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Regular Season or Playoffs?


TFoA

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So I've just had a heated debate about the whole SD-ATL thing, which basically, with hindsight, amounted to the Vick-for-LT trade. Since that trade, the Chargers have an over .500 record in the regular season. The Falcons have a sub-par record in the regular season since the trade went down.

BUT

The Falcons have 2 playoff victories (first team to beat Green Bay at Lambeau Field in the playoffs, mind you. :P), and the Chargers have a grand total of 0. Who got the better end of that trade, when it comes down to bottom-line winning on the field when it matters??

Of course I'm going to say the Falcons, but even if I wasn't a Falcons fan, I'd still say that statistically the Falcons got the other hand because the 2 wins in the playoffs, at least to me, mean more than regular season accomplishments, which basically amount to paper-champion status. :P

But this got me into a broader question: Which successes mean more when it comes down to it? Regular season successes, or playoff glory???

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I think if you can't back up what you've done in the regular season, then it means nothing. Therfore I think overall the playoffs mean more. Though you do need regualr season success, to get there. Nobody is remembered for regular season stuff, it's all playoffs.

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Well, as a fan of one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Peyton Manning, I always have to put up with the arguments from fans of the New England Patriots defending Tom Brady, saying that "the regular season doesn't matter, it's only about the playoffs". But I don't think either should be taken lightly. Like Hedley said, you have to do well in the season to be in a position for the playoffs.

As for the Vick-Tomlinson trade, yes it's true that Vick has more playoff wins than Tomlinson, but he has also been very erratic and inconsistent, whereas you always know the kind of play you'll get from Tomlinson, and Tomlinson's teams have been in position to win more often than Vick's teams.

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Well, as a fan of one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Peyton Manning, I always have to put up with the arguments from fans of the New England Patriots defending Tom Brady, saying that "the regular season doesn't matter, it's only about the playoffs". But I don't think either should be taken lightly. Like Hedley said, you have to do well in the season to be in a position for the playoffs.

As for the Vick-Tomlinson trade, yes it's true that Vick has more playoff wins than Tomlinson, but he has also been very erratic and inconsistent, whereas you always know the kind of play you'll get from Tomlinson, and Tomlinson's teams have been in position to win more often than Vick's teams.

Not to mention LT will be playing next year. SD will get the best of the trade in the long run.

As for the original question, Playoffs matter more. Does anybody remember who gets the most wins in a season, NO.

Do people remember who wins the Super Bowl/Championship, YES.

Sure you have to get in, but you only have to get the 6 seed (in the NFL) to win the championship.

Playoffs mean more.

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Pose that question to the Columbus Destroyers. And last year's Chicago Rush.

Both were 7-9 at regular season's end. The Rush won the ArenaBowl. The Destroyers could win it this year.

Hmmm...

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To me it varies from sport to sport, but in most sports I'd say the playoffs matter more, at least to the players. In most team sports the regular season is boring as hell, mainly because the players don't seem to care as much, and also because there's more margin for error (i.e. if you have a bad start to the season there's still a chance to recover later). The main exception to this is football, probably because there are only 16 games in the NFL regular season, and even less at other levels, meaning there's less opportunity to recover from a bad start.

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Almost instinctively, I'd say they're both games, so they are of equal importance. But since that's an unacceptable answer (lest I get beat up on the CCSLC playground at recess), I'll say the regular season. Hedley hit it right on the head with the adage, "You gotta be in it, to win it." Adding to that, people in the baseball world have asked, "Why doesn't [billy] Beane's :censored: work in the playoffs?" His answer is the playoffs are essentially a crap shoot. If I'm not mistaken, I read somewhere that if you pitted the Devil Rays and the Yankees in a 7 game playoff series, the D-Rays would win 25% of the time. Bringing this to football, there's the adage "any given Sunday." Just because the Falcons beat the Packers in Green Bay in one game doesn't mean that the Falcons were a better team. It means they were a better team for one game. Nothing more, nothing less.

Essentially this question comes down to context. Going back to baseball, do wins in September mean more than wins in April? No. They're worth the same in the standings, it's just that the context is different. Last year the Cardinals had the worst record of the 8 playoff teams, yet won the World Series. Were they the best team that year or just the beneficiaries of some good luck at the "right" time?

In my opinion it comes down to winning. Regardless of when or where it is.

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Regular season importance is directly proportionate to the structure thereof, and to who you're talking about.

