ProFootballTalk.com now has a segment they do called "ProFootballTalk.com Live" where various topics are discussed. On Wednesday's edition, Rodger Goodell discussed the playoff seeding question. "We looked at it a few years ago. The strong view of the clubs was that you should win your division and if you win your division, you should be rewarded with a home game. There is another view that winning your division should automatically get you into the playoffs and into the postseason but that it should not automatically reward you with a home game. That is something that will continue to be debated. We will look at that this offseason. Let's let the playoffs play out here a little bit and try to understand what the ramifications are rather than reacting to a specific circumstance," Goodell told PFT.com.
Most of the argument of course stems from the fact that the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks are hosting the 11-5 New Orleans Saints. The fact that two other teams in the AFC are being host by teams with inferior records (Jets @ Colts and Ravens @ Chiefs) doesn't seem to get much complaint kind of trivializes the situation, Tony Dungy noted. There seems to be a belief that if the Seahawks beat the Saints, complaints of re-seeding will grow louder because of the advantage of homefield, but why?
If the NFL plans to re-seed the playoffs after the playoffs are decided, what's the point in having divisions? Hosting a playoff game and getting in is the advantage to winning a division. If you're going to remove the carrot at the end of the stick, why have divisions? Just to keep rivalries? Why not just take the top six teams? If just having a good record gets you a home playoff game, division games become unimportant. Winning the division only matters if you need to auto-qualify.
I like the current format as is. Situations like the 7-9 Seahawks making the playoffs are few and far between. The fact that there is only an uproar about that game and not the similar match-ups in the AFC shows the complaint is more about a losing team making the playoffs while a 10-win team like the Buccaneers sits at home, but that's why winning the division should be a teams initial season goal. Winning the division is what you can control and that's why the advantage of homefield in Wild-Card weekend is awarded.