Last year, the NFL expanded its playoffs to 14 teams for the first time. This season, we might see the traditional playoff schedule altered.
During tonight's Thursday night game between the Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reported that that the NFL is planning on changing its Wild Card Weekend format. Last year, the league played three Wild Card games on Saturday followed by three on Sunday.
According to Rapoport, the new schedule would feature a pair of games Saturday, three on Sunday and a Monday night contest.
This benefits the NFL by getting another playoff game at night on a day when there is typically no postseason football.
However, this change has one glaring potential issue: the winner of the game is going to have to play on a short week in the divisional round. Now, this does happens occasionally already, when a team that wins on Wild Card Sunday has to play on Saturday the following weekend.
Still, the NFL willingly creating another opportunity for a team to get shafted with a short week is strange.
Then again, if there's one thing we know, it's that the NFL is centered on ratings and money. If this altered postseason calendar can help the league on both counts, it will be worth it.