The PATS have been my team for the last 13 years and over the last few years, I've grown fonder of the Saints. My big dilemma is if they are forced to face each other in the big dance, but oh, what a game that would be.
Before I go on with this, I did air this out in brief last night and I realize that there really isn't a way to fix this to my liking at least because the real fact I must accept is that first and foremost, the NFL (along with all pro sports) is a for profit business and the fact that it is a "sport" is a very, very distant second. I must accept this fact but I will forever be saddened by it.
Now, for a look at the playoffs
The Wild Card round looks like this:
Bengals vs. Texans: I have no problem with this match up; it's a 9-7 team versus a 10-6 team, pretty fair.
Steelers vs. Broncos: Now I have a problem. The Steelers, as much as they are not on my teams I will ever like list, had a 12-4 record and are somehow being forced to face the Broncos who went 8-8, a .500 team that lost 5 of the first 7 games and the last 3 games of the season.
The fact is, in any professional sports competition, any team can defeat any other team on any given day, there are so many variables that go beyond the odds and anyone who has watched professional sports for a long enough time has seen it happen over and over again. My philosophy is that a team that only won 8 of 16 games should not be given that opportunity against a team that won 12 of 16 games. Back to the games...
Lions vs. Saints: Lions were 10-6, Saints 13-3. I think the Lions this year were better than their record implies but not nearly as good as the Saints, who I think are better than their record implies. While I think it's a fair match up in terms of teams and ability, the saints have a better record than one of the teams and the same record as two of the teams in the following round.
Falcons vs. Giants: Falcons were 10-6 while the Giants were 9-7. Again, pretty comparable records and while I've only seen each team play twice this year, I think they are pretty evenly matched.
Lots of variables for the divisional round but in the AFC, you have games that will feature the PATS vs someone and the Ravens vs. someone and in the NFC, it's the Packers and the 49ers. In a side note, I seem to "hate" the Packers way less now that Brett Favre is long gone. Looking forward to seeing where it all ends up.