WASHINGTON — If the NFL moves forward with the notion of expanding its playoff field to 14 teams, at least one marketing slogan is already in the bag:
Eight-and-eight can win a date ... to the Big Dance.
As league owners wrapped up their day-long fall meetings Tuesday, Commissioner Roger Goodell said it's possible that the playoffs, set at 12 teams since 1990, can be expanded for the 2015 season at the earliest.
It will happen.
Goodell opened the meetings by declaring to owners that the league is in the strongest position it has been in during his 32 years with the NFL.
With a long-term labor deal with players, another huge increase in network TV contracts, more stadium projects in the works and, most important, enormous popularity, it's tough to argue that the business of the NFL has ever been stronger.
It even settled, for $765 million, the concussion case with retired players that threatened to cost a lot more, perhaps in the billions.
Now would be a good time to expand the NFL playoffs.
People will watch, accompanied by hype and ratings.
And as Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones likes to say, they can find another way to grow the pie.
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It also makes sense for the league on another level.
The league can reduce the dreaded preseason to, say, three games. As it stands now, not a single game from the final week of the preseason is televised nationally.
And why have an 18-game regular season when you can have 8-8 playoff teams?
Had the NFL had 14 playoff teams last season, the Chicago Bears (10-6) and Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) would have made the cut.
That's emphasis on last season's Steelers, not the current squad.
Two seasons ago, the Tennessee Titans (9-7) and the survivor of a tiebreaker scenario involving four teams — Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas or Arizona — would have gotten in.
Over the past five years, an 11-5 New England Patriots squad (2008) and the 10-6 New York Giants (2010) would have made the playoffs.
Yet, over the past five years, just as many eight-win teams would have made it as 10-win teams ... along which a bunch of 9-7 outfits.
So, the playoffs in the parity-balanced league — with its weekly drama of close games — would be diluted with an extra round.
Goodell sees it all as half full rather than half empty. With expanded playoffs, more of the games later in the regular season will be meaningful.
As if the Super Bowl runs in recent years by the sixth-seeded Packers and fifth-seeded Giants didn't fuel enough hope, there would be another layer with more playoff teams.
"That's a good thing for fans," Goodell said.
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The competition committee will study the issue in 2014. The biggest issue, though, might be simply figuring how out to schedule two more playoff teams.
Tripleheaders on Saturday and Sunday the first postseason weekend?
Goodell said it's possible that two games would be played on Friday night.
One thing seems certain: It's coming ... from the league that already gives you Thursday Night Football. Also:
— The controversy regarding the racial slur that is the Washington Redskins' nickname wasn't on the agenda for the meetings, but it was undoubtedly part of the backdrop.
Goodell, who repeated his stance that the league should listen to the concerns of offended people, didn't rule out his possible attendance at a meeting the league is in the process of arranging with the Oneida Indian Nation.
Although Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has maintained that he will never change the team's nickname, Goodell was non-committal about whether Snyder should be compelled to meet with Native Americans.
Several NFL owners declined to comment on the controversy.
"That's Dan's issue," San Francisco 49ers owner John York said.
Does York see a point where owners will urge Snyder to personally take an active role in discussions with Native Americans?
"Not now," York said.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was struck by President Obama's recent comment that he would consider switching the name if he owned the team.
"When the president speaks, it's going to raise attention to any issue," Irsay said.
— New Orleans, Indianapolis and Minneapolis were selected as the finalists to host Super Bowl LII in 2018. Good thing: The power outage that delayed the most recent Super Bowl didn't hurt New Orleans' chances. Meanwhile, Minneapolis is in the mix with a new stadium deal on the map. Indianapolis is riding momentum built with its first Super Bowl in February 2012.
Said Irsay: "This proves that Indianapolis is really a unique city in the sense that as a medium-sized market in a colder market without 80 degrees and beaches, that we're able to compete again -- not just on a payback aspect of having built a stadium, but on the merits of the job we did."
— The NFL will expand its global presence by staging three games in London in 2014, with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders pegged as the home teams. This season, the league is holding two games in London for the first time.
Goodell said he doesn't view the expansion of games as a clear signal that the NFL will place a franchise in London, but he reiterated the possibility.
"A lot would have to happen for that," he said.
The Jaguars, who will host the 49ers at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 27 in their first U.K. appearance, have committed to playing home games for four consecutive years in London.
Team owner Shad Khan said the additional games don't diminish any of his franchise's efforts to establish itself as an NFL pillar in the London market.
"We're the only one with a multiyear commitment," Khan said.
Follow Jarrett Bell on Twitter @JarrettBell.