Granted, no one saw this coming, however the Seattle Seahawks proved yesterday in their 41-36 NFC Wild Card Playoff win over the New Orleans Saints that any one can win on any given day. Does this win shut anyone up about the NFC West being a pansy division? Probably not, but it at least keeps the comments in a whispered tone for the time being.
Depending on what happens today, the Seahawks will travel to Atlanta or Chicago next weekend. I would expect them to be heavy underdogs in either contest. However, with the Hawks becoming the first losing team to win an NFL Playoff game, it just goes to show the regular season means nothing other than playoff positioning.
Two years ago, the experts thought the Arizona Cardinals were one of the worst playoff teams of all time at 9-7 and getting blown out a few times in the last month of the season. We all know what the Cards did then. They only made an improbable run to the Super Bowl. Can Seattle do the same? Well, it's improbable but possible. That's why they play the games.
All of Seattle's nine regular season losses were by 15 or more points. Means nothing. They won seven and the division and that's all that matters. For everyone calling for a change in format of who gets to host a playoff game, please stop. The system is fine the way it is. It rewards a team for winning their division. That's the way it should be. The Hawks did what they needed to do. The ran over the San Francisco 49'ers on opening day, the Cardinals twice, and beat the St. Louis Rams on the last game of the season. They did what they needed to do and owe no apologies to anyone.
Now, you probably won't see the same results in 2011 for the NFC West. I suspect the Cards, Niners, and Rams all will improve and will be quite a competitive division. As bad as all four played at times in 2010, they all have talent they can build around. For now, don't be surprised if the Hawks give the Falcons or Bears a game next week.