UPDATE: The NFL unanimously passed the contingency plan BUT they will not be adjusting the seeding as previously proposed. Ergo, the Eagles will still get a top four seed (likely No. 4) and at least one home playoff game if they’re able to clinch the NFC East. Good news for Philly.
Originally, the proposal would've ranked all 8 playoff teams in each conference based on record, rather than giving division winners the top 4 seeds. It was amended prior to today's vote. A win for the NFC East, if games end up being canceled. Through Week 9, no cancellations.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 10, 2020
ORIGINAL STORY BELOW.
NFL clubs are set to vote on a coronavirus pandemic playoff contingency plan that, if successfully approved, could negatively impact the Philadelphia Eagles. Tom Pelissero posted the full details on Monday afternoon:
Here’s the full proposal on a playoff contingency plan that NFL clubs will vote on tomorrow.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 9, 2020
Note: The goal is still to play 256 games in 17 weeks (or 18 if needed). This contingency to expand playoffs from 14 to 16 teams only would trigger if a *meaningful* game is canceled. pic.twitter.com/JhM2XRpUK6
But, let’s be real, you don’t actually want to read through those images. So, here’s a TL;DR version for you:
Eight teams from each conference would make the playoffs. Those eight teams would comprise of the four division winners and the next four teams with the best record.
However, and here’s the key part, playoff seeding would NOT feature the normal setup with the four division winners as the automatic top four seeds. Instead, teams would be seeded according to winning percentage.
Under the current playoff format, the Eagles are on pace to be the No. 4 seed as the NFC East champions. They would host the No. 5 seed Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lincoln Financial Field in the wild card round if the season ended today.
Under the contingency plan, the Eagles are on pace to be the No. 8 seed. They’d have to play a road game against the No. 1 seed New Orleans Saints in the wild card round. As the lowest seed, the Eagles wouldn’t be able to host a single playoff game.
Home field “advantage” obviously means less than before in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic but there are still disadvantages to traveling for games. Not to mention facing the toughest road to the Super Bowl possible by seeding standards.
And so the Eagles will probably be hoping that the NFL’s contingency plan doesn’t come into play. The No. 4 seed seems preferable to the No. 8 seed.