Tuesday, January 03, 2012
When you add that bit of information to the way the Patriots have played over the last few regular season games this year -- getting way behind because the defense couldn't stop a Pop Warner team and then the offense wakes up and they win big -- is a potential recipe for another early playoff exit, especially if what I'm going to rant about in a minute comes to fruition. Letting teams march down the field against you unabated for the first 3 or 4 series of a game at the same time the offense is taking a nap is a recipe for getting your ass kicked in the playoffs against teams that have the defensive and offensive might and balance to keep you down enough so that you can't quite catch up. Yes, the defense rises up situationally and does enough to halt the onslaught while the Patriot offense overwhelms bad teams into playing a way they're not comfortable, creating turnovers and quick outs and field position. Will that work against the likes of the Steelers and Ravens? Probably not. I don't even like the odds of it working against the Bengals or Texans.
We'll see for this year but the front office and player development and scouting departments need to start doing a whole lot better job in the draft when selecting defensive players, and the team needs to decide that great defensive players like Richard Seymour, Asante Samuel, et al, are worth their weight in Super Bowl glory and pay them to stay.
So while I would rather be a Patriot fan than a Bills fan, winning a lot of regular season games is unsatisfying. And let me ask you a question about the Super Bowl. As a Patriots fan, would you rather make it to the Super Bowl and lose or not make it at all?
Now, on to a quick rant about the playoff format. What is the point of being the #1 seed if you could end up playing the third best team (arguably the best team) in the second round? Because the NFL seeds division winners with bad records higher than wild card teams with great records AND then doesn't reseed them after the first round, you're better off being the #2 seeded Ravens than you are the #1 seeded Patriots, unless the Bengals beat the Texans. The Steelers won one less game than the Patriots and are arguably the best team in the AFC but are the 5th seed. If the Steelers beat the Broncos (yeah right, if) and the Texans beat the Bengals, then in the second round you'll have the 12-3 Patriots, the #1 seed, playing the 11-4 Steelers, the #5 seed, while the 11-4 Ravens, the #2 seed, play the 10-6 Texans, the #3 seed.
I understand and can live with giving the division winners the higher seed in the first round and hosting a playoff game but then everyone should have to reseed after that first round based on record. This has been a repeated issue since the NFL went to four divisions. Every year you have a bad team winning a bad division hosting a playoff game against a much better team, which is kinda unfair to the better team, but it makes a mockery of the seedings and gives unfair advantages to lower seeded teams over higher seeded teams. Yup, I am afraid of the Steelers but fair is fair, we shouldn't be seeing them in the second round. If I had my way, there'd be two conferences and six teams make the playoffs from each conference based solely on record and seeded accordingly. I'd even rather have 8 teams with the traditional 1 versus 8 and so on matchups without a bye week than what we have now.