After the San Francisco 49ers were pummeled by the San Diego Chargers last night, they still only trail the leaders of their division by a single game. It just so happens that the Niners are still in the playoff hunt with a
9-5 FIVE AND NINE record, and this has a lot of people’s panties in a bunch.
People shouldn’t be so amazed that the NFC West could likely send a 7-9 team into the playoffs. What is amazing (to me) is how all of these people are crying foul over it. These are the rules that the league set up: Each NFC West team will have played each other twice, they’ll have played one game against every team in the NFC South (who have all been awesome, save Carolina, who will finally be getting rid of John Fox), and one game each against the teams of a competitive AFC West. That’s 14 common games, and if the NFL decides that they want to give a home game to the best team out of that format, they should do so.
If the NFL wanted to seed its postseason based on overall record, it needs to do one of two things: either balance the intraconference schedule so that every team plays each other once, or just get rid of divisions altogether, because they would mean nothing if the best team from that format wasn’t rewarded. The league set up a good system for postseason qualification and they should stick to it. The cries of “deserving” teams should only validate the strength of that system. This isn’t the BCS, ya know.