NFL considering, sort of, playoff seeding based on records

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Yes, it’s unfair that a team like the 12-4 49ers must venture to Green Bay for Ice Bowl II when the Packers cobbled together a measly 8-7-1 record en route to the NFC North crown.

It’s as unfair as it is for the 11-5 Saints to have to travel to play the 10-6 Eagles on Saturday night.  And it’s as unfair as it was when the 2010 Saints, also 11-5, had to travel to Seattle to play the 7-9 Seahawks.  And it’s as unfair as when the 2011 Steelers, at 12-4, had to leave safety Ryan Clark home (due to a medical inability to play at altitude) for a playoffs game at Denver against the 8-8 Broncos.

The league previously has shown no inclination to strip the automatic home game that goes with winning a division, no matter how bad the four teams in that division may be.  But the league apparently has at least considered it.

We think.

In a statement provided to the website the NFL owns, the league acknowledged that the issue has been discussed.  Along with every other issue that may or may not ever be addressed.

Every scenario has been discussed, ranging from reseeding to one extra game, expanding from 12 to 14 teams,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said.  “Think of a scenario, it’s been discussed and remains in play.”

That’s hardly evidence of a groundswell toward change, like the one that currently exists to centralize the replay review function.  It’s merely a “scenario” that the league considers from time to time, along with anything and everything else that comes up when the powers-that-be are talking about possible improvements to the game.

A greater sense of urgency is warranted.  Not that it would help the 49ers or the Saints.  In fact, by the time change is made, it could be the 49ers and the Saints who lose home games after winning divisions with records worse than the wild-card teams.

202 responses to “NFL considering, sort of, playoff seeding based on records

  1. or…. good teams that are capable of winning the Super Bowl should be able to win on the road. It can and often is done. If they change that then the Super Bowl should also be played at home!

  2. Boo hoo! Win your division and then you get a home game. The 9ers are not better than Seattle so they don’t deserve a home game. The packers won their division and deserve a home game, just as Seattle did at 7-9 a few years ago. Quit changing the rules for everything. It’s ruining the NFL.

  3. Top 8 teams in each conference seeded by record No Bye for any team and a straight playoff to the Conference Championships and Super Bowl pairings should go like this

    Much like they do it in the NCAA basketball tourney in March

  4. No, it’s not “unfair”. Win your division and there’s no need for the discussion. Typical entitled attitude that’s so prevalent today “That’s unfair!” Ughh.

  5. Whoever said life was fair! It’s the reward for winning your division…Just win, baby!

  6. LONG overdue:

    The best chance of this to be done would be to go to seven teams in each conference making the postseason (this may have to be done anyway at some point so Disney gets a Saturday afternoon playoff doubleheader that most likely would air on ABC while NBC would have Saturday and Sunday prime time playoff games). Then you can make it where seeding is SOLELY on record with the exception of where a division champion still gets a higher seed if it has the same record as a wild card AND the wild card DID NOT defeat the division champion head-to-head in the regular season. If that were in affect this year, the NFL playoffs would have been like this:

    #1 Seed and first-round Bye: Broncos

    First Round:
    #7 Steelers (8-8) at #2 Patriots (12-4)
    #6 Chargers (9-7)** at #3 Bengals (11-5)
    #5 Chiefs (11-5)** at #4 Colts (11-5)

    **– If the Chiefs had been able to improve to the #3 seed by beating the Chargers, they likely would not have rested their starters and we could have then seen that game end differently and thus different seeding that would have had the Chiefs as a #3 seed, the Steelers as a #6 seed and the Ravens as a #7 seed.

    #1 Seed and first-round Bye: Seahawks

    First Round:
    #7 Packers (8-7-1) at #2 Panthers (12-4)
    #6 Cardinals (10-6) at #3 49ers (12-4)
    #5 Eagles (10-6) at #4 Saints (11-5)

    That to me is how it should be done.

  7. A team that wins their division should play at home. They are not the wild card. the teams that have a better record but have to travel should have won their division. Win the division and quit crying.

  8. Its unfair to imply this is about fairness. The current system is “fair” as it is evenly and consistently applied with clearly spelled out rules that are acknowledged by everyone at the start of the season. The fact that at the end of they year, a given team with a better record travels to a team with a worse record is not about fairness, thats how the rules are designed. If The NFL decides to reseed, then there would be new rules and someone will get upset when an 11-5 wild card team in a division with two bottom dwellers hosts a 10-6 division winner in a division thats competitive from top to bottom and that would be OK. That would be the way the system was arranged. Everyone wants to talk about whats fair when they dont like how it went that year for their favorite team.

  9. Nope not unfair. Simple, win your division and you don’t have to worry about traveling.

  10. I cant believe grown men cry over this, win your division no road game first round, if not road game records don’t matter, quit crying this is like every kid gets a trophy for playing little league now. its called life and its not always fair

  11. They need to leave it be. They’ve change the game way to much, winning your division won’t mean a thing. Goodell stop screwing with the game of football. Let the fans enjoy the game as we have for years.

  12. Life is unfair. Too bad.

    Fix your MANY crappy officiating problems before fixing things that aren’t broken. You want a home playoff game? Win your division. If they are going to make it record-based seedings then you might as well remove divisions.

  13. No, this is dumb. Each division should host a game in the playoffs, that is what is fair. Once 16 regular games have been played the playoffs start at 0-0, there is no record, clean slate, win out or go home type of mentality. I’m sorry the rules are not playing in your favor 49ers, but this is supposed to be a game of tough men… deal with it.

  14. Do we have to hear about this every single year? No, the 49ers dont deserve a home game. Why take away form the division if a team couldnt win their own? Here is a solution, its pretty simple too..WIN MORE GAMES.

  15. This is the same kind of thinking that led to the current tortured overtime rule. Why does it have to be ‘fair’? You want a home game ? Win your division. You can’t do that, you have to go on the road. Divisional rivalry and the importance of divisional games take a real hit in an open seeding format. You might as well just have two divisions.

    Division winners getting preference is perfectly fair. The Saints and 49ers both had their shots at the division winners and they didn’t make it happen. They knew what was at stake.

    This is like the need to fix ties. It’s widely perceived as a problem, only it’s not a problem at all.

  16. Do we have to hear about this every single year? No, the 49ers dont deserve a home game. Why take away *from the division if a team couldnt win their own? Here is a solution, its pretty simple too..WIN MORE GAMES, then you wont be a wild card team.

  17. I think I would leave it as is. I would always value a team that won their division over a team that is in 2nd place in their own division.

  18. Why not just have winning a division guarantee a playoff birth if the record is up against an non-division winner, but not guarantee a home game? Seems like an easy fix. Still gives favor to division winners without penalizing teams with better records. I’ll take the rest of the day off now.

  19. Keep the home field advantage. If the divisions are to mean anything — and they better, because its a moral imperative to hate the “Washington” racist team name, the Cowpies, and the Jersey boys who can’t acknowledge their home — the wild card teams must travel. Or, perhaps, stop losing to the Jets and the Rams.

  20. Life isn’t fair, get over it. Why have divisions if winning yours doesn’t matter.

  21. You can’t have everything. By keeping a division title as a major prize, and moving a ton of division games into December, the NFL has given us thrilling finishes to division races the last several years. If you dilute the division title, you take away the drama that we all enjoyed last month.

