According to Jim Thomas from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the NFL’s playoff system could look much different next year if an NFL competition committee’s proposal is approved by league owners next week.
If the proposal is approved, the best two teams in each conference at the end of regular season play would still have a first-round bye. The rest of the teams in the playoffs would be seeded by win-loss record.
Last season, for example, the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants would have gotten home games instead of road games as wild-card teams.
Under the current playoff format, there are four division winners. The best team in the conference (best record) receives not only a first-round bye, but the advantage of playing at home as long as they are in the playoffs. The team with the second-best record in the conference receives a first-round bye and at least one home playoff game. The next two division winners receive a home playoff game, but no bye. Finally, the best two teams in the conference that did not finish in first place in their division do not get a bye or a home game unless the two wild cards meet up in the final round, but do receive a playoff berth.