You know that idea NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has to expand the playoffs, maybe to 14 teams, perhaps even 16? Vikings defensive end Jared Allen thinks that proposal stinks.
“It’s stupid,” Allen said Thursday morning at Winter Park. “I think it’s a dumb idea. The reason our league is so much better than other leagues, I think, is because of that competition. Every game means something. There are 162 games in baseball and you’re like, ‘Ehhh.’ No one really watches until the end, right? Basketball, same way. There’s no real significance on every game. And I think you damage the sport if an 8-8 team [has a greater playoff chance]. You know what I mean? Now our games become less significant each week if you know, like, ‘Oh, I can still lost half my games and sneak into the playoffs.’”
Allen’s criticism of the idea is even sharper when considering the context. With an expanded playoff system, his 7-6 Vikings would be in much better position to be playing into January this year. Heck, this is Allen’s ninth NFL season. He’s gone to the playoffs only three times – in 2006 with the Chiefs and in 2008 and ’09 with the Vikings.
Still, Allen thinks the current system is “great.”
“With all these changes, it’s not necessarily always a good thing,” he said. “I know it probably is for owners. They make more money. And TV and all that good stuff. But at some point, the identity of our league and what it stands on and why it’s so good is because every game means something.
In 2005, Kansas City went 10-6 and missed the AFC playoffs with Jacksonville (12-4) and Cincinnati (11-5) nabbing the wild cards.
“But that motivated you for next year,” Allen said, “to try to win 11.”