    The 49ers would have won their division if they had beaten the Seahawks in week 2. They got pulverized, 29-3. That turned out to be the edge, and cost San Francisco a game in Candlestick Park. The Saints would have won their division if they had beaten the Panthers in week 16 but lost it on a touchdown drive in the last minute. If they had closed out that game, there would have been a playoff game in the Superdome. Both teams had their chances at home games and lost them.

  22. Knee jerk reaction, don’t do it. Either add 1 more wild card game to each conference, or leave it alone.

  23. It doesn’t take into account of strength of schedule or division. For instance, say you division where all 4 teams are in contention for the divisional title so the winner is 9-7. And in another division, you have 2 good teams and 2 awful teams. The second place team in that bad division will be a wildcard with a higher record than the division winner in the competitive division. But their record was inflated by 4 games against awful teams in their own division.

    If they are so anxious to do this, then simply do away with divisions and go to similar like the NBA. Take the top 6 teams in each conference regardless of division.

    If that was the case, this would be the playoff seeding this year:
    AFC: Denver, New England, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Kansas City, San Diego (WOW…NO CHANGE AT ALL)
    NFC: Seattle, Carolina, San Francisco, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Arizona

  24. When the home team has a NFL record 13 World Championships, there is no merit based argument against unfair home games.

    Besides, how could you hold Ice Bowl II at The Schtick?

  25. Why is it unfair? What situation will be perfect ever year so that your favorite team will have a clear road to a championship? Leave it alone, why can’t everyone just deal with the rules the way they are? In a perfect world, there would be no playoffs, no divisions. Just a list of teams, at the end of the 16 game season, best record wins it all. Flip a quater, once, no wait, best 2 out of 3, no wait best 3 5, no wait best 5 outta 7. Geeeezzz.

  26. I believe winning your division should be worth something. Sure, it’s not always going to be perfect… but if you reseed… then what about the teams that didn’t win their division but have a better record than the lowest division winner… Is the division winner just going to be left out? I don’t think so. So, keep it the way it is, except add the 2 extra teams next season for total of 14, so the only team that gets the bye is the #1 seed on each side. That’s really the question of what’s fair… You get the #2 seed, get a week off, then play at home… That’s a much greater advantage for a team that came in #2, then not winning your division & having a road playoff game.

  27. Why even have Divisions then? Why have Rivalries? Why not just got to the BCS format and we can go on Power Rankings, then we would just watch the Seahawks and Broncos in the super Bowl… Think about how meaningless the last 3-4 weeks of the season will be without Division titles meaning anything

  28. Considering that they can’t sell out wild card games, maybe the answer is to get rid of the wild card round and the byes and just skip right to the divisional round.

  29. I don’t think it’s unfair at all. It actually keeps things interesting and even gets some interest. Instead of thinking that an 8-7-1 team (or similar) will probably lose facing a 12-4 team (or similar), it makes you question whether the team with the better record has what it takes come playoff time. You gotta win on the road, plain and simple. It’s big boy time in the playoffs.

    I’m reminded of a similar situation when some teams ram up the points during the fourth quarter in blowout losses. Some of the players on the losing team would rant and cry about that, but as a player once said, “Don’t like it? Do something about it. Stop them from executing, problem solved.” I view this situation in a similar way. Don’t like traveling to a division winner’s place who was a worse record than you? Do something about it and win the game, show everyone that you’re as good as you think you are. True champions defy all odds.

  30. I don’t really think this is as much of an issue as a lot of other people. With another division comes another schedule and another strength of opponents. The Cardinals record to me is worth a lot more than the Eagles. That is something that won’t ever go away because there are only 16 games to go around each year. The playoff seeding will never totally be fair unsless everyone plays every other team and that is impossible.

  31. The only safe teams are the top two seeds in each conference and that’s the way it should be. If other teams are good enough or hot enough (like the Ravens last year or previous Steeler and Giant teams), they’ll find a path to the Super Bowl.

  32. It’s plenty fair. Win your division. Be happy there are Wild Cards so you still get to go to the playoffs if you can’t do manage that.

    It all works out fairly over time. Some years your division is the toughest in the NFL, and then some years 8-8 can win the division. It happens. Deal with it.

  33. Any team that thinks it is unfair has a very easy solution: win their division.

    If a division championship doesn’t guarantee you a home playoff game, then there’s really no sense in having divisions with a twice-a-year opponents and the rivalries that come with them.

  34. If that happens, what’s the point of having divisions? We’d lose all the regional rivalries over time, which is one of things that made last weekend so fascinating. Nope. Keep it like it is. We’d lose a lot more than we’d gain.

  35. Stupid for even being considered. The reward for winning the division is the home game. It should remain that way forever!!! If you were to change this rule then you might as well get rid of divisions altogether and the 10-6 Cardinals would be in the playoffs instead of the 8-7-1 Green Bay Packers. GO BIRDS!!!

  36. It isn’t “unfair”. There is a prize for winning your division and that is that you get to host a playoff game. This is a total non-issue. San Francisco did not win their division and Green Bay did win theirs. Seems pretty clear cut to me. If you wanna host a playoff game or don’t wanna play on the road then win your division. If SF would’ve beaten Carolina, New Orleans or Indianapolis then they would’ve won their division, secured a first round bye and had home-field advantage. They didn’t. Notice none of the teams are complaining. That’s because they understand the system.

  37. It would be kinda logical just to seed the playoff teams based on regular season records. Highest 6 seeds host their opening playoff game then go from there.

    Part of the lack of ticket sales this week has to stem from the fact that mediocre teams are hosting playoff games right?

  38. Why do we have to constantly look for ways to change things? You win your division, you host a playoff game. You don’t win your division, you play on the road. It seems pretty simple, and there’s nothing ‘unfair’ about it. Can we stop complaining about the name of this, the format of that…and just play the games?

  39. Let it go. It is not gonna happen. The league will continue to reward division champs with home playoff games. You are not going to gain any support for this. Besides, this is the only week out of the year you are going to complain about this matter. It is ridiculous and just drop it.

  40. So if they change it in the NFL will all other pro sports leagues change it too? Or, does it not matter in those leagues and it is just people whining about how it is in the NFL.

    I am fine with them changing it but to me that should mean they get rid of divisions. After all, if it is supposedly “unfair” that a better record team has to go on the road in the playoffs then it is “unfair” a team can win 10 or 11 games in the season and miss the playoffs while a division winner of a lame division can get in at 8-8 or 9-7.

  41. If you take away the home games from division winners then what’s the point of winning your division. Not only that, the division you play in may be just that strong and 8 – 8 is equivalent to 11-5 in a weaker division. Not going to happen anyways.

  42. I’d rather see a system where the highest seed gets to pick who they want to play.

    The Bengals would choose if they wanted the Chiefs or Chargers and the Eagles could choose the Saints or 49ers.

    It would make it much more interesting and make the seeding really mean something. You’d see teams in the playoffs try to avoid hot teams.

    It would be interesting to see if the Broncos would choose a good all around Bengals team or take the Colts again if it fell that way.

