In 1988 Panthers and Balmain each won 15 and lost 7, and had to play a play off for 5th. Neither deserved to miss out on those numbers. Balmain won, and went on to make the GF.I know it won’t happen because of TV revenue, but geez the last few years have made a big argument for a return to the ‘top 5’ format.
Broncos, in their maiden season, won 14 and lost 8 and didn't even make a playoff. This is what you get from a 5 team finals in a 16 team comp.