The student news sites of Edmond Memorial High School.

Ruff Draft

The student news sites of Edmond Memorial High School.

Ruff Draft

The student news sites of Edmond Memorial High School.

Ruff Draft


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Is the new NFL format working?

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This year’s Green Bay Packers victory shows the validity of the NFL’s bracket four years.

 In 2020, the NFL reworked the playoffs to include two more teams, creating the chance for a No. 7 seed to play in the playoffs. This year the Green Bay Packers defeated the Dallas Cowboys to become the first No. 7 seed in NFL history to win a playoff game. After this historic victory, it can now be determined that this format adds excitement.

No fan hopes to watch an unfair matchup unless it is their team winning. This is the main issue that arises with the expanded seedings. Historically, in all second seed versus seventh-seed match-ups, the seventh-seed has lost by more than eight points per game. Without the Packers’ recent win, that average would be almost 14 points in these first round games. Leading up to this season, 50% of all matches, which only includes six all time between seven and two seeds, were decided by over 14 points. 

Despite this, it is always exciting to see an underdog. At the NCAA’s March Madness, where people are always hoping one of the lower seeded teams will win against the powerhouse schools. One thing that makes these formats so exciting is the unpredictability of the games, which the new format of 14 teams helps facilitate for the NFL. Unpredictability in sports typically equals fun, as it is the massive comebacks that make sports what they are. Storylines are what makes professional sports entertaining to many, not the other way around. The sport itself is only half of the magic behind professional sports, while narratives fill in the rest.

Since it is a win-or-go-home situation, it increases the stakes and makes it feel achievable for the underdogs despite the rare amount of successes so far. Looking at the other professional sports leagues around it, such as the NBA or MLB, the first round matchups between the best and worst teams in their respective conferences have to win seven and five game series respectively. Having to win a singular game rather than a whole series is what makes the chances of the NFL’s format lead to more unpredictability.

Many fans had been complaining about unfair games leading up to the Packers and Cowboys matchup after the Houston Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs both blew out their opponents. The Packers sending the Cowboys packing is what proves that the new format can be fun. There will need to be some repeated success when it comes to seventh seeds winning for it to look like a totally good decision, but that win is a start. The Packers taking the one-seeded San Francisco 49ers down to the wire in a close battle, 24-21, also shows the validity of this new format.

Despite it leading to mismatches at the beginning of its lifetime, the new playoff format has proven it has a purpose: a team that would not have made the playoffs five years ago can now not only make the playoffs but win a game in it. Adding this new aspect is great for the NFL and only enhances the already unpredictability that is a win-or-go-home playoff format.

Contact Lathan Pearce at [email protected]

About the Contributor
Lathan Pearce
Lathan Pearce, Staff Writer
Hello, my name is Lathan Pearce. I’m a senior, and this will be my third year on staff. My freshman year, I was in the Intro to Journalism class being taught by upperclassman team leaders, and now this year, I’m a team leader. I enjoy writing about many subjects, whether it’s movie/show reviews, features or sports. I’m a big Oklahoma City Thunder fan, and also support the Arkansas Razorbacks. Lastly, I have two cats, Eliza, who is full of energy, and Poku, who’s the laziest cat I’ve ever met.