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NFL 'looking at' expanding playoffs to 14 or 16 teams

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league is looking into expanding the NFL playoffs from 12 to either 14 or 16 teams.

The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

In his press conference today NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league is looking into expanding the NFL playoffs to include either 14 or 16 teams. The current playoff model features 12 teams, six from each conference with each conference sending four division winners and two Wild Cards to the playoffs.

The NFL expanded to a 12-team playoff prior to the 1990 season. Before that the league used a 10-team format that was instituted in 1978, the same year the league expanded to a 16-game season. That format featured three division winners and two Wild Card teams in each conference.

In recent years the NFL has also discussed expanding the season from 16 games to an 18-game season. That possible change was brought up again on Tuesday, but Goodell said the owners would not push for an 18-game season, unless it was done "the right way."

There was no discussion on what either a 14-team or 16-team playoff would look like but here's an idea of how it would look right now:

NFC
1. Atlanta Falcons (11-2)
2. San Francisco 49ers (9-3-1)
3. Green Bay Packers (9-4)
4. New York Giants (8-5)
5. Seattle Seahawks (8-5)
6. Chicago Bears (8-5)
7. Washington Redskins (7-6)
8. Dallas Cowboys (7-6)

AFC
1. Houston Texans (11-2)
2. New England Patriots (10-3)
3. Denver Broncos (10-3)
4. Baltimore Ravens (9-4)
5. Indianapolis Colts (9-4)
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6)
7. Cincinnati Bengals (7-6)
8. New York Jets (6-7)