If you were screaming at your television last night when the Seattle Seahawks defeated the St. Louis Rams to become the first sub .500 to make the playoffs, you weren't alone. However, the end of the world is not imminent despite Pete Carroll's squad winning the NFC West with a 7-9 record.
In fact it could end up being a good thing. That previous sentence isn't a popular one, but hear me out.
The New Orleans Saints are the defending champs and will have a shot at repeating, which always adds intrigue. It just so happens that the Saints finished as a Wild Card this season due to Atlanta having a stellar regular season.
New Orleans snatched the five-seed in the playoffs which means a date with the aforementioned 7-9 Seahawks. While the game itself doesn't look to be competitive on paper, Seattle does have home-field advantage working in its favor, although that won't be enough to stop Drew Brees and co.
So why exactly is Seattle making the playoffs a good thing?
Well, there a number of factors to be considered. Let's take a look.
If New Orleans were to go down in the first round regardless of its opponent the back-to-back championship storyline is thrown out the window. Everything is more interesting when the champion advances and keeps its hopes of winning another alive.
Against Seattle the Saints should have no problem taking care of business. But if they were to lose it would set up an incredible story, which brings me to my next point.
America loves underdogs
For some reason America is sneering at this Seattle team like it's the kid who made the basketball team that shouldn't have. That will change if the Seahawks somehow pull off the upset and take down the champs, especially if Charlie Whitehurst is leading the way.
This is a matchup between Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed that we have here. Seattle doesn't belong just like Rocky didn't, yet if they were to make this a game it would be the equivalent to Rocky going the distance with Creed.
The only problem is that this isn't a movie so don't expect a Seattle miracle.
Better second round games
Does New Orleans-Atlanta interest you? What about New Orleans-Philadelphia? There are a variety of different scenarios that could play out, but the bottom line is that having the Saints in the second round makes for better TV.
So while the Seattle-New Orleans game may turn into a blow out it'll be made up for in the second round when two heavy hitters get to slug it out.
Realignment talk and the idea of taking away home games from division winners is a drastic step considering this is the first time a team with a losing record has made the playoffs in a full season. So while it sucks to be a fan of the New York Giants or Tampa Bay Buccaneers today, just know that this is an exception not the rule.