The Seattle Seahawks beat the St. Louis Rams last night and with that win they are the #4 seed in the NFC. As the #4 seed in the NFC, they will host the #5 New Orleans Saints during the first round of the playoffs.
As you might have heard, the Seahawks are a below .500 team with a 7-9 record. This 7-9 team will host the 11-5 Saints. In addition to that, the Tampa Bay Bucs and New York Giants both miss the playoffs with a 10-6 record. To make matters worse, both the Giants and the Bucs crushed the Seahawks this season, outscoring them a combined 79-22. The Seahawks have been outscored by 97 points this season and they have lost five of their last seven games. Also, the Seahawks never lost by less than 15 points.
This phenomenon has many people complaining that the NFL should not allow teams below .500 into the playoffs or the NFL should re-seed the teams based on record, this way the Seahawks would not be hosting a playoff game.
I disagree with both of the above scenarios. If you win your division you should host a playoff game regardless of your record. It is that simple. If you want to re-seed based on record, then eliminate the divisions and just have two conferences. Divisions are important to the NFL, the best rivalries are usually among division rivals since they play each other so often.
It was not a coincidence that every game on the NFL Week 17 schedule was a divisional game, the NFL wanted people to watch games that matter. Imagine if the Rams played someone other than the Seahawks in Week 17, then if both teams win, the Rams are in the playoffs not the Seahawks. It eliminates the hype and the playoff feel of the game. Divisions need to mean something and hosting a playoff game is the best reward.
Not having a home game in the playoffs is not the end of the world, just ask the 2007 Giants. They won three games on the road and then beat the 18-0 Patriots in the Super Bowl. If the Saints are the better team, they will be able to win on the road.
Having a home playoff game is tremendous for the Seahawks, Qwest Field is generally regarded as one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL and the 12th man will be felt by the Saints. In the end, I think the Saints will end up with a win, since they are the better team.
Do you think the NFL needs to change the rules? Comment Below
[Photo Credit: CultureMob.com]