  43. I still don’t see why it is unfair. The point of a wildcard is that they didn’t win the division so they are lucky to get in and are competing for the bottom two spots. Seeding by record under the current format still wouldn’t be fair, as some wildcard team would have a good record and get aheat of a better team that finished 9-7 and won a tough division. You could just take the top 2 from every division instead, but the wildcard and the bye is better. Getting rid of divisions wouldn’t work either. As it would get rid of long time rivalries and create travel and scheduling issues. Leave it alone.

  44. No way can you take away a benefit for winning your division. I don’t care what your record is, you win the division, you get a home game.

    Otherwise they may as well dissolve the divisions. They will be meaningless.

  45. I don’t believe the 2011 Steelers travelling to Denver was as unfair as it might’ve appeared. The Steelers compiled their 12-4 record by having to beat just two teams that season with a winning record: New England and Cincinnati.
    Having dropped games to the Ravens (twice) and San Francisco, the ’11 Steelers were closer to being an 8-8 team than they were to a 12-win team, which they proved by going to Denver and losing to the heavily-underdog Broncos.
    Somehow, someway, strength of schedule should be factored in when determining playoff seedings.

  46. The current format has been place for about 50 years….and this is the year to make an issue out of it?

    Here’s an idea…Put your big boy pants on and may the best team win.

  47. why change it? every team first plays to win there division and get a by week once there in the playoffs the old saying goes every team is 0-0 tough luck for the whiners maybe next time they there division

  48. If you can’t win your division, you do not deserve a home playoff game. PERIOD!! You might as well do away with the divisions all together and only play the teams in your conference. That’s the only way it would be fair. You can’t punish a team for winning a division because it was competitive division and reward a team for playing in one that was a 2 team race.

  49. No its not unfair. Division games are always hard even if the teams are lousy they always play harder and better against division opponents.

    Division winners earn their home game and you and rest of the attorneys out there need to stop trying to lawyer the system. This system is part of what made the NFLs success. Don’t change it.

  50. If it’s so unfair why don’t they realign divisions? Wait don’t stop there how about realign conferences? Baltimore & Washington ar below the Mason-Dixon line so they are in the South geographically speaking. How is Indianapolis considered South? Move Dallas to the NFC South & move Carolina to the NFC East & the NFC is done. In the AFC, move Pittsburgh to the AFC East, move Baltimore to the AFC South, & move Indianapolis to the AFC North, & the AFC is done. Make Dallas & Washington play every year & alternate home & road each year like college rivalries. Have in Dallas home years they play on Thanksgiving traditionally since it’s one of the NFL’s best rivalries. Do the same thing with Pittsburgh & Baltimore. Seed every team 1-7 in each conference but only in the case of a tie-breaker scenario after head to head record, conference record, & common opponents, right before coin toss scenario then consider division winner. I’m Koolrepetoire & I approve this message.

  51. There’s nothing unfair about it. Beat out three other teams for your division and you get at least 1 game at home. Fail to do that and risk the road. Strength of schedule is ONLY a tie breaker and shouldn’t be made into more than that which is what this sounds like.

  52. Then why even have divisions? Win your division, it’s that simple. San Fran could have beaten Seattle in their first game and won the division.

    I don’t recall any outrage when the Packers were 11-5 in 2009 and had to go to Arizoona, who was 9-7. What about 2010 when the Packers were 10-6, beat Philly in the first game and still had to go on the road to play 10-6 Philly in the 1st round? Where was the “unfair” crap when the 10-6 Falcons had to go to NY to play the 9-7 Giants in 2011?

    14 or 16 teams? At that point you’re the NHL and NBA. The NFL playoffs are already a crapshoot, add more teams and eventually a team with a losing record will win the Super Bowl.

  53. So what? Life isn’t fair, and neither is football. But champions will overcome.

    This pursuit of “fairness” will rob the game and fans of the thrill and drama of division battles.

    No more social engineering in football, please.

  54. If this is the case,then divisions would no longer be necessary. Just one big conference with seeding based on records.
    Let’s see how much more we can water down football and cowtail to a handful of “popular teams” that just happened to not win their division this year.
    Why not seed based on how many jerseys a team sells? Or who has the best attendance figures?
    Let’s just find more excuses to a game which hasn’t even been played yet.
    Just man up and win the division, then you can play at home. Been that way for years and the NFL has grown beyond anyone’s expectations, so by all means ,let’s change what has worked!

  55. Not everything has to be changed to make everything “fair”….if you don’t want to travel during the playoffs, win your division.

  56. While I agree that it’s generally unfair, let’s be real here. If Rodgers hadn’t gotten hurt and missed 8 games, the Packers would have been fighting for a 1st round bye. So in this case, I would say things worked out correctly. Otherwise, I agree with changing the rule as long as the division winners still earn a playoff spot.

  57. The worse thing the NFL, or any other organization, can do is to give in to whining little babies. Divisions matter. If they don’t, then eliminate them.

  58. This completely diminishes the value of your divisional games. In a tough division but you won? There goes your prize!

  59. The NFL thinks they have a way to improve the game? Gee I’m on he edge of my seat to see how little they do this time to clean up the problems that are going on. I won’t hold my breath.

  60. My GOD, quit whining! If these teams can’t beat teams with inferior records on the road they don’t deserve anything! The 7-9 Seahawks beating the 11-5 Saints in 2010 and 8-8 Broncos beating the Steelers in 2011 is proof FOR the system being excellent as is!

  61. I think it is unfair to win your division and not get a home playoff game. Fairness is very subjective, but in this case you are just wrong.

  62. leave it alone,sorry abour your luck.should have went 14-2.if not then do away with divisions and seed from there.

  63. All of the teams knew the rules when they started playing this season. What is unfair?

  64. I don’t know why people pushing for re-seeding don’t ever touch the topic of scheduling. division rivals play 14 common games a year. 6 games against each other, than every team from one division from afc and one division from nfc. the other 2 games are against the teams in the same conference who placed the same in their divisions the year before. if you want to re-seed, you MUST have similar schedules. some years you get tougher schedules based on who you play. the packers and 49ers played very different schedules this year. the packers and bears and lions and Vikings did not. therefore, the division system is pointless if you do this. the only option is to get rid of divisions, play 15 games in conference and 1 “interleague” game. obviously this is not a good idea. also, I remember the packers having to play a road game in Arizona a few years ago with a worse record and I don’t remember anyone complaining.

  65. After all of the emphasis put on winning your division over the last decade, the NFL can’t take home playoff games away from division winners. When they realigned with the addition of Houston, they set it up so that every team in the division plays the same schedule, save for 2 games (and the difference between home & away), and then a few years later, they stacked the deck by putting half of the division games in the last 5 weeks. Yes it’s crappy for the 12-4 team that goes on the road to face a 9-7 team in the Wild Card round, but the NFL made it priority for teams to win their division, and they can’t say now that it means nothing.

  66. It’d work in the case of 2013, but what about scenarios like 2008 when the Pats finished 11-5 and missed the playoffs while the 8-8 Division “Champs” SD Chargers hosted a home game?

    Would the Pats punt the Chargers from the playoffs in that case?

    If seeding is going to be determined by record, then you need to go all the way….division champs be damned, if need be.

  67. For the future the topic for playoff seeding based upon records should be discussed. That part I agree.
    But to call it unfair now is unfounded, baseless and misleading. It also gives the 40whiner fans red meat to chew – as if they need another thing to whine about.
    Look, everyone knew the rules going into this year. Seattle knew it and did something about it. So did San Francisco-except they fell short. If the 49ers wanted home field advantage throughout the playoffs and not venture as a wild card team to play in the snow then they should have won more games than Seattle knowing that as a wild card team would get them a road game in the 2014 playoff system.

