On December 24, 1978, the extension of the NFL’s very first 16-game regular season and two more playoff teams resulted in the league’s very first Wildcard Playoff Weekend. Two more teams would increase the total number of teams per conference to make the playoffs to five each. You would have your three division winners in both the AFC and the NFC in the playoffs, and then you would also have the two teams with the best overall record, but who didn’t win a division, meet each other in a conference wild card game. Thus all three division winners in each conference got a much needed and much deserved bye week at the conclusion of the new 16-game regular season.
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PIGSKIN PAST BACKGROUND
PIgskin Past is a podcast dedicated to teaching fans about the history of the NFL during the 1970s, a time when the host (Joe Zagorski) grew up as a rabid fan of the game. Joe is also an author of multiple NFL books. See Joe's books below.