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Would You Prefer More Sunday Night NFL Playoff Games?

NFL: New York Jets at Kansas City Chiefs John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight’s Playoff game between the Steelers and the Chiefs could help carry us to the future in terms of watching the NFL Playoffs.

Over the last two decades, the league has made a move to maximizing viewership of postseason games. The first major change came in 2001. Up to that point, the league played Saturday doubleheaders of early and late afternoon games in the first two rounds. The NFL changed Saturday games to a late afternoon kickoff and a primetime kickoff.

A year later, the league moved the kickoff times of the Conference Championship Games back. Instead of early and late afternoon games in the normal Sunday timeslots, the title games now kick off around 3:00 and 6:30 Eastern.

If tonight’s game is a ratings hit, I wonder whether it could start a new tradition of primetime Sunday Playoff games. Sunday Night Football during the regular season is already a ratings giant.

Would the league want to mess with its traditional 1:00 and 4:00-ish start times on Sunday? It already has during the Conference Championship week.

There also has been a lot of talk about the league adding a seventh Playoff team from each conference. That would create two extra games on Wild Card weekend. The most logical way to space the games out would be to have a pair of triple headers with games beginning at 1:00, 4:30, and 8:30 or so on both Saturday or Sunday.

We might be watching the start of a trend tonight in Kansas City.