The NFL has recently announced they plan to start the 2020 season on time. While this is great news for football fans, it is hard to see exactly how it will play out. In this article, I will break down 3 steps I think the NFL should take for a successful season.
Step 1: Bubble
The NBA has also just begun their season with all games played in Orlando, Florida. The NBA has set up a “bubble” where all teams and players are located. Players stay in hotel rooms and are provided access to all the necessities they would usually be accompanied too. In addition to this, every player was tested before entering. Of the 346 players tested for the virus, 0 were positive. Along with strict guidelines, the NBA has successfully created a corona free zone.
For football to start back up I think a “bubble” is 100% necessary. Testing players and then prohibiting further outside contact will ensure all players stay healthy. With NFL teams carrying larger rosters, I think the next step in creating a bubble is actually creating multiple bubbles. The NBA bubble is big but simply does not have enough room for 32 NFL teams with 53 man rosters. Ideally, there would be multiple bubbles which I will get into with the next step.
Step 2: Revised Divisions
As I mentioned in step 1, a single NFL bubble might not be enough. Due to this, I think multiple bubbles must be created. Realistically there would be 4 bubbles composed of combined divisions. For example, the AFC North and AFC West combine to create one division. This division composed of 8 teams would also make up a bubble consisting of those 8 teams. This would be done to every division, creating 4 divisions of 8 teams, each division having its bubble.
Step 3: Revised Schedules and Playoffs
With new divisions created to allow teams to locate in a bubble, schedule changes would also be in order. With 8 teams in each division now, each team would play each other twice and will follow a 14 game schedule. Now for the playoffs, 4 teams from each division will make it. From there a normal playoff bracket will be put into place.
If you are having trouble visualizing this:
Each Division also symbolizes a bubble
Division A (AFC North, AFC West) All regular-season games played within this division
Division B (AFC South, AFC, East) All regular-season games played within this division
Division C (NFC North, NFC West) All regular-season games played within this division
Division D (NFC South, NFC East) All regular-season games played within this division
Best 4 teams in each Division A, B, C, D make the playoffs. Then a bracket is created and there is still an AFC Champion and NFC Champion.
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