Firstly, I picked the scenario that is most likely to happen under a system where the teams with the six best records make the playoffs, as I am proposing. If we implemented a seven team scenario, with the top 7 records making the playoffs, last year would have included the 9-7 Houston Texans and the 7-8-1 Carolina Panthers (who admittedly did make it under the equally silly current playoff rules). The year before, the 8-8 New York Jets and the 8-7-1 Green Bay Packers (again, admittedly made under the silly playoff rules) would have made it. You have to go all the way back to 2012 to find a single team better than 9-7 who would have benefitted from this, and even there, it would have resulted in another .500 or worse team (the Pittsburgh Steelers) making the playoffs in the other conference. The VAST majority of the time, the seventh best team is a fairly mediocre squad as opposed to a genuinely good one left out because the conference was so stacked.
I can't say I really agree with the exciting point, either, especially now that the games are divisional, as you mentioned. So instead of two teams phoning it again, we get to watch a couple of really desperate mediocre teams playing against good teams that have either already clincehd their division and are playing their backups or against bad teams that won't care regardless. Either way, it's not particularly exciting.
More than anything else, what I dislike is punishing the number two seed by taking away their bye just for the sake of letting what is usually a pretty mediocre squad in the playoffs. If we have to operate under division winners get into the playoffs regardless of how bad they are rules, then I'm more open to it, but nothing about this strikes me as better than a system where the top 6 records get in.
Last year would have had the Texans (9-7) and Eagles (10-6). In 2013 it would have been an 8-8 AFC team (there were four) and the Cardinals (10-6). In 2012 the Steelers (8-8) and the Bears (10-6). That's three years in a row where a 10-6 team got left out. All of them from the NFC, but it's just the reality of things that the AFC hasn't had many good teams in recent years. Might as well make the argument that only four AFC teams should be in the playoffs under such circumstances, because there aren't enough genuinely good squads to make it six.
But it's going to be more interesting than what we currently get.
If the number two seed gets punished with an additional playoff game, your point about making the group of six playoff teams can be used here. You said that teams that want to be in the playoffs just have to get a top 6 record, so why shouldn't a team that wants the bye week just get the best record in the conference.
This is why reading posts is important, kids.
Firstly, I picked the scenario that is most likely to happen under a system where the teams with the six best records make the playoffs, as I am proposing.
This argument is going solely under the reasoning that we could have a Top 6 playoff system, as opposed to what we currently have. Had division winners not been allowed automatically into the playoffs, and it was merely done under a Top 6 system, the Eagles would have been in last year as a six seed.
The argument about the #2 seed still can be used, because it doesn't add anything. There's no reason to punish the #2 seed with a game against a mediocre opponent just so we can have one more playoff game and the playoffs can be more "exciting" by watching some team get stomped into the dirt.