Listened to Chuck Klosterman and Bill Simmons' podcast and I started to wonder --
(Preface: This will never happen) What if the NFL threw out the current playoff format and adopted exactly what we see in college football this year?
A committee that releases a NFL Playoff Poll every Tuesday, and it's just like a King of the Hill fight all year long where you're alive and in contention much longer because it doesn't just come down to record, it comes down to the committee's objective AND subjective observations (for example, what is going on between Baylor/TCU right now) until Week 17 and everything stops and you go with the Final Four at that moment. Those four teams in the top-4 play a semifinal round and then the Super Bowl.
So instead of a bunch of teams and team's fanbases checking out in like Week 13 or teams with records only slightly above/around .500 feigning interest because it's just a so-so season, every team is just jockeying to be playing well enough and have enough quality wins up to Week 17 to be one of the four when it freezes and is final.
So instead of your average fan in Buffalo or Miami seeing their team at 7-5 and only scratching and clawing for a Wild Card spot that likely won't result in much more than that, the Buffalo/Miami fan sees their team is building a winning streak and is paying close attention to every development around the league because maybe they can find a way into that top-4 before it freezes and is final. So instead of a chase of the Wild Card and that being a "successful season", they're chasing technically a final 4 aka "conference championship berth" which puts a Super Bowl as a realistic goal.
Don't know if I explained that as well as I could, but let me know. Again, it would never happen, but try to imagine/gauge the interest level league-wide if it did.