Blog Entry

'Hawks give NFL good reason to fix playoff seeds

Posted on: January 2, 2011 11:53 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2011 11:56 pm
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Posted by Will Brinson

First of all, hats off to the Seattle Seahawks for showing up on Sunday night and beating St. Louis. They're 7-9, but they're the NFC West champions and they're going to the playoffs.

No one can take that away from them.

But someone (like, say Roger Goodell) can stop people from being forced to watch a team with a losing record host a home playoff game ever again. And it needs to happen as soon as the final whistle for the Super Bowl blows, because, frankly, it's embarrassing that the Saints will travel to Seattle next week.

I'm actually not staunchly opposed to the idea that if you win your division, you get in the playoffs. Andy and I have argued at length over this during pretty much every podcast since it became apparent someone was going to limp into the playoffs with a terrible record out of the NFC West. And, for me at least, the whole "it's cyclical" explanation works fine.

Every team -- except for the 49ers -- in this putrid division has been in a Super Bowl at least once over the last decade, and San Francisco has more than enough historical success to make up for their recent terrible play.

It's also clear that the Cardinals are a quarterback away from not being horrible, and you could say the same for the Niners. The Rams could dominate the division once they find some actual playmakers who have hands, and the Seahawks, well, heck, they already won their division title.

So let's not go and blow things up and simply take the top-six teams in each conference, because that defeats the entire purpose of having divisions.

But it's absolutely imperative that the NFL determine some manner to re-seed the playoffs beginning in the next season. There's no possible way to say that the Seahawks are better than either the Packers or Saints, and yet New Orleans, who didn't fall short of the No. 1 overall NFC seed, actually has to travel to Seattle on a short week to play in front of a rowdy crowd.

Could the Seahawks win? Sure. It's the NFL and anyone can win. But that doesn't mean that seeding teams in a blatantly inaccurate manner based on an antiquated notion that winning your division equals a home game is the way keep going.

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Comments

Since: Jan 3, 2011
Posted on: January 3, 2011 3:12 am
 

'Hawks give NFL good reason to fix playoff seeds

Rewarding a division winner has and continues to be the right thing to do. Injuries can and will always play an important part of record. What if a team loses its QB. OLT, and running back for the first 9 games and then with health returning goes on a run for 7 straight vistories. Of course they deserve to be in and are a contender. What is the difference in a team thats 10 and 6 and a team that's 9 and 7? How about the schedule?

Take the seahawks for example... Non conference they have 3 victories. 2 against teams with winning records and one not. Of their 10 non-conference games only 2 were against teams that don't have a winning record. They are 4 and 2 in their division. They beat the Chicago Bears on the road and lost to 3 other teams going to the playoffs. Non-conference teams combined record was 88 wins and 72 losses. 24 more wins than teams KC played.

Lets look at Kansas City for example....  They only played 1 non-conference game against a team with a winning record and they lost. That's right they played 9 games against teams without winning records winning 8 of them and then going 2 and 4 in their division, yet they have a respectable 10 and 6 record. 1 total victory against a team with a winning record and that team was 9-7. Non-conference teams combined record was 64 wins and 96 losses.

Oakland is probably a better team than KC after sweeping their division 6 and 0. (Yes beating KC twice!!). But that means they only won 2 non-conference games and both were agains the NFC west meaning they didn't win a single non-conference game against a team with a winning record.

In my opinion the AFC West may be even weaker than the NFC West and if you try to start changing rules to make playoff seeding fair you have to account for schedule, injuries at the time, travel distances, weather and so much more.

There is NO need to fix playoff seeding. If you want a home game win your division. That's the way it has always been and that's the way it should always be. Nothing is broken. if you want to bash a team start bashing KC. Regards....



Since: Dec 6, 2007
Posted on: January 3, 2011 2:47 am
 

'Hawks give NFL good reason to fix playoff seeds

Playoff solution for the NFL to consider.  NFC and AFC only had two divisions.....East and West.....8 teams in each.  To make  the playoffs, a team has to go 9-7 through the regular season.  To hell with "traditional rivalries"....that's BS anyway.  Thus, if 7 teams qualify, ok or if 9 teams do, so be it.  The technocrats in the league can figure it out, but then no 8-8 or below  team is allowed to be in the playoffs.



Since: Jan 3, 2011
Posted on: January 3, 2011 1:54 am
 

'Hawks give NFL good reason to fix playoff seeds

I agree that the way that teams have to travel during the playoffs sometimes sucks.  But for everyone getting down on the NFC West, I don't see anyone talking about how inflated the victories are for the No. 1 seed in the NFC are this year.  Atlants won all four games against the NFC West and NO won 3 out of 4. so it is only fitting that one of those two would have had to travel and beat either Seattle or St. Louis.  Also look at KC, if they wouldn't have played so well against the NFC West teams, they would be sitting at home now and the Raiders who went undefeated in their deivision would be in the playoffs.  No team had won all their division games and never made the playoffs before this year.  KC went 2-4 in their own division but won all 4 against the NFC West.  The goal is always to have the best record in your division and then see what happens.  Everyone was down on the Cardinals two years ago because of their record and how bad they palyed at NE, but look at their playoff run and how exciting of a Super Bowl they gave us.  Will Seattle make the Super Bowl?  Odds are they will lose on Sat. but this win could propel them to be 12-4 next year depending on the schedule.  Odds are that the two No. 1 seeds will not play in the Super Bowl either, so let's just wait and see who is still standing when the dust settles.



