Post Week 16 Update: After Miami's narrow win, the Jets' embarrassing loss, and the Patriots' domination of the Cardinals, ESPN.com's Tim Graham wrote an article claiming the exact same thing that I'm claiming--the AFC East will likely send one of its lesser teams to the playoffs. Check out the link here.
Amid the BCS controversy that constantly surfaces around this time of year, there is a problem in football that doesn’t deal with computer rankings, coaches polls, or incestuous SEC fans. No, this conflict is in the NFL. Specifically, the AFC East.
If the Miami Dolphins win their next two games, they will represent the AFC East division in the NFL Playoffs.
The same team that went 1-15 last year will be a division winner. This is great—after all, isn’t this NFL parity at its best? Or perhaps a golden example of how Bill Parcells can turn around an organization. Either way, this is good for the NFL.
By tricking a few teams with the Wildcat, beating a Patriots team in Matt Cassel’s only second week starting, and taking advantage of an otherwise easy AFC East schedule, Miami has found themselves at the top of their division.
I’m a Patriots fan, and even I would rather see the Jets represent the AFC East. Of course, even the Jets success is a little skewed. Yes, they had a quality win over Tennessee. Their other not common opponent? The Cincinnati Bengals.
Yet it bothers me that a potential 11-5 team, after fighting through so many injuries to their top players, may not make the playoffs.
Patriots-haters are relishing the chance.
But is it truly noble to discredit the job that a bunch of rookies, and lets not forget a quarterback that “hasn’t started a game since high school,” has done to bring this team to a winning record?
People may still hate the Patriots, but the fact that they remain a favorite in Vegas after all these injuries is a tribute to the players and coaches.
Last week’s victory in Oakland was a special one as well, as Matt Cassel played the game of his life after the death of his father. That commitment to team exemplifies the 2008 New England Patriots.
With Baltimore playing Dallas this week, a wild card scenario is very possible. Let’s hope this team, which is looking more similar to the Rams-beating 2001 team by the day, makes its way into the playoffs.
It would be a shame for them to miss out, only to watch the ‘Fins flop in the first round.