A Way to Fix the NFL's Playoff System

Michael MulraneyCorrespondent IDecember 27, 2008

Sometimes a team makes the playoffs and it embarrasses the league that they are there.  I'm talking directly about the 8-8 teams that grace the playoff picture with their presence.

This year, two teams have the ability to host playoff games in the current system.  Those two teams are the Arizona Cardinals and the San Diego Chargers.

Now, Arizona started off strong, and since they play in a division of teams that would struggle playing college football teams with two directions in their names, won the division handily.

The spread offense seems to work in Arizona, but they have no running game, and to win in pro football you need to run the ball.  Beating San Francisco, St. Louis, and Seattle doesn't make you an outstanding football team.

San Diego has a chance to be the first team to go from 4-8 to the playoffs.  The run they are going on is great.  If they win Sunday, they are in the playoffs. 

However, they are a product of a disastrous collapse by the Denver Broncos. You can't fault the Chargers for playing through to the end, but does that make them worthy of a playoff shot and hosting a playoff game?

Now why should these two teams get in instead of a darn good Wild Card team that deserves it a little more?  I mean who would you rather see, the San Diego Chargers or the New England Patriots?  That's why I'm proposing that no 8-8 teams should be allowed into the playoffs. 

The NFL should allow the best Wild Card team to move to the four seed and allow another Wild Card team entrance to the playoffs.  Why award mediocrity when you could award greatness? Why award 8-8 over 11-5? 

In my proposition, if San Diego were to win tomorrow they would still be eliminated, making way for New England, New York, or Miami.  The Colts would become the four seed. 

In the NFC, if Arizona continues to no-show, they should have their playoff ticket voided.  With Arizona out, Carolina or Atlanta would be the four seed, allowing Philadelphia, Dallas, Tampa Bay, or Chicago to make the playoffs.  Why not let the better than average teams in instead of the average? 

So, Mr. Goodell, protect the shield, as you like to say, and treat us to some fine games.  Keep average and mediocre teams out.