  68. First of all, win your division and the perks that go with it.

    Second of all, plenty of recent road teams (#5 and #6 seeds) have made the Super Bowl. It’s not as big of a disadvantage as it once was.

    Third of all, nothing will chance unless Jerry Jones or the Patriots think they got screwed by it. Then teeth-gnashing will occur and changes will come swiftly.

  69. Division winners get a home game, that is how it is since the wild card format got to where it is today.

    If they hadn’t expanded the playoffs, if you didn’t win the division, too bad. Your team could be 12-4 and not even make the playoffs.

    It is what it is. I could see there being more teams in the playoffs, but if the NFL gets too carried away, it will be like hockey where only a few teams don’t make the playoffs.

    I could see 16 teams making the playoffs and no one getting a bye week. We could see the first 6-10 team make it, get hot and win the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl would be hard to get to and win, that is for sure.

  70. It is just fine the way it is !!
    Please do NOT feel because they talked about all of the various Playoff scenarios; that they seriously considered changing. Did You run out of steam on the Redskins name change ?

  71. There is nothing wrong with the current format, and they do not need to change anything. If you seed purely on conference records you eliminate the point of having divisions altogether (no more rivalries?).

    The current format is perfect and it works. Parity in the the NFL is at an all-time high. If you want a home playoff game it’s simple, win your division!

    Crying that its “unfair” that you have to travel when you have a better regular season record than the home team sounds very non-football and more figure skating.

  72. What’s even more unfair is that the Cardinals, with a better record than the Packers, Chargers and the same record as the Eagles miss the playoffs alltogether, however they need to leave things as they are. There are too many changes all ready in football and the league needs to control itself…nobody ever said life was “fair” in the NFL , it’s the nature of the beast!

  73. I’m against reseeding. If you want home field advantage win your division! If you’re that much of a better team than your opponent where you believe you deserve to be reseeded ahead of them, then you should be able to beat them on the road in the playoffs!

  74. So now we are coming full circle. The NFC East used to be a beast with 4 teams happy to get a 10-6 record and win a division with 3 other tough teams.
    Then you would have a worst to first team with an easy schedule win a wildcard spot and have the home game.

    What the NFL really needs to do is leave it alone and start spending more time on simplifying the rules of the game. I have no idea what the difference is between a football catch vs a dropped pass anymore.

  75. simple solution, win your division. For winning your division you are awarded a home playoff game. The two teams that didn’t win their division should just be glad to make it in the playoffs.

  76. Personally, I like the idea of winning your division to get a home playoff game. I know I’m in the minority & used to be in the other camp.

    But, the more I thot about it over the years, keeping almost all divisional games meaningful seems the best scenario to me.

  77. I don’t really know what the defense for not seeding on record is? The division winners would still get an automatic postseason bid, so it’s not as if the rivalries and importance of divisional games will end?

    One could argue: “well, winning a division is more impressive, regardless of record, than coming in second place.”

    That would be a meaningful case to make if it weren’t for the fact that, in literally ever case cited in the original article, the wildcard team has a better divisional record than the team that won their division.

    The 49ers took care of business against their division rivals, and against the teams they played out of division, but are still forced to travel because of an outdated mechanism.

    There is zero doubt that it’s time for change.

  78. Division winners should continue to host playoff games IMHO. What’s the point of divisions if winning them means nothing? As a Giants fans, I enjoy our division rivalries with Washington, Philly and Dallas. And I wouldn’t want anything to devalue those contests.

  79. It’s time to add one more team in each conference. Why should the #2 team get a bye week?

  80. Well sometimes life is unfair. You want to have a home playoff game? Then win your division! If the road teams this weekend are really that much better then they should have no trouble winning regardless where the game is played.

  81. STOP IT.

    This is ridiculous.

    This presupposes that all victories are created equal. They are not. Suppose you get to play in a suck Division each years. That’s 3 extra victories, potentially, over a team that plays in a Division where every team is a Super Bowl contender. Why not take age into account? Why not take number of dome games v. outdoor games into account? Why not consider the weight of the O and D lines? Why not give a team a better weight because they play a 3-4 over a 4-3? How about a team that wins even though they lose 10 Starters as opposed to one that loses only 1 player? Why not consider the stats of the QBs on the respective teams?

    I bet those that read this post can add at least 10 other factors to the few I’ve listed.

    This is becoming the Theater of the Absurd. In the end, I bet the players don’t give a good damn. They just wanna play anywhere and win a Super Bowl. And while we are on a Super Bowl, let’s say it ends up being Green Bay v. Indy in the SB. Wouldn’t GB have an unfair advantage if it snows? What then?

    Good grief people. Stop it. I think the phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is also over used. However, to seed via record is ridiculous. It devalues Division play and gives home field, every year, to teams that play in terrible Divisions.

    I officiated basketball and football for 30 years before I retired. I also have been an NFL fan for 50 years. And I have never said the following … ever. You wanna “fix” the game and make it more “fair”? Fix the damn officiating!!

    Like I said … STOP IT.

  82. If you win your division you get one of the first four seed spots. The wild card already allows two teams in each conference who didn’t win their division in to compete based on record. It’s not broken don’t fix it.

  83. Saying “it’s as unfair as it was to teams in the past” is Quite crass.

    Just because it’s how it happened last year doesn’t mean changing it doesn’t make fans MUCH more interested and appreciative.

    You know… Players lived with getting rocked in the head repeatedly with no penalties or fines or suspensions in years prior. But they changed that. So perhaps change isn’t bad.

    Reseeding playoffs isn’t a bad idea either.

    Can’t wait until arbitrary divisions and conferences are done away with and we get a TRUE playoffs where best regular season records are rewarded AND… You can have ANY TWO TEAMS face-off in the Super Bowl.

    Imagine a Patriots Broncos Super Bowl. redskins/Cowboys. ravens/Steelers. packers/Bears. 49ers/Seahawks. Etc… Etc…

  84. Hey, if Wild Cards don’t like playing an away game, we can just go back to the original playoff among division winners, and everybody else can go play golf.

  85. I suppose it could be done somehow. But a worse record could indicate a tougher division, a better record an easier schedule. You’d also have to take into account possible refereeing errors that may have unduly influenced games during the season and other less quantifiable things (i.e did weather affect a team’s best assets, like a passing game..etc.)

    Given all that, I truly don’t believe there is an algorithm that will be so solid that it can’t be just as criticized as the current system. I believe in sticking with the current system and having a division title mean a game at home.

  86. What’s next? It isn’t fair that an 8-7-1 NFC team made the playoffs and a 10-6 AFC team did, so we should pick and seed the 12 playoff teams by record without regard to conference?

    This whole discussion is stupid.

  87. What’s a this business about fairness? If you want a home playoff game win your division. If you can’t win your division count your blessings, your lucky to eaven malt it to the playoffs.