Take for example, the fact that the Edmonton Eskimos had a 34-year run of playoff qualifications. Great. But in a period where 67-75% of the teams make the playoffs in the CFL (excepting the whole CFL-USA period with thirteen teams), it takes the luster off of it a bit. It's still impressive, but 6-out-of-8 isn't as impressive as, say, the Braves making the playoffs fourteen years in a row in a format where only 1/4th of the league qualifies.

Of course, with expansion has come the addition of divisions and the changing of formats, which has made "getting there" a different experience, and in it's made a definite impact on how the season is viewed. Case in point... The Phillies finished with 86 wins, the Cardinals 84. The Cardinals won the World Series, and the Phils were out trick-or-treating with their kids.

In some cases, getting to the playoffs is a victory in and of itself, especially in baseball. If the Royals make it into the playoffs... whoa! Big deal! But if the Yankees make it in... well... it's business as usual. Same thing with the Clippers in the NBA. Or... (ready for this?) The South Sydney Rabbitohs of the NRL -- not a single finals appearance since they returned in 2000.

But once you get there... ah! That's a different story. Again, ask the Braves. 1-for-14 in playoff appearances. The Marlins are 2-for-2.

Plus... no one remembers the minor premiers.

Quick... how many wins did the Mariners have in 2001?

Now... who won the World Series that year?

:D

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Quick... how many wins did the Mariners have in 2001?

Now... who won the World Series that year?

:D

116! Of course the only reason I know that is because it was so significant. One of the most dominant baseball teams in the modern era, yet couldn't even get to the World Series let alone win it. Also to note, the Detroit Red Wings of 1996. Won a league record 62 games, beating the great Canadiens record by TWO. Yet couldn't make it to the Finals. The following year they only won 38 regular season game, but are most remembered for winning the Cup.

Like has been said, you have to have some success during the regular season, but the playoffs count the most. Winning the championship is why they play.

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Dallas Mavericks of the NBA last season. Had I believe 67 wins. Played a Warriors team that hadn't made the playoffs in a while and ended up losing. I think the regular season shows how good your team is skillfully and as a team. Playoffs test the intensity and heart of a player, IMO.

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Back to the original post--while we can all agree that SD got the better end of the deal, you can't deny that the Falcons have been just as successful if not moreso than the Chargers--OVERALL--since the trade...

2001: San Diego: 5-11, Atlanta: 7-9

2002: San Diego: 8-8, Atlanta: 9-6-1, W @GB in Wild Card, L @PHI in Divisional

2003: San Diego: 4-12, Atlanta: 5-11

2004: San Diego: 12-4, L NYJ in Wild Card, Atlanta: 11-5, W STL in Divisional, L @PHI in NFC Champ.

2005: San Diego: 9-7, Atlanta: 8-8

2006: San Diego: 14-2, L NE in Divisional, Atlanta: 7-9

San Diego: 52-44, Atlanta: 47-48-1

Both teams have two trips to the playoffs, one is 2-2, the other 0-2 (more on that below). San Diego has one more division title than Atlanta.

BUT....methinks there is going to be some serious separation between the two over the next 2-3 seasons.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On the playoffs...San Diego probably would have a win at this point if their coach for the bulk of this period did not have a habit of finding new and exciting ways to choke in January.

Also, one of Atlanta's two playoff wins don't really count, because quite honestly, the Rams' "Club Marmalade" defense that had forgotten how to tackle that night wouldn't have beaten a Pop Warner squad, let alone any of the other 31 NFL teams. (They do get points for beating Green Bay on the frozen tundra in Brett Favre's element, though.)

Let's be honest though...San Diego won the trade.

--------------------------------------------------------

On the question asked....

I'll take greggjigga's cop-out. Both are important. You have to win in the regular season to get to the playoffs, but you have to win in the playoffs to get the nice shiny ring.

IMO, Playoffs are more important only because a bunch of self-promoting people in Bristol CT say they are.

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Back to the original post--while we can all agree that SD got the better end of the deal, you can't deny that the Falcons have been just as successful if not moreso than the Chargers--OVERALL--since the trade...

2001: San Diego: 5-11, Atlanta: 7-9

2002: San Diego: 8-8, Atlanta: 9-6-1, W @GB in Wild Card, L @PHI in Divisional

2003: San Diego: 4-12, Atlanta: 5-11

2004: San Diego: 12-4, L NYJ in Wild Card, Atlanta: 11-5, W STL in Divisional, L @PHI in NFC Champ.

2005: San Diego: 9-7, Atlanta: 8-8

2006: San Diego: 14-2, L NE in Divisional, Atlanta: 7-9

San Diego: 52-44, Atlanta: 47-48-1

Both teams have two trips to the playoffs, one is 2-2, the other 0-2 (more on that below). San Diego has one more division title than Atlanta.

