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Should NFL tweak playoff format?

There has been a lot of talk recently about whether a team with a .500 record or worse should be in the NFL playoffs.

This is the case, once again, with the NFC South. The division winner cannot finish with a better-than-.500 record, and will still make the playoffs. Is it fair that a 10-6 (won-lost), or even an 11-5 team, in the NFC (Detroit, Dallas, Seattle) might miss the playoffs while the NFC South division winner will get in at 8-8 or 7-9?

The Freak believes the NFL divisional system is fair. In any season one division may not be strong as the others, but it all seems to equal out in the long run. 

Therefore, all division winners should be in the playoffs. However, the one thing the NFL can tweak is that if the wild-card team has a better record than the divisional winner, the wild-card team will host the playoff game.

It doesn’t make sense that a team with a bad record still gets to host a playoff game. There needs to be some advantage for a team that plays good football throughout the entire season.

Stat of the week

Remember three years ago when the Washington Redskins traded a pile of draft picks to the St. Louis Rams so they could move up the draft and pick RGIII out of Baylor?

Those two teams played Sunday, and for the coin toss the Rams sent out all those actual draft picks (Janoris Jenkins, Michael Brockers, Zac Stacy, Alec Ogletree, Stedman Bailey and Greg Robinson) for RGIII.

If that wasn’t embarrassing enough for Washington, RGIII wasn’t even a captain, or starter in that game.

Are you kidding me?

Tennessee tried to run out the clock at the end of the first half against the Giants, and lined up to take a knee. However, when they attempted this, the Titans were called for a false-start penalty. Don’t know if that has ever happened before!

Sure thing

The Ravens host the Jags in the midst of a huge playoff race in the AFC North. This game is very important to Baltimore, and Jacksonville is finishing out the season. Ravens win big.

Oakland has won two out of its last three games, and it looks like there is some light at the end of the tunnel for the team’s future. However, the future is now for the Chiefs if they hope to make the playoffs. KC lost to Oakland a couple of weeks ago, but it won't happen at Arrowhead. Take the Chiefs.

Miami is one of the hardest teams to figure out as they head to Foxboro. Only thing you need to figure out is by how much will the Pats beat the Dolphins, who never like playing in cold December. Brady and the Pats cruise to an easy win.

Don’t mortgage the house picks

It's the start of the media circus called "Johnny Football" as the Browns have decided to give Johnny Manziel his first career start after Brian Hoyer's struggles the last two weeks. Cincy's D must be licking its chops to be the first to get a crack at the arrogant Manziel. The Dog Pound will be rocking at the start, but not for long as Manziel will find out he’s not playing Baylor on Sunday, but a good NFL team. Bengals win.

Don't look now, but Seattle appears ready to take another run at a championship after another impressive road win over the Eagles. The 49ers, on the other hand, lost to the Raiders and now go into crazy Seattle, with no hope of winning with that offence. This is the end of San Fran as the 'Hawks will put the final nail in their playoff coffin.

Green Bay isn't the same team as when they play at home, but the cold in Buffalo won't bother them too much as they try and secure home-field throughout the NFC playoffs. The Bills have had a good season with what they have on offence, but they just won't be able to put up enough points to match ARod and the Packers.

Upset special

Hats off to the Atlanta Falcons, who didn’t quit and almost pulled off a shocker against Green Bay at cold Lambeau Field on Monday night. 

It will be nice and toasty indoors at the Georgia Dome this week, when the Falcons host the Steelers. Although the Falcons are only 5-8, they have a great chance to make the playoffs if they win their next three games. 

The Falcons are always very tough at home, and will pull off the upset over Pittsburgh.

Last week: 4-for-7.

Season: 65-for-87.

John Turner is a Summerside schoolteacher. His column appears every Saturday during the NFL season. Feel free to e-mail questions and comments to

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