clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFL Playoffs: Should There Be a Crossover Rule?

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Around this time of year a lot of people call for tweaks to the NFL's Playoffs. Some call for extra teams to make it. Others want lower seeded Wild Card teams with better records to get home games against higher seeded division champions. I have my own suggestion.

This year in the NFC Arizona could potentially go 11-5 and miss the Playoffs. It is possible the sixth seed from the AFC will go 8-8. In any event, it is guaranteed the last team out in the NFC will have a worse record than the last AFC team in.

The Canadian Football League has something known as the crossover rule. The top three teams from their two divisions usually qualify for the Playoffs. However, if the fourth place team from one division has a better record than the third place team from another, that fourth place team crosses over into the other division as the three seed.

For example if Calgary finishes fourth in the West Division but has a better record than third place in the East Toronto, Calgary makes the Playoffs as the three seed in the East. Toronto misses out.

If the NFL adopted a similar format, Arizona could qualify as the six seed in the AFC Playoffs over Baltimore, Miami, San Diego, and Pittsburgh. It would even be conceivable for them to play San Francisco or Seattle in an all NFC West Super Bowl. Imagine a division rivalry in the big game.

There are no tiebreakers with the crossover rule. The team that qualifies has to have a better outright record in Canada than the third place team to qualify for the Playoffs in the opposite division.

It wouldn't come into play often, but it would be a way to make sure the best teams make the postseason. What do you think?