New CBA Playoff Format Could Have Benefited 49ers in Super Bowl LIV
Jose Luis Sanchez III
Are you ready for more games on Wild Card weekend?
The football world was rocked yesterday when Adam Schefter of ESPN tweeted out that the new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement), which could be finalized next week, would add an extra playoff team. Doing so would eliminate a bye week for the No. 2 seed - making the No. 1 seed as the exclusive bye.
That means that the Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers would have clinched the seventh seed in their respective conference.
The new CBA would also add a 17th regular season game and eliminate one preseason game. Now this deal could easily be revoked when the players vote on it, but it still brings up an interesting discussion on this playoff format.
Had this been enacted in 2019, the San Francisco 49ers would've been unaffected since they locked up the top seed. Even the last 10 seasons would have made no difference for the Niners because they were irrelevant for most of them.
However, where this format most likely would have changed things is the Super Bowl matchup. The Kansas City Chiefs were the No. 2 seed in the AFC. How would Super Bowl LIV have played out if the Chiefs were forced to play on Wild Card weekend? Would the Chiefs even be in the Super Bowl?
So many different paths would've opened up and likely change what happened at Hard Rock Stadium a few weeks ago.
The 49ers could have been viewed as the favorite in that matchup since the Chiefs would've played for three consecutive weeks until the bye week prior to the Super Bowl.
For all we know, all those deficits that the Chiefs dug themselves early in every playoff game would have caught up to them. It could have easily caught up to them in the Super Bowl as well when they went down by 10 points.
Of course, the results could always have remained the same. But it's hard to neglect the fact that the 2019 playoffs would have swung a different direction had the new CBA playoff format kicked in.