Dallas (7-3), San Francisco (6-4), Seattle (6-4), Green Bay (7-3).
Those teams are successful and are contenders for NFC Wild Card berths. Two of them won't make it in. Do you know which will? The NFC South winner, which probably won't finish with a winning record. San Francisco is third in its division and has one of the best records in the league. Tampa Bay (2-8) is tied with the Jets for the third-worst record in the league and is only two games out of first place in the NFC South. You read that right.
This, of course, makes the cries for postseason change louder and of course makes the NFL's proposed postseason expansion look favorable. And I can agree to a small part. But I also disagree with it and think that the league should go for a seeded tournament.
Before I do that however, let's take a look at the proposed plan:
One seed would be added to each conference, putting 14 teams in the playoffs, which is still less than 50% of NFL teams.
The No. 1 seed would get a first-round bye, and of course, home-field advantage.
Seeds 2-4 would get home playoff games vs. the Wild Cards and the winners would progress to the next round.
The Wild Cards go to the three non-division winners with the best record.
I like that the No. 1 team is the only team with a bye. They played hard and earned the best record in their conference, they deserved it. Adding a seventh seed would still allow a quality team to make it to the playoffs. But that doesn't eliminate the factor that a bad team can not only make it to the playoffs, but host a game, only by the virtue of not being the worst team in a bad division.
Here would be my proposal for seeded playoffs:
I prefer six teams, but would be OK for seven.
The No. 1 seed gets a first round bye and home field advantage.
Seeds 2-4 get home playoff games vs. the Wild Cards, winners progress to the next round.
But here's the kicker: Seeds would be determined by record, not divisional play.
Seeded tournaments would eliminate teams like the 2010 Seahawks edging out the 10-win Giants and Buccaneers, or the 8-7-1 Packers edging out the 10-6 Cardinals, or one of the aforementioned NFC teams getting eliminated because of the NFC South winner. Seeded tournaments would keep the NFL's bad teams outside of the postseason, where they belong.