The Upset Sweep Still In Effect
The 2008 NFL regular season is slowly becoming more moot by the game. The Eagles will play the Cardinals in the NFC Championship. This means both 6 seeds are 1 win away from a Super Bowl trip. If the Chargers win the next game, we're going to have no 1, 2, or 3 seeds left.
Two teams that faltered and looked awful just as recently as Week 16 (The Cardinals lost to New England 47-7 and the Eagles lost to the Redskins 10-3) are in the NFC Championship. This also throws out the "playing well towards the end of the season" argument, at least for this year.
It's probably time for the higher seeds to stop doing this "rest your players" stuff in the last week because it isn't meaningful in any way and looks to be harmful. We've seen too many 5 and 6 seeds advance now. The Colts and Titans both did this with each other in Week 17 and they are both one-and-done.
I still say there is some skewing even in these playoffs. Obviously, the Titans should have won their game yesterday while these other two high seeds just got demolished. Turnovers have been incredibly huge. Is this "rustiness?" I don't like believing in it but how else do we explain this mishandling of the ball in crucial situations? The only team we can't blame for being rusty, or at least as much as the other teams, was the Carolina Panthers, who had to win in Week 17 to preserve their seed and first-round bye. They looked awful against the Cards, though.
Anomaly or trend? The past few years, looks like a trend.