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And now for something completely different...

Nnamdi Asomugha is now a free agent.

AJ should be fired immediately if he doesn't at least place a bid.

I've got a question about this, the contract apparently has a stipulation that the Raiders cant use the franchise or transitional player tag on him. If the contract is now void, then doesnt that provision also now become void, and the Raiders can still place the tag on him?

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I strongly doubt the NFL is taking their marching orders from "many other people" (read: Saints fans, Rams fans, and ESPN message board trolls).

Wait, what? Why are we hacked off about this? We're perfectly fine with the format. It's the team not being able to put itself in the playoffs that has us up in arms.

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And now for something completely different...

Nnamdi Asomugha is now a free agent.

AJ should be fired immediately if he doesn't at least place a bid.

I've got a question about this, the contract apparently has a stipulation that the Raiders cant use the franchise or transitional player tag on him. If the contract is now void, then doesnt that provision also now become void, and the Raiders can still place the tag on him?

No. The agreement automatically makes him a UFA per the language of the contract-I believe it's technically different from if his contract had just regularly expired. The Raiders have no more rights in this specific case. They can still offer him a contract just like any of the other 31 teams can but cannot franchise/transition him.

(Just basing that on my understanding off of what I've read. Correct me if I'm wrong).

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If this score holds and Seattle wins, I'll be curious to see the argument that ends up blaming this on the NFL and the fact that a 7-9 team is in the playoffs.

I blame the loss on a defense that apparently thought just showing up and putting on their uniforms was enough.

But...as stated in the playoffs thread, this is Boise State-OU all over again. There's no doubt the Saints (or whoever) would have had a better shot vs. a real playoff team (Giants or Bucs) because the Saints, at least the D, had already chalked up this game as a win when they deplaned at Sea-Tac. You want proof? I watched the proof a few weeks ago from section 323 in the Georgia Dome when the very same defense that just laid down for the Seahawks held Atlanta to 7 points in just as hostile an environment.

One game doesn't change anything - a 7-9 team has no business in the playoffs and this will be illustrated next week when the not-as-jacked Seahawks are away from Qwest playing a team that isn't looking past them.

Yeah, the Bears are going to roll over the Seahawks if they get them next week, just like earlier in the season...

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If this score holds and Seattle wins, I'll be curious to see the argument that ends up blaming this on the NFL and the fact that a 7-9 team is in the playoffs.

I blame the loss on a defense that apparently thought just showing up and putting on their uniforms was enough.

But...as stated in the playoffs thread, this is Boise State-OU all over again. There's no doubt the Saints (or whoever) would have had a better shot vs. a real playoff team (Giants or Bucs) because the Saints, at least the D, had already chalked up this game as a win when they deplaned at Sea-Tac. You want proof? I watched the proof a few weeks ago from section 323 in the Georgia Dome when the very same defense that just laid down for the Seahawks held Atlanta to 7 points in just as hostile an environment.

One game doesn't change anything - a 7-9 team has no business in the playoffs and this will be illustrated next week when the not-as-jacked Seahawks are away from Qwest playing a team that isn't looking past them.

Yeah, the Bears are going to roll over the Seahawks if they get them next week, just like earlier in the season...

And how the Saints rolled over the Seahawks earlier in the season?

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If this score holds and Seattle wins, I'll be curious to see the argument that ends up blaming this on the NFL and the fact that a 7-9 team is in the playoffs.

I blame the loss on a defense that apparently thought just showing up and putting on their uniforms was enough.

But...as stated in the playoffs thread, this is Boise State-OU all over again. There's no doubt the Saints (or whoever) would have had a better shot vs. a real playoff team (Giants or Bucs) because the Saints, at least the D, had already chalked up this game as a win when they deplaned at Sea-Tac. You want proof? I watched the proof a few weeks ago from section 323 in the Georgia Dome when the very same defense that just laid down for the Seahawks held Atlanta to 7 points in just as hostile an environment.

One game doesn't change anything - a 7-9 team has no business in the playoffs and this will be illustrated next week when the not-as-jacked Seahawks are away from Qwest playing a team that isn't looking past them.

