SALT LAKE CITY — The Seattle Seahawks became the first team in NFL history to win its division and qualify for the playoffs with a losing record when they beat the St. Louis Rams on Sunday night.
Experts and fans have since wondered if the Seahawks deserve to play a home game in the playoffs after winning a mediocre division. Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said he isn't questioning the NFL's seeding process.
"Coach (Dick) Motta left Chicago and went to Washington and one of his teams won 41 or 42 games (actually 44) and won a championship," Sloan said. "Are they supposed to apologize?"
It was Motta's 1978 Bullets that went 44-38 in the regular season and beat the Seattle SuperSonics in a seven-game NBA Finals. Washington was hampered by injuries throughout the season before peaking at the right time.
No one expects the Seahawks to put together a similar run, as they're double-digit underdogs against the Super Bowl champion Saints in a Wild-Card game on Saturday.
But anything can happen. Back in 1957, the St. Louis Hawks won the NBA's Western Division with a 34-38 record before losing to the Celtics in the Finals. There were eight NBA teams at the time, and the Hawks beat Fort Wayne in a one-game playoff and swept the Minneapolis Lakers in a seven-game series before reaching the Finals.