The 2010 version of the NFC West has to be the worst division full of teams I’ve ever seen since I’ve been watching football. If there’s anything that lacks excitement in the NFL, it’s the NFC West, currently led by the Seattle Seahawks (5-6), who are tied the St. Louis Rams and one game ahead of the San Francisco 49ers.
It’s been said that this division can be won by a team with a 7-9 record and I agree with that. But is it fair that a team who’s won it’s division with more losses than wins gets a postseason berth and an up and coming team like Tampa Bay (potentially) misses out?
This is nothing new, fans of teams on the brink of getting in are irked when their team that’s in a tough division like the AFC East misses out while a team from the NFC West gets in that stinks. That’s a reality that begrudgingly exists in today’s NFL. Fans all over the country are not happy that a team like the 49ers, who have not been fun to watch all season, could be a 7-9 division winner. This doesn’t sit well with fans and many of them want this to change.
But how do you change a system that has been,for the most part, successful for the league since it’s 1990 expansion from ten playoff teams to 12 (six per conference)? The NFL’s answer is most likely this: you don’t.
From their perspective, this is something that doesn’t need immediate fixing as this kind of scenario doesn’t come along very often. How many times does it occur and has it occurred?
I admit,it is a terrible feeling to see your team not make the playoffs despite a better record than other teams with less wins that only got to the postseason because they won their division. My New England Patriots went 11-5 in 2008 following a season where they failed to make history as the only 19-0 team to win it all. They went 11-5 without their star quarterback, Tom Brady, and used an emerging Matt Cassel to get to that record. They missed the playoffs and an underachieving San Diego Chargers team with perhaps the softest playoff performer in NFL history,LaDainian Tomlinson, made the playoffs by winning the AFC West at 8-8. Not only that, they won a playoff game. That royally pisses me off, but that’s how the NFL works, and as much as you and I hate it, that’s how it’s going to stay.
The NFL is currently trying to get an 18-week schedule and expanding or even re-seeding the postseason isn’t exactly a high priority right now. We don’t even know if there’s going to even be a 2011 season right now. We could see a lockout,I don’t think it will happen just because the sport is the most popular one and no football come next fall could be chaotic.
I do think something should be done, I don’t know what, but I know that sooner or later, somebody has to re-seed this thing.