BUT....methinks there is going to be some serious separation between the two over the next 2-3 seasons.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On the playoffs...San Diego probably would have a win at this point if their coach for the bulk of this period did not have a habit of finding new and exciting ways to choke in January.

Also, one of Atlanta's two playoff wins don't really count, because quite honestly, the Rams' "Club Marmalade" defense that had forgotten how to tackle that night wouldn't have beaten a Pop Warner squad, let alone any of the other 31 NFL teams. (They do get points for beating Green Bay on the frozen tundra in Brett Favre's element, though.)

Let's be honest though...San Diego won the trade.

Before Vick's offseason went to crap, this was a deal that both sides won on. The Chargers got their franchise RB, the Falcons got their franchise QB that puts rears in the seats. Before Vick/Blank came to Atlanta, the team never had a waiting list for season tickets, nor did they sell out every game. These two changed that.

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Back to the original post--while we can all agree that SD got the better end of the deal, you can't deny that the Falcons have been just as successful if not moreso than the Chargers--OVERALL--since the trade...

2001: San Diego: 5-11, Atlanta: 7-9

2002: San Diego: 8-8, Atlanta: 9-6-1, W @GB in Wild Card, L @PHI in Divisional

2003: San Diego: 4-12, Atlanta: 5-11

2004: San Diego: 12-4, L NYJ in Wild Card, Atlanta: 11-5, W STL in Divisional, L @PHI in NFC Champ.

2005: San Diego: 9-7, Atlanta: 8-8

2006: San Diego: 14-2, L NE in Divisional, Atlanta: 7-9

San Diego: 52-44, Atlanta: 47-48-1

Both teams have two trips to the playoffs, one is 2-2, the other 0-2 (more on that below). San Diego has one more division title than Atlanta.

BUT....methinks there is going to be some serious separation between the two over the next 2-3 seasons.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On the playoffs...San Diego probably would have a win at this point if their coach for the bulk of this period did not have a habit of finding new and exciting ways to choke in January.

Also, one of Atlanta's two playoff wins don't really count, because quite honestly, the Rams' "Club Marmalade" defense that had forgotten how to tackle that night wouldn't have beaten a Pop Warner squad, let alone any of the other 31 NFL teams. (They do get points for beating Green Bay on the frozen tundra in Brett Favre's element, though.)

Let's be honest though...San Diego won the trade.

Before Vick's offseason went to crap, this was a deal that both sides won on. The Chargers got their franchise RB, the Falcons got their franchise QB that puts rears in the seats. Before Vick/Blank came to Atlanta, the team never had a waiting list for season tickets, nor did they sell out every game. These two changed that.

So what's going to happen now?

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The fans who came because they believed that the Falcons were the Atlanta Vicks are gone, that's for sure.

I've still got my tix, & I'm going to every game.

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I'd say the regular season is more important, if only because winning games to get into the playoffs is the only way to get a chance at the big trophy. Sure, sometimes a worse team can beat a better team - Warriors over Dallas. And hypothetically last year's Blazers, if inserted somehow into the playoffs and healthy, could beat a 1 or 2-seed X number of times out of 100 if they played that many series - but every situation has that.

in football - especially college football - the regular season is king. Lose one game, you're toast. Boom. Sure, if you lose once in the playoffs you're done too, but losing once or twice (especially in college ball) you might not even make the playoffs or a top bowl. sometimes one or two losses can determine a top-3 seed and not getting *into* the playoffs in the NFL.

and it's even more important in baseball because only four teams in each league get in; unlike the NBA and NHL, this puts even more of a premium on getting in and what does that take? Regular season.

besides, I love the ebb and flow of the regular season in the sports with longer seasons that I follow (baseball, NBA, college b-ball, soccer) - that has as much life as the microcosms that are created in the playoffs. Plus, in soccer, the regular season *is* the playoffs, everyone still has something to play for at the end of the year, and it's super dramatic and fun. nothing like stealing a Champion's League spot from your biggest rivals on the last day :D

[edit] for those ATL fans: JOOOOOOOOOOOEEEEEEYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!

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So yeah, to reiterate--despite a worse Regular Season record, I'd say from a purely winning standpoint, the trade is about a wash, when that is the factor.

Even BEFORE this dogfighting thing, it's clear who the better player is...and who got the better end of the deal...

But it's not like the Falcons have gone 5-11, 6-10 every year either...

And remember--Reche Caldwell and Tim Dwight were involved as well :P ...

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