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Beyond The Mic: Saints GM Mickey Loomis Likes Idea Of NFL Playoff Expansion, I Don’t

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis has been rather open with the media this week in Mobile. As he scouts out the talent at Senior Bowl, he’s addressed the media’s questions on a number of topics, including playoff expansion.

The NFL is exploring the idea of expanding the 12-team playoff field to 14. If the league added an extra playoff team in each conference, that would mean only 1 team in the NFC and 1 in the AFC would receive a bye week, something Loomis opposes.

“There’s no byes in the NBA,” said Loomis, who also serves as head of basketball operations for the New Orleans Pelicans. “That’s just the way I feel about it.”

How does he feel about NFL playoff expansion in general?

“I just like the fact that we have more events. I think these playoff games are great events for the city, the communities that they’re in,” explained Loomis. “I think it’s good for the organization. The first measure of success is making the playoffs.”

How successful is a 7-9 team that makes the postseason? If you believe the notion of, “You are what your record says you are”, than adding another playoff team increases the possibility of losing teams reaching the playoffs.

Before you argue that the only way a 7-9 team reaches the postseason is if they win their division, and expanding the playoffs would only add a wild card team, let’s examine all the 8-8 playoff teams of the past.

Under the current playoff format (6 teams in each conference), 9 teams have reached the postseason with an 8-8 record. The 1990 New Orleans Saints, 1991 New York Jets, 1999 Dallas Cowboys, 1999 Detroit Lions, 2004 Minnesota Vikings, 2004 St. Louis Rams, 2006 NY Giants, 2008 Chargers, and 2011 Denver Broncos. Of the 9, only the ’08 Chargers, and ’11 Broncos were division winners. Seven 8-8 teams under the current format made the playoffs as a wild-card squad. Adding another wild card team only increases the chances of average to below average football teams being rewarded with a playoff berth.

Playoff expansion is about one thing. Money. Two more playoff games equals more revenue for the league. When is enough enough? If it comes to the NFL making more money, the answer is never.

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