no byes works for me. Having teams that are .500 or less doesn't. Monday nite would be an atrocious idea.
Obviously they want it for more money but I think they will try to spin it that it will prevent a team with a better record that doesn't win its division from being left out in favor of a another team with a worse record that wins its division.
Since 2002 when the NFL switched to the 4 division per conference format here is a breakdown of the team(s) with the best records that did not make the playoffs (Where two teams are listed it is because I did not know the tiebreaker) vs the division winner with the worst record
AFC BEST NON PO TEAM RECORD (WORST DIV WINNER)
NFC BEST NON PO TEAM RECORD (WORST DIV WINNER)
AFC Steelers or Jets 8-8 (Bengals or Colts 11-5)
NFC Cardinals 10-6 (Packers 8-7-1)
afc Steelers 8-8 (Ravens 10-6)
nfc Bears 10-6 (Redskins 10-6)
afc Titans 9-7 (Broncos 8-8)
nfc Eagles or Bears or Cardinals 8-8 (Giants 9-7)
afc Chargers 9-7 (Colts and Chiefs 10-6)
nfc Giants or Buccaneers 10-6 (Seahawks 7-9)
afc Steelers or Texans 9-7 (Patriots, Bengals 10-6)
nfc Falcons 9-7 (Cardinals 10-6)
afc Patriots 11-5 (Chargers 8-8)
nfc Cowboys or Bears or Buccaneers 9-7 (Cardinals 9-7
afc Browns 10-6 (Steelers 10-6)
nfc Cardinals or vikings or Eagles 8-8 (Buccaneers 9-7)
afc Broncos 9-7 (Colts, Patriots 12-4)
nfc Packers or Panthers or Rams 8-8 (Seahawks 9-7)
afc Chiefs 10-6 (Patriots 10-6)
nfc cowboys or vikings 9-7 (Giants, Bears, Buccaneers 11-5)
afc Bills or Ravens or Jaguars 9-7 (Colts, Chargers 12-4)
nfc Saints 8-8 (Seahawks 9-7)
afc Dolphins 10-6 (Ravens 10-6)
nfc vikings 9-7 (Packers 10-6)
afc Patriots or Broncos 9-7 (Jets 9-7)
nfc Saints 9-7 (49ers 10-6)
Analysis if they had been using the proposed playoff format
6 times the last playoff spot would have gone to an 8-8 team including 1 conference each the last 3 years
In no year would both extra teams been 8-8
11 times the last playoff spot would have gone to a team with a 9-7 record.
2 years the extra teams would have both been 9-7
2 years the two extra team would have been 8-8 or 9-7
7 times the extra spot would have gone to a team with at least 10 wins
In no year would both extra playoff spots gone to a team with at least 10 wins.
Regarding teams who made it vs those who didn't
4 times would the extra team have had a better record than at least 1 of the division winners.
6 times would the extra team have had the same record than at least 1 of the division winners.
14 times would the extra team have had a worse record than at least 1 of the division winners.
The way I see it, despite the fact that people seem to think better teams are kept out by worse teams all the time because of the automatic bid by division winners it is not that common of an occurrence.
The four times it happened were in 2013 when the 10-6 Cardinals missed out to the 8-7-1 Packers. 2011 when the 9-7 Titans missed out to the 8-8 Broncos. 2010 when the 10-6 Giants or Buccaneers missed out to the 7-9 Seahawks. 2008 when the 11-5 Patriots missed out to the 8-8 Chargers.
Three out of those 4 years had a pretty big discrepancy in W-L records but I would ask was the Rodgers led Packers really that much worse than the Cardinals? That leave 2 time perhaps the a much better team was kept out by a much inferior team.
It clear to me that the NFL doesn't really care if a better team is left out of the playoffs because its doesn't happen all that often. They only reason they want this is for more money. More games means more money.
Personally I don't think it is broke so it does not need fixing.