Go ahead and look.
There’s nothing wrong with your eyesight. Every team in the NFC-South is below water right now. That’s right, every team in the division is below the .500 mark with five games left ink their sorry seasons.
Injuries, free agent defections, mistakes on players have led Atlanta, New Orleans, Tampa Bay and Carolina to their embarrassments of a record.
And the record? The four combined teams in the division have a (13-30) record. The Falcons are (4-7), same as the fading Saints. Carolina is (3-7). Tampa Bay is (2-9).
Usually when your franchise is in trouble it is because you don’t have a quarterback, in a QB-driven, pass happy league. Not here, not in this division.
Atlanta has one of the best they have ever had, in Matt Ryan. New Orleans has Drew Brees, you remember him, holding up a Super Bowl trophy. Carolina has the dynamics of Cam Newton, who arrived early, had success, got hurt, and is trying to get it back together. Only Tampa Bay is not gifted, and maybe cursed, with Josh McCown and Mike Glennon at that position.
There will be screaming and yelling a couple of weeks from now when the playoffs matchups are set. Whoever gets out of the NFC South, could have a (6-10) record, and win a woeful division.
Look around the rest of the NFC landscape, and you will see a plethora of pretty good teams, some of whom, won’t get a postseason berth, despite a good record.
Philadelphia might win the NFC East. Green Bay wins the North. Arizona takes the West. The question then, who gets the wildcards, and who gets left out.
Do you know Dallas and Detroit could get the NFC wildcards, and Seattle and San Francisco could be left out? Seattle and San Francisco could both wind up with (10-6) records, or maybe finish with a 9-win season, with nowhere to go, while a sub-500 NFC South team gets in automatically.
If the playoffs began today, you have 5-NFC wildcard potential teams with a better record than the lst place team in the NFC South. You have 8-AFC wildcard potential teams with a better record than the guys in that division too.
Think of that, 13-teams with better marks, fighting for 4-wildcard spots in the NFL postseason, while somebody from the NFC-South gets in, guaranteed..
The horror of it all, with say (6-10) New Orleans winning their division and getting to play in January, with those other good teams sitting at home watching.
You cannot change the playoff rules on a year by year basis, but it should raise an interesting discussion point, about bad teams in bad divisions getting in, while good teams, with good records won’t.
How to fix it, if it needs fixing? Change the rules, by saying you put all wildcard teams in a pool, and develop a formula to take the 4 top wildcards regardless whether they come from the AFC-or-NFC.
We all need something to talk and write about. We have it now.
You’ve heard the catch-phrase, going “South” when things get bad. What better term to use to describe the mess in the NFC-South..