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Are Packers satisfied with the current playoffs format structure?

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Footballtalk, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. Footballtalk

    Footballtalk Cheesehead

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    Hello, everyone. I am interested in finding out if most fans understand the current NFL playoffs format structure, what it is designed to do and if they are satisfied with it. I asked the same question in other forums and am curious to see what others think of it.

    The NFL uses a single elimination, seed based playoff structure which everyone should be familiar with. What not everyone may be familiar with is that its main purpose is to eliminate competition as quickly as possible, with the purpose of determining the best team being somewhere last on the list. It does however do a good job of creating upsets, lopsided victories, and increases the effect of luck and chance for any particular team. You can read more about it here.
    The disadvantage is the best teams can get knocked out first, thereby, no longer having the opportunity to continue. Sometimes this can happen due to chance, luck, "a bad day". The biggest disadvantage comes in sports where you have the tightest competition, or smallest margin of error, where because of those factors, it often fails to produce the best teams.

    There are other style of tournaments such as the round robin or double elimination tournaments. A mixed, round-robin and tournament style is currently used to qualify for the playoffs.



    The advantage of this style is that it is fair for all teams by making them all face each other, and reduces the effect of chance or luck while quite frequently determining the best teams. The most important aspect of a round-robin tournament is that in tournaments where competition is very close, and margin of error is small, it does a better job of measuring the best teams and making sure the better team advances.

    The amount of very solid teams and tight competition this year has left me wondering if more people would prefer a playoff format style where, in the divisional round of the playoffs only, the 4 divisional teams must play each other in a round robin style tournament, and the two teams with the best records advance into the NFC/AFC Championship games where they can continue playing head to head. So instead of the divisional round week we have now, you would have 3 weeks of divisional round playoffs.

    For example this year, Green Bay would still be allowed to face the Saints and the 49ers despite losing to the Giants, and if they finished with the #1 or #2 best win/loss record after 3 games they would continue to the Championship. Likewise all teams would get this same chance. The losing teams would not be knocked out until after all teams faced each other. Of course, keep in mind, if GB was to win their first playoff game next year, they would still have to play 2 additional games before advancing.

    This would basically help maintain top competition in the playoffs, increase the amount of games of top competition played in the playoffs, reduce the chances of the best teams in the NFL getting knocked out by chance, and eventually do a better job of making sure the best teams, regardless of regular season win/loss records, or seeds would end up in the Super Bowl.


    Take a moment and familiarize yourself with the tournament structures and then if you could, think over it and please answer the following questions:



    1. Are you satisfied with the current system even though it often can knock out consistent, winning teams due to luck or chance, and often knocks out the best teams leaving weaker teams to move on towards the Championship Games and Super Bowl?

    2. Did the current playoff system successfully convince you the best teams are still playing? Do you believe that the NFC's best teams were represented in the NFC Championship game this year, as well as the best NFC team in the Super Bowl?

    3. Do you believe the best teams should play in the Championship games and represent their conference in the Super Bowl?

    4. Would you prefer using the above or similar format in order to try to determine the best teams that would then go on to play head to head in the Super Bowl or Championship games? What would you change about it, if anything?

    5. Do you believe the example given above is a more fair tournament structure than one where we currently have in place?
     
  2. SpartaChris

    SpartaChris Cheesehead

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    No, I wouldn't support that structure. Part of the reason why the playoffs are so exciting and why the NFL is the most popular sports league in the world is the excitement the playoffs bring. Extending the divisional round by three weeks would make it drag. Besides, 16 regular season games is more than enough of a round robin to determine who gets to play in the tournament.
     
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  3. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    Interesting initial post but I agree with SpartaChris, I like the current system. The complaint I hear most about the current system is the emphasis it places on division winners which can result in a division winner making the playoffs over a team with a better record. But I like the rivalries created by the divisions. And the current system rewards the winner of a particularly competitive division in which the teams beat up each other resulting in a worse record than if they had been in an "average" division. The drawback is it also rewards the best team in a crappy division but I'm willing to make that trade-off since no system created by man can be perfect and in order to preserve what I see as the advantages of the divisions.

    IMO the NFL has arrived at the nearly perfect number of regular season and playoff games and unfortunately I think they're about to screw that up by adding more regular season games. I also think it would be a mistake to add additional playoff games.

    The subtext of the initial post for Packers fans could be the Packers were the best team in the league this season and the current playoff structure unfairly eliminated them. However the counter to that argument is last season when the Packers won it all after not being the "best" NFC team over the course of the regular season.

    The bottom line for me is there is no "best" team over the long course of a season and playoffs. By that I mean different teams take on the mantel of being "the best" over the course of the season. Clearly the Packers were that team during parts of this season. But as long as the determination of "the best" occurs at the end of the season, and of course it has to, timing is crucial. The team playing the best ball at the end of the season is almost always crowned the champion and I'm fine with that. IMO no team can legitimately use the structure of the regular season or playoffs to claim they were denied a championship. And that's as close to perfect as we can get.
     