  88. Can we keep the format the way it is and move on? Division winners deserve to get rewarded with a home game. Gives that much more meaning to the regular season and keeps the 4 teams in each division hungry. The wildcards should be just that. They earned their way in via record and should be playing at the home of a division champ regardless of record. Sometimes there will be uneven pairings, and that’s the way it goes. The current format is exciting, intriguing, and brings about perfect talking points for the media. Changing it to a record based, top-down form cheapens divisional play by giving division champions a seeding rather than a reward for being the best in their respected division.

  89. No, no change is needed. You want a home game? Win your division!

    It makes the division games, which are already rivalry games, that much more meaningful.

  90. Leave it the way it is. Win your division and host a playoff game. Wildcards play on the road.

    If the league is going to do away with the significance of winning a division championship, then they need to just get rid of the divisions and put the teams into two 16 team conferences and seed based on the best record. Of course, making sure each team has an equally difficult schedule might take some doing.

  91. No change is warranted. The NFL needs to stop messing with the game and leave well enough alone. The division winners should get a home game, and the wild cards should not. Here is an illustration of why:

    In the case of the Eagles and Saints, the Saints have a better record by one game. But look beyond the record. The Eagles played a harder AFC conference (the AFC West, which sent 3 teams to the playoffs) than the Saints played (AFC East, which sent only one). Looking at their records, the Eagles have the same record against conference opponents; the one game difference is in non-conference games.

    Secondly, look at how each team is playing lately. The Saints are 5-3 in the second half of the season, while the Eagles are 7-1.

    In their respective divisions, their opponents combined for 20 wins, so there is no differentiator between the divisions this year, but in other years there could be (playing twice against opponents in a tough division could hurt a division winner, but playing against an easier division could help a wild card team).

    If the NFL were to reseed the playoffs, the only fair thing to do is to eliminate divisions and seed teams based on a combination of schedule and strength of schedule. Frankly, this makes no sense to me, because this would also eliminate all the great division rivalries that help make this game so great.

    Winning the division should mean something, whether your talking about the Eagles, Packers, or any other team from any other year.

    Leave the game alone!

  92. We have different definitions of unfair.

    Or we could take your idea a step further, if being a division winner means nothing, why even have divisions? Or conferences? lets just do a 16 team tourney at the end of the year with the top 16 teams sorted by record.

    Or we could leave it the way it is. If San Fran or NO wanted a home game during the playoffs they could have won their division.

  93. I understand that it seems “unfair” that teams with a better record don’t get to host the game. But, I also think that there isn’t a “perfect” solution. I really like the way it is because it puts a HUGE emphasis on division games and division rivalries. It makes all the games in the regular season have a higher importance and more entertaining. Then, with the way the NFL has reorganized it for more division games at the end of the year, it makes it much better for the spectator. The Seattle/San Fran games, as well as the late season Carolina/New Orleans and Packers/Bears are games that I enjoyed more because they knew what was on the line.

    If you want to host a game, win the division. Don’t change it.

  94. “A greater sense of urgency is warranted.”

    Why exactly, because you want SF and New Orleans to win this weekend? Sorry, but if you want preferred seeding in the playoffs, you have to win your division. Eight other teams were able to do that, so it can obviously be done. There’s no problem here.

  95. No matter how unfair people think this is, only one fact will stop it from gaining momentum. 2 teams a year are disappointed with the setup. 4 teams are very happy with it. The NFL likes having division rivalries because it amps up week 1-8 games before playoff talk can start, and it gives you bozo’s stuff to write about. If you take away the home field game, you might as well get rid of the divisions, and then get rid of conferences, so that the best 12 teams make the playoffs and play each other the whole way. Leave the current format alone. Poor whiny southern teams have to travel north for playoff games. *tear* If you want a home playoff game, win your division. Otherwise, stop whining.

  96. It should be. A team that played hard and has a better record in the regular season shouldn’t have to travel to play a sorry a** team that sneaked into the playoffs.

  97. I wouldn’t change a thing. In the case of San Fran-GBay, it may seem unfair, but San Fran didn’t win their own division and GBay did- no matter what the records are. You have to take care of your own business first.

    Before the NFL starts tackling that issue, I would first figure out how to better officiate the games. Horrible officiating way too many blown calls.

  98. If divisions don’t matter, do away with them, but then you’ll have to logically do away with conferences as well. Further, if neither divisions nor conferences matter, then why have a postseason at all? Just award the team with the best record the title, as it would certainly be unfair for a 12-4 team to ultimately win over 13-3 team just because they happened to play better on one day.

    Yeah, if you want to pretty much kill the sport, by all means go this route. Divisional rivalries are just that BECAUSE winning your division matters.

    There’s nothing unfair nor “broken” about the system, and moving to this would actually decrease the importance of late season games.

  99. So I guess the teams would be seeded after the regular season, before the playoffs? Otherwise why have divisions at all – except for geographic grouping / scheduling logistics – if division winners aren’t rewarded somehow?


  100. I completely disagree with the premise that it’s “unfair”. The first goal, every season, is to win the division. Teams should be rewarded for that. Period. If you finish in 2nd pace, then you get what 2nd place should get, and no more.

  101. If you don’t want to travel as a wild card, win your division!
    PLEASE do not change playoff system.

  102. The problem with the current setup is that it doesn’t take into account that there are 4 divisions now instead of 3. Back before realignment, you only had 3 division winners and you had 3 wildcards. It was almost guaranteed that all 3 division winners would have good records and a near certainty that the #3 division winner would have a better record than the #6 seed.

    It was also almost guaranteed that the #4 seeded wildcard team would have a home game worthy record. The best wildcard team got to host a game back then against another wildcard team, the #5 seed.

    As it stands now, it is now almost guaranteed that the worst division winner will have a 9-7/8-8 type mediocre record and that the best wildcard team would have a superior record.

    From 1989 through 2001, only 3 times did a team with a worse record host a playoff game. From 2002 to the present, this has happened 15 times. It’s the new 4 division format that has screwed things up.

  103. Sorry,no sale. It’s not an apples to apples comparison every year anyway,which is why they don’t do it. The Eagles ,for all the talk about how easy NFC East was, had to play all the AFC West teams this year,3 of those teams made the playoffs, and the Eagles were 1-3 against those teams and 9-3 vs the NFC.The Saints were in the allegedly tough NFC South, where 2 teams made the playoffs, and the Saints had 4 lay ups against a pair of 4-12 teams . The Eagles just had the Skins for easy pickings;the Cowboys and Giants were .500 or just below. The Saints got the AFC East, with just one playoff team, the Pats, and still lost to the Jets. So since nobody knows in advance the ‘real’strength of schedule( the one they use for next year will be based on THIS years standings) they make it so winning your division means something. Otherwise, there’s no point in having divisions.The Eagles won theirs, and the Saints didn’t. Next year,the Saints could win theirs,and the Eagles could have a great year and finish 2nd, and it would be tough luck for the Eagles.The bottom line is that when the Eagles had to beat out the Cowboys ,they did ,winning 7 of their last 8. The Saints went 5-4 in November and December ,including zero road wins, a huge loss in Carolina on the next to last week, and never had more than 20 points in any of their last 5 raid games.I guess they SHOULD be worried about playing in Philly.

  104. Significance of division games makes the regular season much more interesting (GB/CH, DAL/PHI week 17, both DEN/KC games). This might be the only major issue in the NFL that fans are currently happy with – so, great idea, lets ignore the refs, the integrity of defense vs. player safety issue, the loss of practice and offseason team training time, and mess with the playoffs.

