By Joe Okabe
Listen. You can hear it already. The murmurs, the whispers that will soon turn into a crescendo on Monday morning. The cacophony of complaints that neither the Rams nor the Seahawks are deserving of a playoff berth.
It’s possible that two 10-win teams might be shut out of the playoffs while the 8-8 Rams or the 7-9 Seahawks not only make the postseason, they get to host a first-round game! Under normal circumstances, I’d agree with them. However, as Seahawks fans are well aware, these are not normal circumstances.
The winner of Sunday night’s Rams/Seahawks game will win the NFC West, while the loser’s season will be over. Both teams are in a must-win situation. The stakes could not be higher. The winner deserves to move on.
Giants fans will be up in arms if they don’t make the playoffs. Well, don’t blow a 21 point lead late in the game to the Eagles. Don’t show up in Green Bay for a crucial game and stink up the joint. It doesn’t matter if you win ten games and you’re out. The Giants had their chances and they blew them. If they don’t make the playoffs, they have nobody to blame but themselves.
The Packers definitely won’t have anyone to blame but themselves if they don’t make the playoffs. They’re in unless they lose to the Bears at home on Sunday. They also lost to the Lions three weeks ago. They’ve also had plenty of opportunities.
The Buccaneers have been battling it out with the Falcons and the Saints all season long. They had to know that finishing third in the NFC South would make the playoffs an unlikely possibility. They can still make it, but they need lots of help, help they might not have needed had they not lost to the Lions as well two weeks ago.
It doesn’t matter that the Rams and the Seahawks have poorer records than those other teams. All that matters is that they win this one game. That’s the way it should be.