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1/7/08 12:05 PM NOTE: I'll admit as a diehard Eagles fan, seeing my team sent home during the playoffs led me to suggest the ridiculous. I'm sure Browns fans can relate.
The National Football League is currently the only major sports league that rewards top teams with a one round playoff bye. However, it has recently been discussed what the NFL would be like if two teams from each conference were added to make each team play the first week of the playoffs. Teams would fight equally as hard to face teams such as the Texans or Browns rather than the Jaguars or Chargers as they would a first round bye. This system would create greater competition throughout the year and lead teams who begin the season on a poor streak to remain optimistic and not simply fall back in hopes of a higher draft pick. All but eight teams would have remained in the playoff hunt late into the year, creating an overally more competitive playoff race. Teams with worse records would be admitted leading some to argue the level of play in the playoffs would be lowered, but in this scenario, the four teams admitted all remained competitive, knocking off multiple higher seeds throughout the regular season.
Patriots (16-0) vs. Texans (8-8)- Houston would have received their first playoff berth
Colts (13-3) vs. Browns (10-6)- Browns return to the playoffs in this midwest showdown
Chargers (11-5) vs. Titans (10-6)
Steelers (10-6) vs. Jaguars (11-5)
Packers (13-3) vs. Eagles (8-8)- Rematch of the 2004 Divisional Playoff game that included the famous "4th and 26" play
Seahawks (10-6) vs. Redskins (9-7)
Buccaneers (9-7) vs. Giants (10-6)