Beginning this season, one more team in each conference will be playoff bound.
While the NFL's annual meetings set to take place this week in Florida were cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the league's Management Council Executive Committee did vote remotely to expand the playoff field from 12 teams to 14, beginning with the 2020 season.
The addition of a third wild card team in each conference means that only the top seed in each conference will earn a first-round bye instead of the top two teams. The No. 2 seed will now host a wild card game against the No. 7 seed, while the No. 3 seed will host the 6 seed and the No. 4 seed will host the 5 seed, as has been the case in the past.
Wild Card Weekend, which is scheduled to take place on Jan. 9 and 10, 2021, will now feature three games per day instead of two in the past. One of the games on Jan. 10 will air not only on CBS and CBS All Access, but will also air on Nickelodeon with a separately produced telecast tailored for younger audiences.
Last season, a seventh playoff team would have meant the Rams and the Steelers would have earned the seventh seeds in their respective conferences, and would have opened the playoffs at Green Bay and at Kansas City, respectively.
This is the first time the NFL has expanded the playoffs since 1990 when the number of playoff teams went from 10 to 12.