  4. Footballtalk

    Footballtalk Cheesehead

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    Well you just kind of touched on the point. The regular season "clearly" produces the top 4 teams in the league that should qualify for the playoffs in each conference. One of the reasons for that is that we have double round-robin within the divisional rounds. Each divisional team must face each other twice so it leaves very few questions unanswered when a team sweeps a strong division. Who gets to play in the playoffs is rarely cloudy. Now I am not saying the Packers were the best team in the NFC this year. I'm saying it's possible, but we don't know.

    I just don't believe losing your first playoff game is enough to say a team that's 15-1 shouldn't continue. If in a particular year it just so happens that the absolute 2 best teams in a conference are the #3 and #6 seeds or #4 and #5, one of them would go home no matter what in the wildcard round. Somebody has to lose. So one of the top 2 teams would get eliminated first. That would weaken competition in the later levels.

    And yes it could have changed the faith of the Packers last year, but it's unlikely. If the Packers were indeed the best team last year, round-robin or a similar system solidifies that(double elimination for example), and they would still be the team to play in the Championship game.

    The only thing that may have changed this year is the opponent in the Championship game. The Giants would still have to face the Saints, whom they lost to earlier settling that question, but regardless of the outcome of that third game for them, they would still likely move on to the Championship game because they beat both GB and the 49ers. They won two games. If they are the best team in the NFC, it wouldn't have put them at risk. It would only help teams like GB or the Saints recover and get a second shot, as well as teams that may be new to the playoffs, like the 49ers, Texans, by allowing them to play 3 games. Get over their nerves.

    Personally I believe it would raise the excitement in the playoffs and also increase the value of the Championship game and trophy. Imagine Aaron Rodgers vs Drew Brees after they both accomplished what they did in the regular season. That, to me, would be huge. Something we never got a chance to see. It would also highly increase the image of each of the teams playing, as well as revenue.
     
  5. CarolinaPackerFan

    CarolinaPackerFan Packers fan in Panthers country

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    I disagree. Win or go home. That's the way it should be.
     
  6. ThxJackVainisi

    ThxJackVainisi Lifelong Packers Fanatic

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    Footballtalk,

    I don’t have a problem with a 15-1 team being out losing their first playoff game because everyone involved knew the consequences of losing. I also think the excitement of the first playoff games would be diminished in the round robin format because no matter what, no matter how dominating the win or humiliating the loss, no team is eliminated.

    Another problem with it IMO is the NFL is determined to go to an 18 game schedule. I’ve also heard/read they are reluctant to start the regular season before Labor Day. They may build in two bye weeks (and they BETTER expand the rosters and number of actives on game days), but there will be at least one.

    Once they go to 18 games, the regular season ends after 19 or 20 weeks. Then Wildcard weekend narrows each conference to four teams. After two more weekends, all four teams in the division round robins could each have one loss. The fourth weekend of the playoffs (including wildcard weekend - the third week of the divisional round) would determine the teams for the conference championship who would play that game in the fifth weekend of the playoffs. Two weeks to the Super Bowl (with the Waste-Of-Time Bowl in between) and you have the Super Bowl being played 26 or 27 weeks after opening day. Assuming a Labor Day start, 18 game season with 2 byes, and this round robin playoff system, if the division round lasted as long as they could for at least one conference (3 weeks), if this were in place for the 2011-2012 season, I believe the Super Bowl would be played on March 4th.

    Eliminate wildcard weekend and save a week but lose the excitement of more teams vying for playoff spots toward the end of the season. That doesn’t make sense to me. Eliminating the Pro Bowl would be fine with me but then you have a team potentially playing 5 consecutive playoff games to reach the Super Bowl.

    In addition to the wear and tear and fatigue-caused injuries, one of the next big issues for the NFL is going to be concussions. Even more than it is now. IMO they play enough games now. In fact if they wanted to make two pre season games “scrimmages” instead, that’d be fine with me, too (but they’d lose money so nix that idea!).

    I think it will be a mistake when they go to an 18 game schedule and I think a three-round divisional playoff is also a mistake. IMO they can't increase the value of the Conference or Super Bowl trophies.
     
  7. NelsonsLongCatch

    NelsonsLongCatch Cheesehead

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    According to a Harvard study, the only series that would accurately represent a winner (i.e. better team) would be a 257 game series... We could try that?

    "To determine the better team with 95 percent statistical accuracy, according to John J. Kinney's A Probability and Statistics Companion, would require a 257-game series."
     
  8. longtimefan

    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Leave it as it is...

    It is to physical and body demanding to go any further than it is now..
     
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  9. Bogart

    Bogart Duke Mantee

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    I wish people would get over it and stop trying to blame it on other things.


    YES they lost to a 9-7 team


    but you all forget they had the 32nd ranked defense. Realistically, did anyone really think this could NOT happen? I think I seen it clear as daylight, I just didn't want to believe it. When your defense is ranked 32nd overall, and they make zero, absolutely zero effort to fix those problems with all the time off going into the divisional round, it shouldn't come off as a shock.


