The NFL is walking a fine line between competitive balance and watering down the accomplishments of teams such as the Packers (13-3) and Chiefs (12-4), who as strong No. 2 seeds under the proposed format would have been forced to play the Rams and Steelers, with home field being the only advantage shown for their far superior efforts.Adding playoff teams always cheapens the regular season to some degree. College Football Playoff enthusiasts would agree. In the FBS, however, a miniscule 3 percent of the teams make the playoffs, and expanding to eight teams would put it at only 6 percent. The NFL getting close to half the field making it is on the brink of saturation when multiple-game series aren’t involved in each round.Note that in the one-and-done NCAA Tournament, 68 teams do have a chance. But that’s still only 19.6 percent of Division I teams. The NFL is pushing past double that number.Pro: More teams involved in the playoff race through Week 17With that said, we know what an extra wild-card team in each league has meant for MLB, generating a new kind of excitement in September. The NFL equivalent of that is the one-month playoff push in December, the time when NFL fans are obsessed with the playoff picture and its many permutations.Had the Steelers made the playoffs last year at 8-8, the Jets, Colts, Broncos and Raiders, who all finished 7-9, would have approached the final month differently knowing they had real postseason chances. The Rams, Cowboys and Bears would have been joined by the Falcons and Buccaneers in a more competitive final surge.So although there would be only 14 playoff teams in the new format, roughly 20 teams would remain in viable playoff contention through the final few weeks.Con: More mediocre teams making the playoffsYou know how it is in the NHL and NBA. Some average teams make the field only to quickly become as irrelevant as they were in the regular season. Did we really need to see the Chiefs play the offensively challenged Steelers, too, on their way to winning Super Bowl 54? Also, given how Pittsburgh limped down the stretch, did it even deserve the opportunity?The danger here, unlike in the NHL and NBA, is that anything can happen in one game, while over the course of a best-of-seven series, anomalous upsets are less likely. So whether the Chiefs had either blown out or lost to the Steelers, it would have felt weird that they even had a chance to share the same playoff field. MORE: The NFL’s expanded playoffs, explainedThe NFL has had the dozen playoff teams since the 1990 season, when it increased the field from 10 teams to 12 with three division winners and three wild-card teams in each conference. In 2002, when the league expanded to 32 teams, it adjusted to four division winners and two wild-card teams.Why is the NFL doing this, and what are the pros and cons of the new format? Let’s break them all down.Pro: Two more games and a more action-packed wild card weekendThe current 12-team playoff format features two teams on a bye in each conference, creating consecutive opening playoff double-headers on the first Saturday and Sunday after the regular season.With 12 teams (six division winners, six wild-card teams) playing in the first round, the NFL can now give us back-to-back postseason triple-headers that resemble the usual progression of early afternoon, late afternoon and night games in the regular season.Divisional playoff weekend is arguably the best NFL weekend now. Wild-card weekend would rule the roost in the new format.Con: Two more games and a less relevant regular season With the NFL having 12 of its 32 teams make the playoffs, that meant only 37.5 percent playing beyond the regular season. By increasing the playoff field to 14, the number jumps to 43.8 percent. That’s probably the ceiling, given 16 of 32 (50 percent) puts the league too close to the NHL (51.6 percent) and NBA (53.3) percent, or using the season to eliminate only half the teams.Take last season for example. The Rams (9-7) would have been the last team in from the NFC, while the Steelers (8-8) would have been the last team in from the AFC. The Bears (8-8) and Cowboys (8-8) were the only other teams in the NFL at .500 or better. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/d6/43/patrick-mahomes-020520-getty-ftrjpg_1we5tomht32wx1dehscnmr1pg0.jpg?t=370735800&w=500&quality=80 In the NFC, the 49ers’ big win over the Seahawks in Week 17 earned them No. 1 vs. No. 5. That was a monstrous development that fueled their run, while the Seahawks were dusted in the divisional playoffs. The top seed in the new format would become more of a golden ticket, with No. 2 dropping all the way down to general admission.Con: Less incentive to fight for any other seedNFL teams that have poor chances to post a conference-best record won’t be as motivated to change their seeding. Being a No. 2 is not much different from being a No. 4 anymore. The same thing goes for No. 5 through No. 7, as they all will be playing road games in the first round regardless.There’s a chance for the competitive fire to be doused before the playoffs ahead of it being reignited. So there might be bit of a sacrifice on some level for the teams not fighting to get into the tournament late, but the NFL likely will be fine trading that for greater drama once the tournament begins and the stakes are raised. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/a5/1/mike-tomlin-120919-getty-ftrjpg_tacz1lwln3gm1oyn8k9axcv8r.jpg?t=-346634474&w=500&quality=80 Pro: More potential for teams overcoming stronger schedulesNot all 16-game slates are created equal. Some teams have distinct advantages based on the rotation of divisions they play outside their own, as well as the teams that finished in the same place as them the previous season.Having an extra playoff wild card provides a little leeway for a team navigating through a higher degree of difficulty.Con: More potential for teams taking advantage of weaker schedulesThe flip side is that extra playoff team in each conference adds one more layer to to the built-in parity parameters of the schedule.Consider that with only one bye seed in each conference, more surefire playoff teams will be less motivated to play their regulars in the final weeks. That will open the door to a few more non-competitive games that also inflate the wild-card resumes of potential No. 7 seeds.MORE: The best way to fix NFL’s playoff formatPro: More incentive to fight for the No. 1 seedsSpeaking of which, the No. 1 seed will carry a new level of significance. Think of how the Chiefs reacted when they were able to steal that No. 2 seed and first-round bye from the Patriots in Week 17. That was huge for their Super Bowl 54 run, as they got a much-needed extra week of rest and ended up playing consecutive home games with the Ravens being upset in the divisional playoffs.The single bye format forces a team to play with less margin for error, knowing only one strong playoff team in each conference can have the ultimate advantage of both home field and a bye. The NFL hasn’t changed its number of playoff teams in 30 years. With the new collective bargaining agreement in place, the 2020 season is set to usher in a brand-new era of the league postseason.A vote of NFL owners is set to expand the playoff field from 12 to 14 teams. There would still be four division winners, but an extra wild-card team would be added in both the NFC and AFC. Only two teams, the top seeds in both conferences, would enjoy first-round byes.