Report: NFL favors Monday night game for playoffs


Momentum continues to build toward expanded playoffs, possibly as early as 2015.

With the offseason underway, Around The League explores what's next for all 32 teams.

AFC East
» Bills | Dolphins | Jets | Patriots
AFC North
» Bengals | Browns | Ravens | Steelers
AFC South
» Colts | Jaguars | Texans | Titans
AFC West
» Broncos | Chargers | Chiefs | Raiders
NFC East
» Cowboys | Eagles | Giants | Redskins
NFC North
» Bears | Lions | Packers | Vikings
NFC South
» Buccaneers | Falcons | Panthers | Saints
NFC West
» Cardinals | 49ers | Rams | Seahawks

In a January interview with NFL Media's Rich Eisen, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he didn't believe expansion would happen in 2014, but that owners could vote to add two playoff teams in 2015 -- one in each conference. During the discussion, Goodell mentioned one issue could be the format for games that occur during the opening weekend of the postseason.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that the league currently appears to favor playing one Monday night playoff game, two on Saturday and three Sunday games, according to a source with knowledge of the deliberations.

As Goodell previously mentioned, having a Monday night game during Wild Card Weekend could add scheduling stumbling blocks for the following Divisional Weekend Round that would need to be overcome.

The owners meet March 23-26 in Orlando, Fla., and expanding the playoffs will be discussed. The measure would need support from at least 24 of the 32 owners to pass.

Critics of expanding playoffs will contend that adding an extra team dilutes the importance of the regular-season games. The obvious counter to that is that it also makes the No. 1 overall seed in each conference more valuable while adding the excitement of two more playoff games. 

Owners are likely to be smitten with the opportunity to add the type of television revenue that comes with two extra playoff games.

Expanded playoffs are a locomotive barreling forward. Only a large force of dissenting NFL decision-makers would seem to be able to derail the concept. How long the changes will take and the format being utilized appear to be the most pressing questions.

The latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast" discusses the top 101 free agents and forecasts the offseasons of the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs.