(Yes, I know, they’re not THAT bad this year, it just made me laugh)
I miss the Broncos-Raiders rivalry. It wasn’t long ago that these two teams HATED each other, and the games were usually awesome. The last few years, though, it just died altogether. Maybe it will pick up a bit now; I like the Raiders’ hire of Jack Del Rio, and Derek Carr seems like he can develop into a solid QB, though the dark circles under his eyes kinda make him look like he’s an eyeliner-wearing emo kid (“Football is pain”). Not to mention Khalil Mack. Maybe it will start to get interesting. Probably not today, though. Even if the Raiders were to pull off an upset, it just feels like it’s going to be a blah game. Oh, well.
We get a bit shafted this week in Denver when it comes to televised games. We only get one AM game (Falcons at Panthers), and the Raiders-Broncos game is the only PM game. Sunday night is of course Patriots at Texans. Come on, Houston, do us a solid and beat New England. We could use the extra help, even if we do hold the tie-breaker with the Pats. Monday night is Giants at Dolphins.
To the fans that complain about the NFC East being weak, you want to know a secret? I have no problem with a team that has a non-winning record making the playoffs. What were the results of the last 3 teams to do it? Last season the 7-9 Panthers beat the Cardinals in the wild card round. In 2012, the 8-8 Broncos beat the Steelers in overtime in one of the most memorable playoff games I’ve ever seen. And in 2011, the 7-9 Seahawks beat the Saints in the Beast Mode game. I know that it keeps some teams with a better record out of the postseason sometimes, but I think it pays to make winning the divisions worth something. Not to mention that it makes for pretty good games because those teams have nothing to lose. I like it.
The way the divisions are, we’re probably going to be stuck with this kind of parity. The only playoff change that I could support (reluctantly) would be for teams to still be guaranteed a playoff spot by winning their division, but to do the seeding strictly by record so that they wouldn’t necessarily get a home game. With any other change, why even have divisions at all?