What A Strange Year It’s Been

January 04, 2011 | Marty Mossa

Do you realize that the number fifth and sixth seeded teams in the AFC have a better record that the 3rd and 4th seeded teams?  Yep, that’s right the 11-5 New York Jets have to fly to Indianapolis to face the 10-6 Colts.  Our own 12-4 Baltimore Ravens have to fly to Kansas City to play the 10-6 Chiefs.  It’s been just a crazy year.  Obviously the AFC North and AFC East have proven to be far superior to the AFC South, and AFC West.
There is no perfect system.  I think the NFL playoff structure is fine the way it is.  Every few years you get teams that get into the post season that perhaps don’t deserve it.  But if you win your division, you get a home game.  Look at the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks, not only do they qualify for the postseason, but they will host the 11-5 World Champion New Orleans Saints this Saturday.

Two years ago the 11-5 New England Patriots didn’t qualify for the postseason because the Dolphins won the AFC East.  Yet that very year the 8-8 San Diego Chargers won the AFC West, hosted and beat the Indianapolis Colts in the Wildcard Round.  In 1985 the 8-8 Cleveland Browns won the AFC Central Title and came within three points of going to the AFC Championship game that year.

When all is said and done, the cream will rise to the top.  I expect the Ravens to beat the Chiefs, and the Saints to mop the damp streets of Seattle with the lowly Seahawks.  I also think the Jets will beat the Colts.  Some might say this system is unfair; after all the Ravens had a better record than the Chiefs.  But in the end the Ravens have only themselves to blame.  Had there not been a last minute meltdown of the defense, the Ravens would have jumped to the #2 seed and had a bye week.  Better yet, had the Ravens not blown a 10 point fourth quarter lead to the Patriots, they would have catapulted to the number one seed and been guaranteed home field advantage all the way through.

In order for the Ravens to have a chance to host a game, this is what needs to happen;  they and the Jets need to win Sunday.  Then the following Sunday, we need to go to Pittsburgh and beat them, and have the Jets beat Brady and Company in New England.  It is a tall order.

Ended up 120-123-9 against the spread  .493