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Steelers GM Kevin Colbert ‘excited’ about expanded postseason

NFL owners on Tuesday approved an expansion of the postseason from 12 to 14 teams, and count Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert in the camp that approves the move.

The expanded postseason obviously brings some significant changes, including how there will be one additional wild-card team in each conference and only the top seeds in the NFC and AFC will receive a bye.

Addressing the expansion that will begin with the 2020 season — if it goes on as planned despite the coronavirus pandemic — Colbert laid out why he believes it’s a great move by the league while also making mention of how the NFL at some point will add a 17th game to the regular season.

“I am excited about that. Not that we want too many teams in the playoffs, but I thought 12 was a little too little,” Colbert said, per Teresa Varley of Steelers.com. “Maybe that 17th game (which will not be added until 2021 at the earliest) will be influential in who those extra teams will be. The more teams we can have compete for a championship the better it will be for our game.”

Interestingly enough, had the postseason expansion been in place for last season, the Steelers would have been in the playoff field, along with the Los Angeles Rams. What’s more, recent history going back a few years indicates the Steelers would have benefited greatly in previous seasons as well.

With the two-team expansion of the postseason field, approximately 44% of NFL teams will make the playoffs. The NBA, NHL and MLS each have over 50% of teams qualify for the playoffs, while MLB has the fewest teams make the postseason at 33%.

In other words, even with the expansion, reaching the postseason in the NFL remains one of the more formidable challenges when compared to the major professional sports leagues in the U.S.