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Owners meeting

Grizz is blogging about the owner's meeting this week. This year's meeting has special significance because they will most likely discuss candidates to replace outgoing commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

The Competition Committee will also meet this week at these meetings to discuss potential rule changes. Bill Polian is on the Competition Committee, which is chaired by Atlanta Falcons GM Rich McKay (who may replace Tagliabue) and Tennessee Titans head coach Ron Jeremy... er, Steve Fisher. Potential rule changes discussed are:

  • Prohibiting low hits on quarterbacks in the pocket (hint, hint: Carson Palmer in the playoff game).
  • Better protecting the deep snapper on place kicks.
  • Prohibiting the punting team from blocking in the back during coverage.
  • Broadening the horse-collar tackle to include grabbing the jersey from behind
  • Allowing eligible receivers to flinch and reset without a false start immediately being called if the action does not induce the defense to jump off sides.

KC Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt will also make his annual whine that the playoffs should be expanded from 12 to 14 teams. It's always funny when an owner whose team just barely missed the playoffs last year cries for playoff team expansion. Note to Mr. Hunt: Had your team not blown that big lead to the Eagles, or gotten stomped by the lowly Buffalo Bills, you'd have made the playoffs and the team that eventually won the the Super Bowl would have been left at home in the cold. This resolution will fall on deaf ears, as it should. Pittsburgh was a 6 seed, and the only competitive game they played in the playoffs was against Indy. Every other team they dominated. If you can't get into the playoffs as a 6 seed, you stink and don't deserve to be in. That simple.

However, Grizz makes a good point regarding division winners and playoff seeding:

It makes no sense to send an 11-5 team that came in second in its division on the road to play a 9-7 team just because the 9-7 team won its division. It's not the fault of the 11-5 team that they play in a tough division while the 9-7 team plays in a crappy one. Seed teams by their records, the ones with the better records have earned it.
I agree with this. In 2003, the 10-6 Colts had to travel to the 9-7 New York Jets. Last year, the 12-4 Jaguars had to go to the 10-6 Patriots. The Patriots won the pathetic AFC East in part because Buffalo and the Jets stunk. At least the Jags had to play the Colts twice while also battling the Bengals, Broncos, Steelers, and Seahawks. It's not like they had a cupcake schedule.

Seeding should be based on record, not division. Now, the other side will say "What's the point of winning the division then?" Exactly! That's just it: There is no point. Never was. No one cares that the Bengals won the AFC North. No one cares that the Patriots won a putrid AFC East. Pittsburgh didn't win their division. Think they care? You think the Giants care that they won the NFC East? The Redskins didn't win the East, but won a playoff game. Thus, they are considered to have had a better season than the Giants. The seeding should be based on record, not the meaningless accolade of winning your division.