7-9 Seahawks in the NFL Playoffs

by Ryan on January 3, 2011

in Sports

Ugh.  It happened.  Some team had to win the woeful NFC West this season, which the Seattle Seahawks managed to do last night, giving a below .500 team a playoff berth for the first time, leaving both the 10-6 New York and 10-6 Tampa watching the playoffs from home.

Before 2002, here was the playoff structure:  with three divisions per conference, the leaders got in plus the teams with the three best records.  It worked.

But when the league ended up with 32 teams, symmetry was lost in that old system.  So, the current four divisions per conference with four teams in each division system neatly fixed that.  Until playoff time.  The system does make one’s division more important and tends to keep interest until the last week of the regular season for sure, but it rewards mediocrity while leaving good teams at home for the sake of balance.

Ultimately, I’m miffed by all this because the NFL-playoff system resembles hockey for the first time in the modern era; when teams with losing records make the playoffs while demonstrably better teams do not, something’s wrong.

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