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NFL votes to expand playoffs

Updated March 31, 2020 - 12:46 pm

As expected, NFL owners voted Tuesday to expand the playoff format from 12 to 14 teams beginning in the 2020 season.

The NFL was expected to make the proposal official this week at its annual league meetings in Florida. But the NFL canceled the meeting out of concern for the coronavirus outbreak. As a result, owners held the vote via a conference call on Tuesday.

As part of the new plan, the league also cut down the number of teams that get byes through the first round of the playoffs from four to two, with only the top seed in each conference earning a bye.

According to a press release from the NFL, two additional wild-card teams — one each in the AFC and NFC — will qualify for the playoffs. The No. 1 seed in each conference will receive a bye in the wild-card round. The remaining division champions in each conference with the best records will be seeded 2, 3, and 4, followed by the next three teams per conference, with the best records seeded 5, 6, and 7.

AFC and NFC wild-card games will feature the No. 2 seed hosting the No. 7 seed, the No. 3 seed hosting the No. 6 seed and the No. 4 seed hosting the No. 5 seed.

Wild-card weekend for the 2020 season will consist of three games on Saturday, Jan. 9, and three games on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. ​

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore onTwitter.

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