ESPN’s Famous Playoff Machine Returns, Gets it Wrong

ESPN’s NFL Playoff Machine is back, 2020-style.

The famous Playoff Machine is one of the best ideas has ever had. The rules are simple but time-consuming. Football fans — so, not Bomani Jones, Dan Le Batard, and First Take — pick the winner of every remaining NFL game, and the machine pushes out what the playoff picture would look like under that scenario.

You can spend an hour trying to learn how your team can make the final Wild Card spot. Or what games the team you hate needs to lose to pull a Cowboys and miss the playoffs in Week 17.

However, like all 2020 activities we have looked forward to, this year’s machine disappoints. By hiring so many pro-NBA and anti-NFL employees, ESPN forgot to consider the new playoff format, which includes one extra Wild Card team per conference and byes only for the first seeds. Pretty significant, no?

How can your team make the 7th seed? Not sure, nor does the 2020 ESPN NFL Playoff Machine:

But at least provided us with this much-needed headline: “NBA draft 2020: Inside the LaMelo Ball Draft Night Extravaganza.”

I’m just trying to find out how New England can slide into the playoffs with that extra spot and ruin the season.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

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