Tuesday, December 14, 2010

worst division ever?

D and I went to the Niners vs Seahawks game with some friends on Sunday. On the way there, I preemptively apologized to our friends in case the Niners sucked it up again. Instead, they forced five turnovers and won in a 40-21 blowout. It was fun to watch, and the win means it's still possible for the Niners to make the playoffs, but how sad is it that that's true of a 5-8 team?

I'm still bitter that the Niners didn't make the playoffs in 1991, when they went 10-6 but the Saints went 11-5, and the Falcons went 10-6 and won the head-to-head tiebreaker. The Niners were a good team that year and I think they could have made a run at the Super Bowl.

This year, I'm fairly confident that whatever team comes out of the NFC West will get destroyed by the lucky wild card team they play in the first round, despite being awarded home-field advantage because NFL playoff rules are stupid. (As an aside, I bet the home-field rule gets changed next season.) If the Niners manage to eke out a division win, they'll just be a subject of ridicule for the rest of the league/country. I'm not much opposed to letting the Rams or Seahawks play that role.

Fun facts that I accumulated while reading NFL blogs this week:
- The NFC West has a 3-17 record against teams that currently have a winning record.
- The NFC West has a 12-22 record against non-division opponents.
- The NFC West has had more starting quarterbacks (8) than road wins (6) this season.
- Among NFC West quarterbacks, the highest rated quarterback this season is Rams rookie Sam Bradford (20th overall).
- It is mathematically possible for a 7-9 team to win the NFC West. This would be an NFL first, making the 2010 NFC West officially the worst division in the history of football.
- The Niners have both the "best" offense and the best defense in the NFC West, ranking 24th on offense and 11th on defense. The co-division-leading Seahawks rank 28th on offense and 30th on defense.
- NFC West teams have been outscored by a combined 236 points this season. In comparison, the super awesome Bills, Lions, Browns and Bengals have been outscored by a combined 141 points. (Yes, that was sarcasm.)

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