The NFL officially announced on Friday that Wild Card Weekend would conclude with a game on Monday night. The addition of a Monday night game will be a first for the NFL playoffs, beginning in the 2021 season. The decision is drawing mixed reactions from fans and media personalities.
Last season the NFL expanded the playoffs for the first time since 1990. By adding a third Wild Card team in each conference, and thus creating ‘Super Wild Card Weekend.’ Three games on Saturday and three games on Sunday. However, with a Monday night game, the schedule will now be two games on Saturday, three on Sunday, and one on Monday.
Twitter had a nice mix of positive and negative reactions following the announcement:
“This is awesome. Wean us off our Wild Card weekend.”Dan “Big Cat” Katz
“Super Wild Card Weekend” should now be referred to as “Super Duper Wild Card Weekend.”ProFootballTalk
The short rest for teams is one of the main concerns people seem to have, with this already seen as a problem with the Saturday and Sunday games. Now the addition of a Monday night game works against the winner and guarantees a short week.
The NFL will undoubtedly play it smart and make sure to have the two teams playing in the Monday night Wild Card game, not play until the following Sunday. Giving the winning team the most prolonged rest period they can. While still having the buzz of Monday night football in the playoffs.
“There will be a lot of harumphing about competitive disadvantage of playing on MNF for the next weekend. It’s ok; teams can deal with it.”Andrew Brandt
“Forcing a playoff team to play on Monday night, as the NFL will do this year, is terribly unfair. But it’s a reminder: all of this is a TV show.”Patrick Finley
Wow…Monday night playoff game !!! I love the setup but what a huge disadvantage for the winner of that Monday night game heading into the 2nd weekend of the playoffsChris Vaccaro
Moreover, we all know the NFL decided to add a Monday night game with TV ratings in mind. The Monday night game will draw better ratings than it would have on Saturday with little to no doubt.
Nobody likes change, which is precisely why there are so many objections and why protests will likely follow. But if it brings in more money to the league and the teams are happy. As a result, a few years down the line, we won’t know Wild Card weekend without Monday night football.
Furthermore, there has yet to be a decision on the broadcaster for the Monday night game.