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NFL announces immediate expansion to playoffs

NFL owners Tuesday voted to expand the field for the 2020 postseason and beyond, adding one additional team to give each conference seven representatives in the playoffs.

Under the new format, only one team each from the AFC and NFC will receive a first-round bye as opposed to the two they would have in the past. The No. 2 seed will now face the No. 7 seed in the Wild Card round in each conference while the No. 3 seed will play the No. 6 and the No. 4 will take on the No. 5 seed.

Thanks to the change, Wild Card Weekend will now feature three games apiece Saturday, January 9, and Sunday, January 10, 2021.

The league owners voted on the proposal via conference call because the previously scheduled annual league meeting was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It required three-fourths of the owners' approval. The recommendation to expand the playoffs came from Competition Committee, Management Council Executive Committee and Media Committee and was addressed in the new NFL-NFLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The expansion from 12 to 14 playoff teams is the NFL's first increase to the postseason since 1990, when the league went from 10 to 12 teams.