Since: Oct 1, 2009
Posted on: January 3, 2011 1:25 am
 

'Hawks give NFL good reason to fix playoff seeds

  Go Seahawks!  It would be great to see them win it all.  Granted it would be unlikely; but you never know.  Maybe Hassleback is going to tear it up now after sitting today?  



Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: January 3, 2011 1:07 am
 

'Hawks give NFL good reason to fix playoff seeds

You make a good point about the general argument to re-seed — Seattle-New Orleans is the most glaring because of a four-game difference. But it applies across the board, as you said.
If people want to reformat, they have to remember there could be seasons when a 10-6 team wins a division but has to travel to an 11-5 wild card (that would be the case w/ this season's Indy-Jets matchup). A one-win difference means the teams are almost equal, and if you took into account schedule strength and who each team beat, sometimes you can flip-flop.
I guess my main thought is, change the format if you wish, but don't do it just so extreme circumstances can be avoided, because the non-extreme cases will be changed as well.



Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: January 3, 2011 1:01 am
 

'Hawks give NFL good reason to fix playoff seeds

I agree 100 percent with ak3746. Yes, it stinks that teams like the NY Giants and the Bucs are sitting at home whilst the Seahawks are hosting a playoff game. But, those are the breaks. We can't just up and change the whole system because one poor team won their division. It happens. Get over it. Just like ak3746 said, why does Seattle get the lynch mob and not the other teams that are hosting with worse records than their opponents? Just because they are sub .500? Regardless of their record, they won their division and played by the rules of the league and made it. It's not their fault they stink and that the rest of their division stinks. That's how it is and how it always will be. We're already going to mess up the league by expanding the season to 18 games. Let's not muck up the postseason too.



Since: Jun 22, 2008
Posted on: January 3, 2011 12:41 am
 

'Hawks give NFL good reason to fix playoff seeds

I think you are forgetting a few years ago when the 8-8 Chargers hosted the 12-4 Colts.  People also called for the playoffs to be reseeded then too.  You are correct about the other examples, it's just that the Seahawks are the most blatant example.


but the reward for winning your division should be enough to have the honor of hosting the first round.

You really believe the Seahawks are more deserving of hosting a playoff game than the Saints or Ravens?


After all, those other teams are Wild Card teams, they didn't win anything


What exactly did the Seahawks win?  The NFC West?  Being better than the Rams, 49ers and Cardinals is not much of an accomplishment.


allowing them to get in because they had the best record of the non-division winners is enough of a reward.


Allowing a 7-9 team into the playoffs simply because they play in a bad division is enough of a reward, they should not be hosting a playoff game.


I'd much rather read about the possibility of a 7-9 team upsetting the defending Super Bowl champs

The Seahawks could still upset the Saints if the played in the Superdome, it doesn't have to be a home game for Seattle for this to happen.



Do not change what has worked for so many years just because one 7-9 team gets to host a playoff game.


It's not about one team.  The 4 seed has had a much worse record than the 5 seed it is hosting on several occasions, but this is on a different level because a team "won" it's division with a losing record.  The fact of the matter is the Seahawks lost more games than they won, but because they played in a bad division, they get to host a playoff game while the 10-6 Buccaneers, who played the Saints and Falcons twice are sitting at home.



Since: May 28, 2007
Posted on: January 3, 2011 12:13 am
 

'Hawks give NFL good reason to fix playoff seeds

Listen if you want to make an argument for re-seeding at leat take the whole picture into account when making your case. Yes, the Seahawks have a 7-9 record and will host a playoff game but why is Indy, K.C and Philly getting a free pass? Indy is 10-6 and will host the 11-5 Jets, K.C. is 10-6 and will host the 12-4 Ravens and Philly is 10-6 and will host the 10-6 Packers. With the exception of Philly who owns the same record as the Pack, every host team in the first round has a weaker record than their opponent. Don't jump on this re-seeding bandwagon because of one division and make an example of them while leaving out Indy and K.C. Sure those teams had legitimate playoff records but they are hosting teams with better records and should be given the same consideration you are giving to the Seahawks. I would say Seattle is just as likely to win their home game next week as the injury plagued Colts or the overachieving Chiefs but then you wouldn't be able to single out the one team that got in with a losing record and your argument wouldn't be as sensational.
Personally, I think what we witnessed this season is going to happan more in the future but the reward for winning your division should be enough to have the honor of hosting the first round. After all, those other teams are Wild Card teams, they didn't win anything, and I think allowing them to get in because they had the best record of the non-division winners is enough of a reward. Do not change what has worked for so many years just because one 7-9 team gets to host a playoff game. Move on, analyze the matchup as you would any other game and focus on the game that is about to happen. I'd much rather read about the possibility of a 7-9 team upsetting the defending Super Bowl champs than read meaningless drivel about why the playoffs should be changed in the mind of a writer.



Since: Dec 3, 2010
Posted on: January 2, 2011 11:58 pm
 

'Hawks give NFL good reason to fix playoff seeds

we played the the saints tough


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