Yeah, the Bears are going to roll over the Seahawks if they get them next week, just like earlier in the season...

And how the Saints rolled over the Seahawks earlier in the season?

The bears lost to the seahawks earlier in the season.

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If this score holds and Seattle wins, I'll be curious to see the argument that ends up blaming this on the NFL and the fact that a 7-9 team is in the playoffs.

I blame the loss on a defense that apparently thought just showing up and putting on their uniforms was enough.

But...as stated in the playoffs thread, this is Boise State-OU all over again. There's no doubt the Saints (or whoever) would have had a better shot vs. a real playoff team (Giants or Bucs) because the Saints, at least the D, had already chalked up this game as a win when they deplaned at Sea-Tac. You want proof? I watched the proof a few weeks ago from section 323 in the Georgia Dome when the very same defense that just laid down for the Seahawks held Atlanta to 7 points in just as hostile an environment.

One game doesn't change anything - a 7-9 team has no business in the playoffs and this will be illustrated next week when the not-as-jacked Seahawks are away from Qwest playing a team that isn't looking past them.

Yeah, the Bears are going to roll over the Seahawks if they get them next week, just like earlier in the season...

And how the Saints rolled over the Seahawks earlier in the season?

The bears lost to the seahawks earlier in the season.

That was his point. I countered with the fact that the Saints beat the Seahawks earlier this season. None of it means anything now, as New Orleans discovered yesterday. How bad was the stink coming off the Saints' D? Imagine this place after a week-long power outage. :D

pike_market_picture_t0321.jpg

BTW, why doesn't Seattle get Leon Washington on the field more? As dangerous a threat as he is, seems they'd get him out on offense more often.

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And that's why I maintain that my position on the Seahawks has nothing to do with the Saints. The Giants and Bucs were more deserving IMO of playoff spots....

Except they weren't. They were subject to the same rules the other thirty teams were subject to at the beginning of the season. They didn't win their division, something the Seahawks did. They didn't win enough games at the right time to qualify for a wild card spot, like the Saints and Packers did. The Bucs and Giants simply did not deserve a playoff spot. They didn't do what they were suppose to do. The Seahawks did.

but okay, we'll go with "that's not the system" and say Seattle gets the spot. They shouldn't get a home game too, and I'd make that argument whether it was New Orleans or Green Bay or whoever that had to go out to Qwest Field.

Simply getting into the playoffs is the reward for the wild card teams. Getting in and getting at least one home game is the reward for the division winners. If the Saints wanted at least one home playoff game they should have won their division. Something they could have done had they won games against Cleveland (should have been a gimmie) and against the Falcons and Bucs (teams they beat at other times in the season). You're right. This season the Saints played down to their opponents. The penalty for that is that they didn't get a home playoff game.

Furthermore where's your outrage at the 11-5 Jets having to travel to the 10-6 Colts?

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I strongly doubt the NFL is taking their marching orders from "many other people" (read: Saints fans, Rams fans, and ESPN message board trolls).

The sad thing is that they are, to some extent. Overreaction to one sub .500 team making the playoffs in 45 years (save the strike year :P ) is exactly the type of thing the NFL would do. Hopefully Seattle proving they belong with the rest of the playoff teams will quell the hysteria among the NFL's policy makers.

You're mistaken on this part.

Rich McKay is the President of the Falcons, and is also on the NFL's Competition Committee. On every Falcons radio broadcast, McKay has a 10-minute segment where the Falcons' PXP and color analyst have discussions about the Falcons, and also the hot-button issues with the NFL. (If any of you have XM or live in the Atlanta area, I highly recommend this segment as a must-listen. It usually comes on about 15-20 minutes prior to kickoff.)

When the Falcons played in Seattle a few weeks ago, the issue of a .500 (or sub-.500) team making the playoffs came up. According to McKay, talks on adjusting the playoff structure had already been in discussions the past couple years, due to the wild-card teams the past couple few seasons having better records than a division-winning team(s). As a whole, the NFL owners preferred that the division winners get the home games rather than the top-4 with the best records, mainly due to the scheduling format...where half of your conference games are division games. They want to keep big importance on winning your division.

