There’s been an awful lot of talk lately about the NFL possibly expanding the playoffs.
That’s fine by Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, as long as it doesn’t interfere with divisional games.
Speaking to reporters at the NFL meetings in Orlando on Tuesday, Tomlin said he would prefer playoff expansion only if it did not devalue the importance of the Steelers’ two regular season games against Cleveland, Cincinnati and Baltimore.
“I would favor it as long as it doesn’t lessen the significance of division play, and I mean that,” Tomlin said, according to a transcript of his remarks from the Pro Football Writers of America (via Pro Football Talk). “I love the structure of division play and what it means from a playoff-seeding standpoint. If it doesn’t lessen that in any way, then obviously I’m all ears.”
Tomlin also made it clear that he hoped division winners would continue to host wild card games.
“I don’t want to lessen that in any way,” Tomlin said. “I don’t.”
Tomlin’s stance makes sense, but I don’t envision adding playoff teams impacting divisional play.
As long as the division winners are guaranteed home playoff games, in all likelihood expanding the post season will at least make Week 17 games matter much more.