  105. It’s fine the way it is. If a team wants to host a game, then they need to play better, and win more games, than the teams in their division. Then, they can host a playoff game.

  106. Win your division and you get a home game. If you can’t do that, then pack your bags because you’re going on the road.

    Both the Saints and 49ers had opportunities to win their respective divisions and didn’t do it.

  107. I, personally, am in favor of this. You should get a playoff spot for being a division winner. But if you win your crappy division with less wins than a wild card team with a better record in a better division then you should not be rewarded with a home playoff game.

  108. Enough about fairness. Winning a division does mean something if it gets you to the playoffs. Playoff seeding and home field should be based on merit…i.e. the accomplishment of a better record.

  109. why is it unfair? Unless every team played the exact same schedule there is no “fairness” In fact it could be argued that strength of schedule should way in on seeding more prominently than record.

  110. Unfair? Life is unfair. Leave the system to keep the integrity and impact of the division games. If you don’t want to travel on wild card weekend – win more games and your division.

  111. If you win your division, regardless of record, you deserve home field advantage during the playoffs. The 2008 Giants and 2011 Packers won it as a wild card. Suck it up and play Football.

  112. In the 2010-11 playoffs, all four wild card teams would have been hosting a playoff game instead of going on the road if the playoff were seeded. Of the four teams, only the Saints lost giving up 41 points to a team that averaged less than 20 per game. The next year the Steelers allowed Tebow to average over 15 yards per attempt (6.7 for his career). You have to come up with some better examples to make me think a wild card team is cheated by not hosting a playoff game.

  113. If you remove home games for division winners, you may as well remove divisions entirely as they no longer mean anything. And if you do that you kill all of the current and future rivalries. That’s a horrible idea. Hate it.

  114. I’m confused, you ask the question yesterday and a overwhelming majority said keep it the same, Win your division. So today you post the that Yes, it’s unfair. No it’s not, unless your all going to play the same schedule then it will never be fair. Every team knew the rules before the season started.

  115. If the division is all-important then the 49’ers won their division with a better divisional record than Seattle. If non-divisional games are all-important then Seattle should be seeded ahead of the 49’ers. Since Seattle is seeded ahead of the 49’ers de facto the NFL is saying the division is not as important as the overall record. Consequently, teams that win their division should simply get into the playoffs… but teams should be seeded based on overall record. The way it is right now it is conceivable that a 14-2 team could potentially play at a 6-8 team’s home field in the playoffs… and since home field advantage is so important… the 14-2 team would lose. And of course the 6-8 team would lose the following week in an ugly game. Not good for high quality football. Not good for the NFL.

  116. Then what’s the point of having divisions in the first place? If you make the playoffs as a wild card, just be happy you made it since you didn’t win your division.

    Going to the NBA model would completely ruin the division rivalries.

  117. So much blather about fair – just win more games, win your division, get home field. If the 12-4 49ers are so clearly superior to the 8-7-1 Packers, prove it. Instead they will have the brie and chardonnay ready for the “whine” party if they fail to justify their gaudy 12 wins by losing to a team which is only a tie above .500 because they footsies were too cold.

    All this fairness bull and the drive to eliminate football from football to make the world safe for mediocrities like cris carter to put up video game numbers and go to the Hall of Pretty Good because no one can touch them or their qbs are ruining the game.

    Within a few years the game will resemble a high school cheerleader Powder Puff game with flags and no kickoffs or punts and no blitzing and no hitting a defenseless offensive player (defined as any offensive player in the stadium).

    Hopefully the total emasculation of the game can be forestalled until after the centennial 2019 season – The NFL: 100 Years – A Decent Run!

  118. If they decided this, they might as well just get rid of divisions as a whole. could allow for me teams to be created and not have to worry about uneven # of teams in divisions.

    I think it would suck, but could see it happening with the way the games being changed already.

  119. your reward for winning your crappy division is a playoff game. you do not get rewarded a home game for being crappy and having worse record then a “WILCARD TEAM”. for those people saying ‘win more game and win your division’ how about we get rid of divisions altogether then everyone can say ‘win more games’. ooh that would piss off alot of people with mediocre .500 teams. 🙂

  120. Too many scheduling variables makes the current system the only fair system. Is it fair for the Cardinals and Rams that they have to play the Seahawks and 49ers twice? Is it fair for the teams in the AFC West to be forced to play the Broncos twice when other teams don’t have to play them at all?
    The playoff structure works. Quit changing everything just for the sake of change!

  121. Another example of how the NFL is screwing up the integrity of the game by tampering with something that isn’t broken.

    After watching college bowl games throughout the last few weeks, it is becoming painfully obvious that the NFL has become a circus with Goodell acting as both the ringleader and clown.

    Rules that are poorly defined, officiating reserved for the NBA, bias towards large market teams and now this consideration to add more teams and create a seeding instead of the divisional and wildcard playoff order.

    This isn’t the NFL; this is a Barnum and Bailey spectacle dummied for even the simplest person to watch it.

  122. Is the current system just fine? Is the current t system bringing in huge profits? Has the current system always worked? Let’s change it then!

    – Roger Gooddell

  123. Lot of NFC north commenters here, against this idea because they are the saddest division in football. Win your division, they shout. 49ers actually had a better division record than Seattle, they just got jobbed in New Orleans on that sack/fumble call.

    Packers don’t belong in the playoffs. Cardinals do.

    If the cold and ice somehow defeat a vastly superior 49er team, packers just going to get humiliated in Carolina or Seattle the next week. Why don’t you get better by firing Dom Capers and getting a real defense instead of trying to rely on cold weather or playoff seeding rules to squeak out one game?

  124. How is seeding by record more fair? If they are going to change how teams are seeded to make it more fair they should take into account the strength of schedule, margin of victory, touchdowns scored, time of possession, turnover differential, and facial hair.

  125. I don’t understand the thought that seeding the wildcard round by record would render divisions meaningless.

    Division winners would still be getting rewarded with an automatic playoff berth, that’s got to be worth something, right?

    You’re also still giving the top 2 division winners the bye weeks and forcing the wildcard teams to play an extra game. Isn’t that enough of a penalty for not winning your division? Having to also travel to a mediocre division winner is going overboard.

    Before realignment, the best wildcard team got to host a playoff game every year. It’s ridiculous that a 12-4 49ers team has no shot at ever hosting a game barring a miracle.

  126. Changing to a straight seeding based solely upon record would be just as unfair because it ignores the effort in winning the division. That said, here’s something the league might seriously consider. Any division winner would automatically be granted a home game in the playoffs AS LONG AS it had more wins than losses in both the current season AND in the prior season. This eliminates teams with a 7-9 or 8-8 record forcing teams with better records to come to them, AND it gives teams who are eliminated from the playoffs during the season more motivation to play for a possible home playoff game the following season instead of just mailing it in and hoping for a better draft slot. Just a thought.

  127. Why weren’t San Fran fans complaining last year when an 11-5 Seattle team had to go on the road to play a 10-6 division winner in D.C.?

    Or an 11-5 Indy team play at 10-6 Baltimore?

    Oh that’s right. They weren’t complaining because they won the NFC West.