This kind of proves my point. The issue may have been a point of discussion before, but if it leads to a change in the playoff system in this off-season it'll be because they overreacted to one fluke season.

Just like the playoff OT rules. They had been discussing the problem for a few years, but nothing got done until Brett Farve screwed his team out of a win with an interception in the last minuets of the fourth in the NFC Championship game, and then was denied a chance to even hit the field in OT.

No doubt these issues have been brought up for a few years, at least. It usually takes something for the NFL to overreact to, however, for a change in the system to happen.

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And that's why I maintain that my position on the Seahawks has nothing to do with the Saints. The Giants and Bucs were more deserving IMO of playoff spots....

Except they weren't. They were subject to the same rules the other thirty teams were subject to at the beginning of the season. They didn't win their division, something the Seahawks did. They didn't win enough games at the right time to qualify for a wild card spot, like the Saints and Packers did. The Bucs and Giants simply did not deserve a playoff spot. They didn't do what they were suppose to do. The Seahawks did.

but okay, we'll go with "that's not the system" and say Seattle gets the spot. They shouldn't get a home game too, and I'd make that argument whether it was New Orleans or Green Bay or whoever that had to go out to Qwest Field.

Simply getting into the playoffs is the reward for the wild card teams. Getting in and getting at least one home game is the reward for the division winners. If the Saints wanted at least one home playoff game they should have won their division. Something they could have done had they won games against Cleveland (should have been a gimmie) and against the Falcons and Bucs (teams they beat at other times in the season). You're right. This season the Saints played down to their opponents. The penalty for that is that they didn't get a home playoff game.

Furthermore where's your outrage at the 11-5 Jets having to travel to the 10-6 Colts?

Where would your outrage be if the 11-5 Jets were traveling to the 6-10 Colts? Where's your outrage that Oakland went 6-0 in their division but didn't win it?

All this brings up a question: what's the worst record a team could possibly have and still win their division?

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Like we've established it's been a fluke year. A 7-9 team wins the division and makes the playoffs. Another team goes 6-0 in their division and only finishes third. It was just a weird year. Most other years a team would need to at least 8 games to win a division, and a division winner would likely have the winningest record in their division. It's just a weird year. One weird year in decades. Not something to change the system over.

And no, the Colts shouldn't have had to travel to New York. The Colts won their division. Part of that is that they get a home playoff game, just like the 'Hawks.

As for how bad a team's record can be and still win their division? It's a simple answer. However bad it can still be and still allow them to come out on top of the other teams in their division. As long as a team does what it has to in order to win its division I have no problem with them getting a home playoff game.

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And that's why I maintain that my position on the Seahawks has nothing to do with the Saints. The Giants and Bucs were more deserving IMO of playoff spots....

Except they weren't. They were subject to the same rules the other thirty teams were subject to at the beginning of the season. They didn't win their division, something the Seahawks did. They didn't win enough games at the right time to qualify for a wild card spot, like the Saints and Packers did. The Bucs and Giants simply did not deserve a playoff spot. They didn't do what they were suppose to do. The Seahawks did.

but okay, we'll go with "that's not the system" and say Seattle gets the spot. They shouldn't get a home game too, and I'd make that argument whether it was New Orleans or Green Bay or whoever that had to go out to Qwest Field.

Simply getting into the playoffs is the reward for the wild card teams. Getting in and getting at least one home game is the reward for the division winners. If the Saints wanted at least one home playoff game they should have won their division. Something they could have done had they won games against Cleveland (should have been a gimmie) and against the Falcons and Bucs (teams they beat at other times in the season). You're right. This season the Saints played down to their opponents. The penalty for that is that they didn't get a home playoff game.

Furthermore where's your outrage at the 11-5 Jets having to travel to the 10-6 Colts?

Where would your outrage be if the 11-5 Jets were traveling to the 6-10 Colts? Where's your outrage that Oakland went 6-0 in their division but didn't win it?

