34% Is Not Good For The Game
34% may be a great figure for the percentage of at bats that result in a base hit for a batter. It can be a great percentage for number of times you win the Daily Double at Keeneland on the race card. But, 34% is an awful number when it applies to the number of NFL teams with winning records through seven weeks.
Only 11 out of the 32 NFL have a winning record at this point in the season. Because 12 teams make the playoffs, if the playoffs began today, there would be one lousy team with a losing record in the playoffs. To make matters worse, that team would be the 3-4 Indianapolis Colts which could easily make the playoffs at 6-10. Worse, they would host a playoff game. It just as easily could be Houston or even Jacksonville, where 6-10 might win the AFC South.
The NFC East is not much better off. The New York Giants might win the division at 8-8. Never have two teams at .500 or below made the playoffs in the same year. If a 9-7 team fails to qualify for the playoffs, while a 6-10 team not only makes the playoffs but hosts a first round game, something is seriously wrong.
Improving The Playoffs
The NFL would be better served by switching to four, eight-team divisions, with two divisions in both conferences. Let the champions of the four divisions earn byes in the first round, with the four best remaining teams in both conferences earning the wildcard spots. Then, the 3rd and 4th seeded teams in both conferences would host the 5th and 6th seeded teams.
For easy argument’s sake, let’s just combine the East and North Divisions and the South and West Divisions. We’ll call the four divisions the AFC Northeast, the AFC Southwest, the NFC Northeast, and the NFC Southwest.
That would change things a lot and make the playoffs much better than it will be. If the season ended today, New England would edge Cincinnati for one bye; Denver would get the Southwest bye; and the two NFC byes would go to Green Bay and Carolina. Not much would change in this regard, although Cincinnati would replace Denver under the old format.
The big change would come in the other playoff spots. Now, the 3-4 Colts would not be in line to host or even make the playoffs. The remaining four AFC playoff bids would go like this:
4th Seed–New York Jets
There would be different home teams in the other conference too. The NFC would go like this:
6th Seed–New York Giants
There still might be an 8-8 or even a 7-9 team in the playoffs, but now they would be the #6 seed playing on the road against a much better team.
Which do you think is a better option?
A. 6-10 Indianapolis hosting 11-5 New York Jets, while the Oakland Raiders stay home at 8-8
B. 13-3 Cincinnati Bengals hosting 8-8 Oakland Raiders, while the Indianapolis Colts stay home at 6-10
Which one of these looks like the better way to choose an NFC champion?
A. 8-8 New York Giants hosting 12-4 Atlanta Falcons
B. 12-4 Atlanta Falcons hosting 8-8 New York Giants
Now for this week’s NFL PiRate Ratings
|Current NFL PiRate Ratings|
|N F C|
|A F C|
|N. Y. Jets||102.3||103.0||103.4||102.9||4-2-0||152||105|
|This Week’s Games|
|Date of Games:||October 29-November 2|
|Kansas City (London)||Detroit||1.2||3.9||2.5|
|St. Louis||San Francisco||4.2||7.4||4.4|
|New Orleans||NY Giants||1.1||-1.4||1.1|