Today, Bill Simmons writes about the Seahawks beating the Saints last weekend:
Seattle demolishing the “We need a rule so only teams .500 or better can make the playoffs!!!” argument. Fun while it lasted. And yes, the past three .500-or-under playoff teams won their first games.
I find this unconvincing. There are biases in data that are sometimes hard to tease out. For example, any team that makes the playoffs with 8 or fewer wins will always be because they won their terrible division (it’s impossible to make the wild card with that few wins in a league with 8 divisions). And because of NFL rules, these 8-or-fewer-wins teams will play host to their wild-card opponents. And while it is impressive that the 7-9 Seahawks beat the 11-5 defending Super Bowl champion Saints, I don’t think that they should have been allowed to play at home against a team with 4 more regular season wins. And if that game is held in New Orleans instead of Seattle (where there is one of the more significant home-field advantages), I say there’s almost no chance the Seahawks win that game.
I don’t have a problem with a team with 7 or 8 wins making the NFL playoffs, but I don’t think they should be guaranteed homefield for any of their games. Likewise, it’s rather unfair that the #1 seed in the NFC, Atlanta, has to play against the far superior Packers this week instead of the Seahawks.