    As to quote a few "Cowboys fans" that I spoke to in person before the playoffs even started


    and there you have it, people forget, alot of those closer games, Rodgers basically did have to score 30-40 points to win cause the defense did a horrific job and would constantly let the other team get back in the game.



    Before blaming it on anything else, I think people should take a time warp back to that 1987 season. Remember the strike? The strike crippled many teams that had talent. The Browns ended up missing out on the Number 1 seed of the AFC cause of the strike and their starters not playing. But the 49ers? San Francisco was probably the only team in the entire league that did not catch the flu from losing their starters. They finished 13-2, best record in the entire league and what happens next? They got their asses KICKED from one in end of that field to the next by an 8-7 Vikings team that really wasn't all that good.

    **** happens, the Packers were NOT the only team for this to happen to. Take that 49er team I used for example. Yeah how in the helllll did they lose to an 8-7 Vikings team when they managed to win 13 games? Following year the Niners won the Super Bowl. It IS possible for a positive to eventually over come a negative, just have faith.
     
  10. SpartaChris

    SpartaChris Cheesehead

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    Except defense isn't why they lost this game.
     
  11. longtimefan

    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    That hail mary is blamed on Rodgers?? That took the wind out of their sails if you ask me
     
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  12. Texas9erFan

    Texas9erFan Cheesehead

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    In theory, the only thing I would do is eliminate the wildcard round. Second place should not be rewarded. Four division winners is enough to start the playoffs with.
     
  13. Bogart

    Bogart Duke Mantee

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    Give up 37 points, 400+ yards. No defense had nothing to do with it.
     
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  14. Forget Favre

    Forget Favre Cheesehead

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    Am I satisfied with the current playoff structure?
    I have to be.
    I don't have any power to change the way it is now.
    And besides, even if it was done differently to make things seem more fair, what we saw happen to the Pack will always happen.
    It's the team that comes in and is more prepared and able to adapt during the game that is going to win.
    One team is going to win and another is going to lose. That's the way it goes.
    So I don't see how changing the playoff structure is going to make anything better since one team will lose and fans will always be disappointed no matter how the playoffs go.
     
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  15. AmishMafia

    AmishMafia Cheesehead

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    Not sure exactly who you are but I can see a biased question a mile away.

    Everyone wants the best team to win, but that doesn't mean it supports your notion of a round-robin approach. The 'any given Sunday' aspect of football makes it more interesting and entertaining than the other sports. I'm sure you are expecting a different response from Packer fans given the demise of our season, but the fact is: NYG were the better team when we played and they kicked out butts. We just have to deal with that.
     
  16. Wood Chipper

    Wood Chipper Fantasy Football Guru

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    I could totally go for double elimination. You lose then you go into the losers bracket and if you lose again then you are out.
     
  17. NelsonsLongCatch

    NelsonsLongCatch Cheesehead

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    As soon as Nicks caught the Hail Mary I knew the game was over.
     
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  18. realcaliforniacheese

    realcaliforniacheese A-Rods Boss

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    Oh ye of little faith
     
  19. SpartaChris

    SpartaChris Cheesehead

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    Maybe, but then again, the Giants got 0 first downs in the entire 3rd quarter thanks to our defense. That should have been enough for our offense to catch up and take the lead.
     
  20. SpartaChris

    SpartaChris Cheesehead

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    4 turnovers, including two in the redzone IIRC. 8 drive killing drops. 2 short fields due to missed onside kicks. THAT's where your 400 yards and 37 points come from.
     
  21. Forget Favre

    Forget Favre Cheesehead

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    Neither offense or defense brought their A game.
    Can we all at least agree on that?
     
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  22. SpartaChris

    SpartaChris Cheesehead

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    I'm not trying to suggest our defense was lights out in that game, but pinning the loss on them is flat wrong. The defense did way more than enough to give us a chance to win the game. Trying to use points or yards as the measuring stick for how the defense performed that day is naive when you don't account for short fields due to turnovers, missed onside kicks and drive killing drops.
     
  23. Forget Favre

    Forget Favre Cheesehead

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    I'm pinning the loss on both defense and offense.
    IMO they both sucked equally.
     
  24. realcaliforniacheese

    realcaliforniacheese A-Rods Boss

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    I blame Ron Wolf.
     
  25. Bogart

    Bogart Duke Mantee

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    32nd ranked defense, they averagely gave up over 400 yards in every game, and point wise? How many games did Rodgers have to throw so many TD's to score 40-30 points just to win? This defense sucks. The offense was playing against a better defensive unit, and the Giants offense didn't have no worries at all against a defense that just sits back and lets them throw everywhere and give the quarterback all day to throw.

    I said it weeks before the playoffs start. I had a bad feeling about this defense cause I don't trust any quarterback or any offense in the history of the NFL to constantly have to put up 30 or 40 points just to win games cause the other 50% of the team don't care how bad they look and let teams have fun having field days on them.
     

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