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McKay: League should revisit playoff seeding system

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Rich McKay, Atlanta Falcons president and co-chair of the NFL Competition Committee, said Wednesday at the league's owners meetings that he would like to see playoff teams re-seeded, with division winners not necessarily granted a home game.

McKay said similar proposals in the past have received upwards of 18 votes, but not the 24 needed by owners to pass a measure.

When asked if he believed the possibility of a .500 or worse team winning a division would lead to future consideration of altering playoff seeding, McKay said: "I hope so. I've brought it up twice and never had real success getting it passed. I think it something we should consider."

McKay said he has always supported re-seeding spots 3 through 6 based on record, but he realizes not all share his views. Several owners believe there should be a significant reward for winning one's division, with that belief grounded in the traditions of the game and a desire to keep a focus on divisional rivalries.

"I don't disagree with that," McKay said, "but (re-seeding) is something we should keep talking about."

Playoff seeding is an issue this season because the winner of the NFC West could be 8-8 or 7-9, while a team with 10 or 11 wins might have to go on the road.

"I see the merits of what they're talking about," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. "But I also believe that our playoff system has worked quite well. ... We were focused a lot on (whether or not) the priority should be win your division, get a home game. That's what clubs really felt should be the priority."

The two teams most likely hurt by the existing rules are the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles, who are tied for the NFC East lead at 9-4. The St. Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks are tied for the NFC West lead at 6-7, with the San Francisco 49ers one game behind at 5-8.

Giants co-owner John Mara said he understands the logic behind the way things are done, "though I don't necessarily agree with it."

"For me, a team that wins their division with a .500 record or worse shouldn't necessarily get a home game over a team that wins 10 or 11 games," Mara said. "I can't tell you I have a lot of hope about that passing. It's been discussed in the past and never gone anywhere."

Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said he didn't have a stance.

"It's a tough question," he said. "You keep having to go back and forth with that every year."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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