  128. they need to leave it alone. you can’t reseed BC then how do you compare who has harder schedule, division, etc. Suck it up! Division champs are division champs. they deserve their playoff game! oh boo….. it’s cold in green bay….. well it’s hot in San Fran and Packers would cramp up, is that any less fair? Geez, you get paid well….. shut up and play!

  129. I just wished my team would have made it to the postseason. Yet I realize that the 0-4 start was what killed them this year. I am still proud of my Pittsburgh Steelers’ team as a fan and a Pittsburgh native because they fought hard despite the adversity they had to overcome. To come that close to a playoff berth would have been miraculous.

  130. This does and does not need to be addressed. Yes it’s fairly accurate to reward division winners as long as they have a winning record. “Winning” the division with a losing record (Seattle) or with a .500 record (take your pick) is not a winning team. They backed into it merely because others sucked worse than they did. Teams like these do not deserve to host a playoff game much less even be in the playoffs.

    Solution: A team has to have a winning record to be in the playoffs at all. If a division “winner” does not have w inning record then they are replaced by the team with the highest record (include standard tie breaker rules) as a wild card team. All wild card teams are ranked so the highest wild card team would probably wind up hosting a first round game. This solution would reward the teams that legitimately won their division with a winning record and the teams that were left out while keeping out the lame division “winners”.

  131. As I would do it, with seeding rearranged, the 49ers would in a seven-team-per-conference format actually be (as the #3 seed) hosting a Cardinals team (#6 seed) they would be trying to beat for the third time this season in the first round. The Packers would actually be in Carolina in this format as the Panthers (#2 seed) would also be in the first round as only the Seahawks would have a bye (Pack would be seeded 7th). The Eagles would still be playing the Saints, but that game would be in New Orleans as the Eagles would be seeded fifth and Saints fourth (and in an oddity, if the Cards had defeated the 49ers on Sunday, the NFC matchups would have remained the same in this format, but the Cards-49ers game would have been 5 vs 4 and Eagles-Saints would have been 6 vs 3).

    The NFL needs to make overall records first priority on seeding with a division champion only getting preference over a wild card if they have identical records AND the wild card DID NOT beat the division champ in the regular season.

  132. If winning the division means so much, then why don’t they put actual emphasis on who actually wins a division?

    See if you can follow me here. The winner of the division is actually based on which team in the division wins the most games overall. Not who wins the most games within the division.

    If you need an example, Detroit 4-2, Dallas 5-1, San Francisco 5-1 all won more division games than Green Bay 4-3-1, Philadelpia 4-2, and Seattle 4-2.

    However, the division Champions are seeded by who won the most games overall.

    Somehow, a second place finish in the division (which is based on best winning percentage in all games) is superceeded by “Division Title”, even if the “wild card” team has a worse record than the “Division Champ”.

    If there is such a huge distinction, why do the bottom 2 division winners play in the wildcard round???

    I don’t follow the logic. Divisions are decided by best record overall, but seeding isn’t. This really makes no damn sense.

    When a team beats a team head to head, plays a far tougher schedule and finishes with a far better record, you’ve got to support your argument for keeping the outdated format by more than “they won their division” rationale.
    It’s not rocket surgery.

  133. could you imagine a team winning there division with a 3-13 record because the other teams in there division could only mustard up 1 or 2 wins. Then hosting a playoff game against a 14-2 team that couldn’t win there division because another team in there division had a 15-1 record. everyone would say ” but they won there division. if you want a home playoff game then win more games and win your division” 🙂

  134. If you want the highest quality playoff football then seed the teams.

    If you want to reward winning a division then let the division winners into the playoffs.


    Winning a divisions would still be important… as would the overall record.

    Isn’t that how they do it in the NBA?

  135. Eliminate the term “Wild Card”. Either you made the playoffs or you didn’t. Adding another team per conference is cool to me with only the #1 seeds getting byes. Why is the 2nd round called the “Divisional Playoff games”? Divisions were already decided. I’m open to change as long as it benefits the game long term. Realign divisions.

  136. All of you windbags crying over divisions not meaning anything are clueless. How about if you’re a division winner you get an automatic playoff berth but seeding is based on your record. How is this not logical to you?

  137. I love the idea, PFT! Mediocre teams have no business having a home game if there are other teams with better records. You are rewarding mediocrity. What’s the incentive for that division to get better?

    Even if my Saints were 8-8, they don’t deserve a home playoff game if another team is 12-4, and the winner of that division is 13-3. It means that was a great division, like the NFC West was this year.

    Their third place Cardinals had a better record than the Packers, yet they didn’t make the playoffs. And their fourth place Rams was just one half game behind the NFC North Champion Packers! Go figure! This gives crappy divisions and advantage they shouldn’t have.

    So, I would LOVE re-seeding. I know life isn’t fair, but when we know better, we should do better.

    Just do it, NFL!

  138. I love the idea, PFT! Mediocre teams have no business having a home game if there are other teams with better records. You are rewarding mediocrity. What’s the incentive for that division to get better?

    Even if my Saints were 8-8, they don’t deserve a home playoff game if another team is 12-4, and the winner of that division is 13-3. It means that was a great division, like the NFC West was this year.

    Their third place Cardinals had a better record than the Packers, yet they didn’t make the playoffs. And their fourth place Rams was just one half game behind the NFC North Champion Packers! Go figure! This gives crappy divisions an advantage they shouldn’t have.

    So, I would LOVE re-seeding. I know life isn’t fair, but when we know better, we should do better.

    Just do it, NFL!

  139. If you really want to be fair then the easy solution to this is neutral site games throughout the playoffs.

    Every time you make a change to how the playoffs are set up a new problem will develop. If a team can’t overcome the challenges of the playoffs then they don’t deserve to be superbowl champions, simple as that.

  140. Bad idea. Division rivalries run this league.

    Based on Flo’s logic– Why not just eliminate divisions? Why not just eliminate conferences then? Just go with the top eight teams in the NFL, with the top four getting home games and seeding them top to bottom?

  141. A couple years ago an 11 game winner that did not win their division had to travel to a 7 game division winner that had a huge home field advantage. Rarely did the 7 win team lose at home. Predictably, the 7 win team beat the 11 win team in large part due to the home field advantage. And just as predictably the 7 win team got crushed the next week when they had to travel. How does that make for high quality playoff football? A non-competitive team playing in what amounts to the semi-finals or what the NFL calls the divisional games. It looks like there will be a repeat this year. Stop the nonsense. Seed the teams! Allow division winners into the playoffs but seed the teams according to their record.

  142. If the problem is “undeserving” division winners then the solution is get rid of the divisions and reorganize the two conferences into on EPL style 16 team table. Then see what sort of a hornets next *that* opens up. Do you keep phantom divisions around for scheduling purposes only? Then you are left with a problem of unbalanced schedules. If not, then the Packers and the Bears or 49ers and Seahawks or Broncos and Raiders play once a year only every couple of years? That’ll go over real well… Then again, we could just go to a 32 game schedule… 😉

  143. This idea is so shortsighted and lazy. Ever think the reason for the record discrepancy of division winners v. wild card teams may be the schedule they have and the alternating divison opponents they face?

    Niners played Tennessee, Jacksonville, Houston, Tampa Bay, and Atlanta in their rotating schedule. The 3 teams that had winning records in those divisions, the Niners lost to (Indy, New Orleans, Carolina).

