NFL: ‘Serious consideration’ to expanded playoffs

Could the NFL expand its playoff format? Roger Goodell says it's under consideration.

(USATSI)
More NFL: Coaching change tracker | Playoff Bracket Last week, Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said that he would be in favor of expanding the playoffs. On Tuesday, commissioner Roger Goodell said that playoff expansion could be in the NFL's future.

"That is under serious consideration, " he said during an interview with former Associated Press White House correspondent Ben Feller (via NFL. com). "We think it's one of the great things about the NFL, besides the fact that it's unscripted. Every team and their fans start the season with hope. You mentioned the fact that for 11 straight years we've had a team go from last to first, that's unique to professional football and the NFL, that doesn't happen in other sports. And that's because we have such a competitive league and we want to keep that. "

 

Another popular topic on the heels of the 12-4 49ers having to travel to Hoth to face the 8-7-1 Packers in sub-zero temperatures last weekend: Playoff reseeding based on records. Of course, three of the four visiting teams won during wild-card weekend (and the other, Kansas City, blew a 28-point lead), which sort of makes the point moot. Still, Goodell addressed that too. "I don't think there is momentum for that, " the commissioner said. "I would probably disagree. There may be momentum in the media, that happens when you see San Francisco going to Green Bay, but one of the premises we start with every season is that your first objective is to win the division. And when you win the division, you should have a home game. "

The bottom line (after money, obviously) is making the game as entertaining as possible, something the NFL had great success with during the entirety of the 2013 regular season.

"The races we had this past season, we had 16 games every weekend, the final weekend we have division games, so your opponent is a division opponent and 13 of those 16 games had playoff implications on the final day of the season, " Goodell said.

 

"That's extraordinary and we want to keep that. If we could increase that, and again this is about believing in better, can you make it better, can you make those (division) races better by adding two more teams? That's compelling and that's what we're looking at. "

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Girardi: Rivera in outfield under consideration


NEW YORK – Mariano Rivera has amassed a file 652 saves, has been a member of five World Series championship groups and is almost universally acknowledged as the best closer baseball ever has known.

This season, he has enjoyed a career victory lap afforded few gamers within the historical past of any sport.

But there may be still one unfulfilled wish on Rivera’s bucket checklist, and on Thursday, he moved nearer to making it a actuality: Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he would significantly contemplate taking part in Rivera in heart subject this weekend in Houston in considered one of his membership’s final three video games.

“Completely,” Girardi stated when asked if he was entertaining the prospect of allowing Rivera to attain one more baseball dream. “However not right here, as a result of these games are nonetheless meaningful for Tampa.”

The Yankees have been officially eradicated from playoff contention Wednesday night, but have one more house recreation remaining with the Rays, who’re nonetheless battling the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers for one of the two AL wild-card spots.

However with neither the Yankees nor the Astros enjoying for anything this weekend, Girardi mentioned he would possibly allow Rivera to play an inning or two within the outfield.

“You recognize, I don’t understand how I would do it,” Girardi mentioned. “It’s something I must speak to him about. It is a situation the place I might carry him in within the eighth to play the outfield, after which have him close it out within the ninth, if we have that opportunity.”

All through his career, Rivera has loved shagging flies in the outfield as the Yankees took batting practice. In actual fact, it was in the act of chasing a BP fly ball in Kansas Metropolis, Mo., in May 2012, that Rivera tore the ACL in his proper knee, costing him much of last season.

In 2011, he told a TELEVISION interviewer, “I might like to play center discipline not less than for one inning or one out. I told my manager. I do not think it will happen, however I hope so.”

Now, it may, though when Girardi’s phrases were relayed to Rivera earlier than Thursday night time’s sport, the 43-year-old seemed less eager than he would have been earlier than the damage.

“It might be something good, if I allow it, though,” Rivera stated. “One factor I’ll inform you – if I can do it, I’ll do it. If I can not do it, I won’t be making a fool of myself there. I’m knowledgeable. This isn’t a joke for me. That is critical.”

One of many quirks of Minute Maid Park in Houston is a 30-diploma rise in heart area known as Tal’s Hill, though it’s 436 feet from home plate. But Rivera’s considerations seemed to have more to do together with his bodily situation.

“I put within the request means back, a very long time ago, and now my knees will not be the same,” he stated. “This is not a sport for me. I do not understand how you guys are taking it but this is not a sport for me. It is something that I respect. We’ll see what happens. If I am OKAY, if I can do it, I’ll do it, if not, that is positive with me.”