Sports from the point view from the guy that holds the clipboard for the guy that holds the clipboard.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

End of the Patriots 2008 Season Part 1

Ok so we'll do this in four parts:

1) Playoff Format  (adjusatments or division re-alignment)

2) Favre  (and Romo)

3) Cassel

4) 2009 Preview

For the record I am not bitching.  I am not a crybaby.  The season is over.  It sucks but it is how it is.  11-5 and out, 8-8 and in.  Many teams have won their divisions with an 8-8 record, and with eight divisions is it a common occurrence that we are going to have to accept.  The league obviously did not expect it to be as common as it has been.   If the Pats beat the Colts, they'd be the ones left out.  There was the Pittsburgh game and the first Dolphins game.  The Patriots had their chances to prevent this.  So here are some suggestions as to how to make sure no other team gets screwed as hard, or even harder.

1) Ban 7-9 teams from the payoffs.  If no other change is made but this, we will all be better off.  I can promise you, guarantee to you right now, that WHEN a team wins their division at 7-9 there will be at least one team in the league with 10 wins that will be left out of the playoffs.

2) What should the rule be then?  A team that has won 2 more games than a division winner will make the playoffs and the division winner will not.  All seeds will move up to fill the division winners #4 seed and the extra Wild Card team would be the #6 seed.  If this extra Wild Card team has to cross over conferences for the playoffs, then so be it.      2 games better.  No fluke, no luck, no tie-breakers, just a flat out better team making the playoffs.  Let's remove the Patriots from this discussion and ask a question.  Should the Jets be in the playoffs over the Chargers?  YES, and I hate the Jets.  They were 2 games better.  Not 1, not tied, but two full games.

3) An alternative idea is to re-align the divisions.  Cut the number of divisions in half.  Two conferences, with two 8-team divisions each.  Each team would play half their schedule in their division.  (Each team plays each other once with one match-up for each team being a home and away series.)  Then keep the same 6 team per conference format.  Division winners get the bye, the rest seed out by record and tie-breaker.  This removes the 8-8 division winner nonsense.  It does not change the playoffs.  It eliminates most of the tie-breakers by creating more decisions being made based upon head-to-head match-up.

4) Keep the current entrance rules, but seed the teams based upon record.  That way the 8-8 Charges do not get to host the 12-4.  That is wrong.  In fact the Colts have more right to complain about this than the Patriots have about not making the playoffs.   Big deal you won the crappiest division in football.  That should not mean you get to host a team that finished FOUR games ahead of you.  Here is your playoff spot, take it, on the road, shut up and be happy we let you sit at the grown up table.

5) DO NOT EXPAND THE NUMBER OF TEAMS IN THE PLAYOFFS.  At all.  Ever.  Under any circumstances, until the league has expanded to more than 35 teams.

When I was a kid, eight games of a teams schedule was played in their division, this made it unlikely that a division winner would end up 8-8  because there was more activity within the divisions.  Now with only 6 games, a team can suck, but win their division and end up with an 8-8 record.  It's happened

And trust me, a 7-9 division winner is on the horizon.  Don't believe me?  Just look at what we had last season, 16-0 and then look at this season 0-16.  Then ask yourself how unbelievable a 7-9 division winner is.  This is concern #1 to me: Keeping that crappy team out of the playoffs and letting a FAR more deserving team in.

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