The Seahawks beat the Rams, in something of an upset, for an NFC Worst Bowl victory this past weekend...NFL Week 17. The Seahawks are the first team ever to win a division with a losing record (7-9). This has created something of an outcry from some fans and media for a reseeding of playoff teams. Yet, I believe most of the purists feel that there should be a reward for winning a division, even if it is with a 9-7, 8-8 or even a 7-9 record. This is the first time that this has happened since the divisions realigned in 2002 and it will probably be another ten years or more before it happens again. And what is the Seahawks reward for their efforts?...the defending Super Bowl Champion, New Orleans Saints. At least they get the Saints at home, although it probably will not help them.
Staying out West (AFC), the Oakland Raiders had their best record in eight years (8-8), so you would think they give coach Tom Cable a contract extension, right? Nope...they fired him -- only Al Davis and the Raiders. The Green Bay Packers were up against the wall after week 15, with an 8-6 record, but they won their last two games against the New York Giants and Chicago Bears in order to make it into the playoffs. The Packers may only be the sixth seed, but many of the talking heads are predicting that they will make it to the Super Bowl...and they very well could do so. It is not unprecedented...the Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl as a sixth seed in 2005. It is clear now...Jason Garrett has secured the Cowboys head coaching position by leading Dallas to a 5-3 record over the second half of the season. His team upset the Philadelphia Eagles, 14-13, to finish 6-10. Here is hoping for better things next season. The Falcons and Bears have byes for the NFC this coming weekend, while the Eagles and Packers face off in one Wild Card game in Philly, and as mentioned, the Seahawks and Saints play each other in the other game.
The New England Patriots look pretty invincible at 14-2, but then again, they were 16-0 heading into the Super Bowl three years ago, only to see it unravel in the Super Bowl against the Giants. Still, they and the Steelers have the hard-earned first round byes in the AFC, while the Ravens play at the Chiefs and the Jets face off against the Colts in Indianapolis. The AFC would appear to have the more interesting slate of games, but the NFC has the defending champion, although if I was a betting man, I would say that the Super Bowl champion comes from the AFC this year.
There are a number of coaching positions open in the NFL...and, oh to be Jim Harbaugh. He seems to have his pick of teams, as his stock has never been higher after leading Stanford to an Orange Bowl win over Virginia Tech. Of course, it helps that he has had star QB, Andrew Luck, leading the way. He has already spoken with the 49ers and the Dolphins...who still have coach Tony Sparano employed (awkward)! He may visit with the Denver Broncos for their coaching position, as well. Harbaugh, whose brother John Harbaugh coaches the Baltimore Ravens, will likely be the highest paid NFL coach when all is said and done. I am sure that this will only make the other NFL coaches smile and the owners groan. One thing that Harbaugh will not do (hopefully)...go across the bay to coach the Raiders...don't do it, Jim...don't do it. :-)