    Green Bay played Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cincinatti, Dallas, Philadelphia …

    It’s not a coincedence that the entire NFC North had mediocre records and the entire NFC West had good ones. Its all about the schedule.

  144. The AFC North always have the easiest schedule.
    They each get to play the Browns twice.

  145. 1. Add two more teams to 34
    2. Get rid of divisions and only have conferences so there are 17 per conference.
    3. Teams only play other teams within their conference for their 16 games.
    4. Seed based on standings

  146. the 9ers of all teams shouldn’t be whining. they routinely beat up the worst division in football in the 80s and 90s and got home games and first round byes. like in 95 when the nfc central was ferocious and the nfc west outside san fran was terrible. san fran hosted the better packers team in the divisional round and got stomped. how bout 2009 when the Vikings and packers both had 11 or more wins and the packers went to the 10-6 nfc west champ cardinals in the wildcard round? division champs host games, period. sometimes it benefits you and sometimes it doesn’t, but it would be a lot worse to get rid of that format. additionally, scheduling makes it so division teams play 14 common games. non division teams might only play a few. anybody for re seeding, please explain how you would schedule the regular season. if you don’t explain that to make strength of schedule somewhat even, you sound uneducated and make decisions on emotion and not logic.

  147. Unfair?

    How is it that we determine Super Bowl teams based on a playoff system?

    We’ve had teams that played well for 16 games get knocked off by a team that sucked all season, backed into the playoffs and had the audacity to play three or four games well and then beat the 18-0 / 19-0 team.

    Since when is a sport predicated on fairness?

    If you don’t have the balls to be thankful you got to the playoffs and have a chance to win anywhere, then you don’t deserve to be in the playoffs.

    There is no need to change this system. Some teams take most of the season to get hot and then start their own version of a dynasty in the middle of a season and build from there. Some are in the process of a dynasty – some have bad seasons, bad luck, or benefit from a weak division or are hurt by a strong one. We have such common schedules now that there is no reason to change a damned thing.

    Play your best football and rise above.

    You want to whine? Sell your franchise to someone who has the balls to play.

  148. The 49ers aren’t whining about having to go to Green Bay..They know they didn’t win the division so it is what it is..That’s Florio talking about the NFL putting it out there on the table to change the seeding..

  149. I didn’t want to have to go there but I guess I have to. Please stop the redundant life isn’t fair rhetoric. This is a game where billionaires pay former college players millions to entertain us as a passtime. Secondly, change is inevitable in the NFL. Do any of you remember the 28 team NFL in the 80’s and 49’ers dominated a weak 5 team division consisting of them, the perenially sorry Falcons, the sorry Saints whose fans wore paperbags over their faces calling them the “Aints”, & the mediocre up & down Rams? Was it fair to the NFC that those 49’ers got 6 free wins a year to where the road to the Superbowl consistently went through Candlestick Park? Was it fair in the 90’s when the Buffalo Bills dominated a perenially weak AFC East consisting of the sorry Jets, the rebuilding sorry Patriots, the pathetic Colts, & the mediocre Dolphins? How many years did they get 8 free wins & get to enjoy the road to the Superbowl consistently going through Rich Stadium? In fact of their 5 Superbowl appearances can you recall them not being the #1 seed? Fast forward to these 2000’s & this 32 team NFL, has it been fair to the AFC that the Patriots have dominated a weak AFC East & consistently enjoyed at least 5 wins if not 6 every year helping them often enjoy the road to the Superbowl in the AFC going through Gillette Stadium? How many consecutive years have the Patriots won the AFC East? Let’s go to this relatively new AFC South, how many consecutive years did the Colts win the AFC South? They just won it again & this weak division had the fewest wins of any division in the NFL. Remember when we kept hearing about “parity”? What parity? Those 2 divisions in the AFC are consistently not competitive. Let’s say if the NFL was properly aligned geographically, can you imagine if Miami was in the AFC South this year & hosted an 11-5 Chiefs team that is obviously a better team? You cats are screaming “Quit crying just win your division?” It’s a democracy. The majority vote will win if it gets presented in the Owner’s meeting this Spring. I love the new OT rules, it’s “fair” now. I’m all for seeding the playoffs under a good format. All of you screaming about divisions being won do realize no trophy or rings are passed out for winning a division right? It’s for Regular Season bragging rights only. In the playoffs they play other division winners & teams that are better teams due to being battle tested in competitive divisions.

  150. Winning the Division should guarantee a playoff spot. The 4 teams with the best record should get a week off. If your team goes 12-4, but doesn’t win the division because another team went 31-3, they should not have to go and play on the road against a team who is 7-9. Its about winning games, not winning enough games in a crappy division, to barely get into the playoffs, then get treated to a home game. really 7-9 hosting a home game to a team with a 12-4 record ? That seems wrong to me. The team with the better record should host the playoff game. simple. Everything else stays the same, nothing else changes. This year The Saints and the 49ers should be the home team by virtue of number of wins. The Eagles still get their division title, Green Bay still wins the division. The rivalry’s all stay the same, the only difference is the better record hosts the playoff game. I say this because a team playing in a crap division, a team who made the playoffs by default, hey someone has to win the division, doesn’t mean they should get a home field advantage over a team that may have 5 more wins, hell, it could be 6 more wins. Its possible for a team to win 13 games and be forced to play on the road against a team with 7 wins. That is not fair. 13-3 on the road against 7-8-1? Traveling and playing in hostile environment, Versus playing in your own stadium with fan noise and a nights sleeping in your own bed, is a huge advantage. Just losing a day preparation to travel is a big deal.
    After the wild card round, the rules are stay the way they are now. The only difference is teams with better records in the Wild card round get to host the game. This seems to me to be the correct answer.

  151. Spit the league into 4 divisions of 8 , two per conference. Winners of division get 1st rnd bye and home playoff game. Next best four teams (so a total of 6 per conference) regardless of division get into playoffs. The best 2 from that group (the non division winners) get to host a home playoff game. With more teams in each division, winning the division is more of an accomplishment and more justifiable for an automatic home game. Having the remaining 4 make it in regardless of division eliminates the risk of good teams missing out. Problem solved.

  152. Why is it “unfair that a team like the 12-4 49ers must venture to Green Bay for Ice Bowl II when the Packers cobbled together a measly 8-7-1 record…”?

    Home field advantage is basically a “glitch.” Objectively, the league would not want either team to start the game with a built-in advantage, other than the skill of their players. Other sports address this by having multi-game series, splitting home and away games. The league is structured into divisions, and if you don’t win yours, be grateful you got a bonus ticket to the tournament.

    If home field advantage is “fair favoritism” for the better team, why not have the better remaining team host the Super Bowl?

  153. If they’re going to that then just get rid of divisions. Just have a 16 team AFC and a 16 team NFC and th top 8 make the playoffs with the top two getting bye weeks.

    On the down side, this effects division rivalries. You would play a more vague conference schedule and you wouldn’t get the more meaningful than normal division rivalry games that have a big effect on division standings.

    Packers vs Bears
    Cowboys vs Redskins
    49ers vs Seahawks

  154. Eventually after they try to “fix” this “problem”… soon after would follow a 9-7 AFC team making the playoffs while a 10-6 NFC team doesn’t make the playoffs.

    If they do this, it will spiral out of control and you’ll be left with a 32 team NFL table with no regional divisions and conferences.

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