the other hand, the Atlanta Falcons (11-2) probably wouldn't want this to cost them -- or their future selves -- a bye week.

With only 32 teams in the league, Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com believes such playoff expansions "would erode some of the special feeling of the NFL playoffs."

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk, meanwhile, sees a 16-team playoff field as a harbinger of an even greater change, noting that "perhaps the NFL will eventually decide to fill vacancies in L.A. and London via expansion."

What do you think? Is it a better or worse idea than eliminating kickoffs? Could Goodell have thrown out this shiny distraction to take the spotlight off Paul Tagliabue's reversal of his suspensions?

Reaction to Goodell's comment came fast and furious on Twitter. Here are some notable reactions.

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