All this brings up a question: what's the worst record a team could possibly have and still win their division?

There is no outrage because the Jets and Raiders screwed the pooch in multiple games, lost them, and therefore lost control of their destiny. If you want to control your fate, win. If you don't, lose. (Now losing control of your fate doesn't always mean bad things will happen to you, it just means that you need things to work out in your favor if you want a good outcome.)

And to answer your other question, it would be theoretically possible for a 4-12 team to win the Division outright. (Assume no team in the division wins any out of Division Games, final division records are something like 4-2, 3-3, 3-3, 2-4.) With presumably the coin flip tiebreak, 3-13 could win a division title.

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I strongly doubt the NFL is taking their marching orders from "many other people" (read: Saints fans, Rams fans, and ESPN message board trolls).

Why should they care about the playoff format? The only ones who could complain should be bucs and giants fans. Me being the latter, they shouldn't be in the playoffs because they let 7 1/2 minutes define their season and the bucs lost to the lions at home.

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I strongly doubt the NFL is taking their marching orders from "many other people" (read: Saints fans, Rams fans, and ESPN message board trolls).

Why should they care about the playoff format?

The Rams lost to the Seahawks in Week 17, causing them to choke up the division and let Seattle into the playoffs at 7-9. I could imagine that the majority of Rams fans felt they would be more deserving at 8-8.

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And that's why I maintain that my position on the Seahawks has nothing to do with the Saints. The Giants and Bucs were more deserving IMO of playoff spots....

Except they weren't. They were subject to the same rules the other thirty teams were subject to at the beginning of the season. They didn't win their division, something the Seahawks did. They didn't win enough games at the right time to qualify for a wild card spot, like the Saints and Packers did. The Bucs and Giants simply did not deserve a playoff spot. They didn't do what they were suppose to do. The Seahawks did.

but okay, we'll go with "that's not the system" and say Seattle gets the spot. They shouldn't get a home game too, and I'd make that argument whether it was New Orleans or Green Bay or whoever that had to go out to Qwest Field.

Simply getting into the playoffs is the reward for the wild card teams. Getting in and getting at least one home game is the reward for the division winners. If the Saints wanted at least one home playoff game they should have won their division. Something they could have done had they won games against Cleveland (should have been a gimmie) and against the Falcons and Bucs (teams they beat at other times in the season). You're right. This season the Saints played down to their opponents. The penalty for that is that they didn't get a home playoff game.

Furthermore where's your outrage at the 11-5 Jets having to travel to the 10-6 Colts?

Where would your outrage be if the 11-5 Jets were traveling to the 6-10 Colts? Where's your outrage that Oakland went 6-0 in their division but didn't win it?

All this brings up a question: what's the worst record a team could possibly have and still win their division?

There is no outrage because the Jets and Raiders screwed the pooch in multiple games, lost them, and therefore lost control of their destiny. If you want to control your fate, win. If you don't, lose. (Now losing control of your fate doesn't always mean bad things will happen to you, it just means that you need things to work out in your favor if you want a good outcome.)

And to answer your other question, it would be theoretically possible for a 4-12 team to win the Division outright. (Assume no team in the division wins any out of Division Games, final division records are something like 4-2, 3-3, 3-3, 2-4.) With presumably the coin flip tiebreak, 3-13 could win a division title.

Nice. I was trying to figure that out myself! How about this: In theory, every team in a division could lose every out-of-division game, and every in-division game could end in a tie. Someone could win a division at 0-10-6 on a tiebreaker.

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I strongly doubt the NFL is taking their marching orders from "many other people" (read: Saints fans, Rams fans, and ESPN message board trolls).

Why should they care about the playoff format?

The Rams lost to the Seahawks in Week 17, causing them to choke up the division and let Seattle into the playoffs at 7-9. I could imagine that the majority of Rams fans felt they would be more deserving at 8-8.

Yeah, if they'd beaten Seattle. Except they didn't. And you know what? I'm perfectly fine with the division record tiebreaker keeping the Rams out of the playoffs. It rubs the coaches' noses in it about the perils of not coaching to win.

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