The primary challenge presented by the selection of a prime-time game for flexing to the last night of the regular season comes from the fact that the night game needs to be relevant regardless of the outcome of any afternoon games.
This year, there’s only one game that falls into that category.
When the Rams travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks on Sunday, the winner will capture the NFC West title and the home playoff game that goes along with it.
If the Rams win, the champion will be 8-8. If the Seahawks win, a losing record of 7-9 will be the “winning” record as far as the NFC West is concerned.
Before any of you assume that the NFC West champ will summarily be dismissed from the postseason in wild-card weekend, don’t forget that the 9-7 Cardinals widely were described as the worst team ever to secure a playoff berth two years ago, given multiple blowout losses, including a 47-7 defeat in Foxboro that came only two weeks before the wild-card round. The Cards got it together and nearly won the Super Bowl.
Then again, the Cardinals had Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin and Karlos Dansby and Darnell Dockett. Really, how in the heck did that team only win nine games?