January 2

NFL: Home sweet home? Not always in wild-card round

NFL will look at team’s with better record playing on the road.

By Howard Fendrich
Ap Pro Football Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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ON THE ROAD: Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers will open the playoffs on the road against the Green Bay Packers, despite finishing with a better record than Green Bay. San Francisco went 12-4 but will play at Green Bay, which went 8-7-1, but won their division to earn home field.

AP photo

The Eagles, meanwhile, went more than 400 days between home victories, from Sept. 30, 2012, until Nov. 17, 2013, a franchise-worst 10-game losing streak in Philadelphia. Then they ended this season with four home wins in a row.

Take a look at the schedule, though, and the Eagles’ 0-4 home start included losses to playoff clubs San Diego and Kansas City, while the 4-0 home finish came against teams that didn’t reach the postseason: Washington, Arizona, Detroit and Chicago.

When coach Chip Kelly was asked about the Saints’ home vs. road records, he dismissed their relevance, saying, “We defend schemes” and “Everything we do is based on situational football.”

Maybe so. Still, the NFL will continue to consider tweaking its postseason.

“Every scenario has been discussed, ranging from reseeding to one extra game, expanding from 12 to 14 teams,” the league’s McCarthy said. “Think of a scenario, it’s been discussed and remains in play.”

AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi in Philadelphia and AP Sports Writers Brett Martel in Metairie, La., Janie McCauley in Santa Clara, Calif., and Genaro C. Armas in Green Bay, Wis., contributed to this report.

Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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