Falcon Points

Here's why expanding the NFL playoffs is a bad idea

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We all love football, especially the NFL. There is a reason it is the most popular sport in the country.

The other sports leagues need gimmicks. Baseball is weighing a really dumb playoff plan. The NBA looked at a possible tournament. Anything to try to be more relevant, to try to close the gap on the NFL.

So why is the one sport with the best postseason thinking about messing it up?

Last week, a report came out that the NFL was looking to add two more playoff teams for the 2021 season. Essentially, each league would have seven playoff teams. There would be byes for the top team in each conference. The second-best team would no longer get a bye. Last season, in the AFC, the Ravens would have had a bye. The Texans would have still faced the Bills, and the Patriots would have also faced the Titans. The Chiefs would have hosted the 8-8 Steelers.

In the NFC, San Francisco would have had the bye. The Saints would have played the Vikings, the Eagles would have faced the Seahawks and the Packers would have hosted the Rams. The results likely would have played out the same.

But did we really need to see a Steelers team with no quarterback? Are the extra games worth it?

On the surface, yes. more meaningful games. More to bet on. Could that really be a bad thing?

Yes. One of the things that makes the NFL unique is that it is not easy to make the playoffs. Basketball and hockey let in half the league or more. Letting in more than 12 out of 32 waters things down. Can the playoffs really improve by adding less quality?

The NFL already has it right. Why change it? More money? More teams staying in the race later in the season?

The NFL barely had enough quality teams last season. The playoffs featured upsets, including the Titans knocking off New England and Baltimore. In the end, we got two quality teams in the Super Bowl. Why mess with it?

Greed. Better TV deals. It is just two games, but that's two more high-profile TV games to sell.

Sometimes, sports leagues can outthink themselves. In this case, the NFL does not need to change. Why mess with something that is working? The NFL playoffs don't need improving. Is that Chiefs-Steelers matchup really worth it? Teams like the Colts, Jets, Broncos and Raiders would have been in the playoff mix until near the end of the season. On the surface, this all sounds great.

But at the risk of sounding like "get off my lawn" guy, sometimes the old ways are the best. The NFL has not changed its playoff format in 30 years. During that time, the sport has seen unprecedented growth and become the dominant sports league in America.

Why change what works just to add more money to a multi-billion dollar industry? Why reward more mediocrity in a league that welcomes too much of it as it is?

The playoff expansion appears inevitable, so complaining will do little good. Still, it is a bad idea. Messing with a playoff format that works can go two ways; it could improve the product, but the more likely result is more bad teams, and more mismatches.

At least it guarantees Bill O'Brien stays employed forever, as the 9-7 train will likely get you to the playoffs from here on out.

That is not a good thing, and this is a change that will not be for the better.

Messing with something that has worked for 30 years is a bad decision. But the NFL will make more money, and two average teams will get a chance to get rolled in the first round.

What could possibly go wrong?


Texans make a trade

Texans trade for Brandin Cooks

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Whenever you hear the words "Texans make a trade," most people cringe. However, this one isn't as cringe-worthy. They sent their second 2nd rounder (the 57th pick overall) for wide receiver Brandin Cooks. This is the same Cooks that is pictured above killing the Texans for the Patriots. Cooks has been traded three times and this was the first time he was traded for less than a 1st rounder. That is a sliver of sunshine in the cloud of darkness that has been the 2020 offseason.

The Comparison

Cooks isn't DeAndre Hopkins and shouldn't be compared to him because they're two different receivers. Yet, the comparisons will never end because they were moves the Texans' made in the same offseason. Cooks is more of what the Texans' have always hoped Will Fuller would be. But is having two of the same guy a good thing? If anything, I could see this opening up the field for the tight ends, Kenny Stills, and Randall Cobb.

Was it a good deal?

Personally, I think this was a good deal. They weren't going to be able to draft a player of this caliber at that position with the 57th overall pick. Their offseason grade is still very much a D- and this move turned it from an F. It's like when you make a 60 on a test, but the teacher grades on a 10 point curve so you end up with a 70. Barely passing. Cooks is a touchdown waiting to happen every time he touches the ball. He didn't explode with numbers in the Rams' offense last year because he was overshadowed by other playmakers and the ineptness of Jared Goff. Coming to the Texans and getting to play with Deshaun Watson will be a huge difference. Oh, and they get a 2022 4th rounder back as well. Not too bad

It helps them in the draft

I know you're thinking "Jermaine has finally losty his damn mind!" Hear me out: With the 40th pick, the eighth pick in the 2nd round, they can now concentrate on another position of need. Corner or safety, maybe edge rusher, would be ideal. Perhaps a playmaking linebacker or another offensive lineman will be available. This widens the scope of what they can do with that particular pick. Depth from the draft, if used properly, also add cheap labor. Cheap labor means they need to use the cap space to resign key guys. For a team with its balls in a vise grip because of the decisions of Bill O'Brien, options are a good thing.

Moving forward, this deal helps lessen the blow of the stupidity we've grown accustomed to seeing on Kirby. I still don't see what the end game is. There's still a ton of work to be done. Hopefully, this'll help Watson want to stay long term. Maybe Cooks can come in and be what Fuller was supposed to. Maybe it'll drive Fuller to be better than he's ever been in order to get the type of extension he's going to want. There's still way too many questions out there right now. Let's sit back and continue to watch the train-wreck and pray it gets better. The 2022 draft will be the first full compliment of draft picks this team will have. It could also be the offseason in which there’s a new GM and head coach. Again, let’s wait and see

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