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Pro Football in the 1970s - Sports History Network EPISODE 13, 16th November 2020
The Very First NFL Wildcard Weekend

The Very First NFL Wildcard Weekend

Pigskin Past is part of the Sports History Network - The Headquarters For Your Favorite Sport's Yesteryear.


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.

Read the entire episode blog post and check out some other cool info regarding this episode here.


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.

The NFL in the 1970s: Pro Football's Most Important Decade

The Year the Packers Came Back: The 1972 Resurgence

America's Trailblazing Middle Linebacker: The Story of NFL Hall of Famer Willie Lanier