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Thursday, December 16, 2010
NFC South likely to face playoff injustice

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Let’s go ahead and talk about the very real storm that is brewing in the NFC South. One of the division’s power brokers came out and said he’s in favor of the league changing how it seeds teams for the playoffs.

That was Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay, who also is co-chairman of the NFL’s competition committee. If he doesn’t already have it, McKay is likely to soon get strong support from precincts in New Orleans and Tampa Bay. You can see this one coming straight at the NFC South this postseason.

The way things are shaping up, there is a very good chance that a team like the Saints will finish 13-3 or 12-4 or a team like the Buccaneers will finish 11-5 and 10-6 and they’ll have to go on the road to face an NFC West champion that might have a .500 record or even be 7-9.

The way the current playoff system is set up is for the four division winners to get the top four seeds. Let’s say the Falcons win the division and get the No. 1 seed and the Saints and Bucs get in as wild cards. One of them will have to go on the road to play St. Louis or Seattle or whatever the NFC West ends up coughing into the playoffs.

Is it fair to reward mediocrity? Well, it’s going to happen this season. Changing the playoff seeding system to prevent things like this has been discussed some in the past. The way things are shaping up, it’s probably going to be a very hot topic at the league meeting in March.