NFL Friday Night Games May Be Part of Playoffs Expansion

Thursday, 23 Jan 2014 11:12 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league is seriously thinking of expanding the number of playoffs, which could include Friday and Monday night contests.

In an interview with the NFL Network on Monday, Goodell said he did not believe a change would not happen until the 2015 season, but a vote on the change could happen this season.

The expansion, Goodell said, would likely increase the playoffs teams from 12 to 14 teams, seven in each division and eliminating the bye week for the conference champion with the second best record.

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"The big discussion would be the first weekend, the wild card weekend of the playoffs, how would you structure that?" Goodell told the NFL Network. "Three on Saturday, three on Sunday? We're looking at every alternative, and I think that's what the membership ultimately is going to have to decide. Would you play a game on Friday night, two on Saturday, two on Sunday and another on Monday?"

Michael David Smith, of NBC Sports Pro Football Talk blog, said he found the Friday playoff game proposal "strange."

"Monday Night Football has become so ingrained a part of American football that it makes perfect sense to have playoff games on Monday nights as well," Smith said. "An NFL playoff game on a Friday night, however, would seem just plain strange. The best format for a six-game playoff weekend might be two games on Saturday, three on Sunday and one on Monday."

Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said earlier this month that he would favor adding two teams from each conference and eliminating all the first-week byes, according to KESN-FM ESPN Radio.

The Cowboys have finished 8-8 this season and has missed the playoffs on the final week of the regular season for three straight seasons.

"From the standpoint of looking at how exciting it is for a city or a community to be involved in the playoffs and the fact that you can have a team that might have literally operated at .500 or in that area ... you can have that team win the Super Bowl," Jones told KESN-FM. "That makes a big case for adding a couple of more cities or communities that have NFL teams to the playoffs."

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