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Friday, October 31, 2014

Rams-Seahawks Flexed to Primetime, Features Little Intrigue

They did it to us. We said they might, but hoped they wouldn’t — they did. For anyone intrested in watching two terrible teams this Sunday night, the NFC West-leading St. Louis Rams (7-8) will take on the second place Seattle Seahawks (6-9) for the division title and the four seed in the NFC playoffs.

The NFL had 16 games to choose from for the primetime slot, and while this game is the only one that will decide a division, it’s not the only one with playoff implications. The difference is the other obvious options — the Giants at the Redskins and the Bears at the Packers — each involve at least one team better than either of the teams playing Sunday night. Honestly, the only game on Sunday that doesn’t fit that criteria is the other NFC West game between Arizona and San Francisco.

Presumably, the NFL wanted to keep both the Packers and Giants at 4:15 EST in order to sustain some drama. If they moved the Packers to Sunday night, and the Giants and Buccaneers lost earlier in the day, the night game would feature two teams that had nothing to play for. This way, the Giants and Packers will be playing simultaneously, with the last Wild-Card spot on-the-line.

If the Seahawks win, they will have an identical 7-9 record with the Rams, but own the tie-breaker based on divisional record. They will have split the season series with the Rams and both teams split with the Niners, but Seattle swept Arizona, while St. Louis split with them. While the Rams look like a team on the rise with Sam Bradford at the helm, they’re not beating anyone in the playoffs this year. The Seahawks appear to be the Seahawks — a team getting by in a weak division, that doesn’t appear to have a lot to look forward to as the Rams continue to improve. 

A 7-9 team has never made the playoffs, let alone hosted a playoff game, but it could happen this year. And thanks to the NFL, we’ll all have to find something to do on Sunday night other than watching football. Way to go NFL, getting 90% — or more — of your audience to tune out for the last Sunday night game of the season.



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