regarding that 2008 cardinals talk and them sliding in the playoffs. maybe they did, but the competition in the nfc didn't help matters. the cardinals finished 9-7, the cowboys finished 9-7, losing 3 of their final 4. the bucs finished 9-7, losing their final 3 games, including a week 17 home game to the raiders which had they won that or any of the other final 3 games, they would've been in. the bears that year went to houston at 9-6 and lost. had they won, they would've got in.
a bunch of things had to go right and all those teams had to lose for the eagles to sneak in with the 6 seed that season.
a better outrage would be 11-5 new england missing the playoffs while 8-8 san diego got a home game, and proceeded to win while the colts and company worked their usual january choking magic. and hell even in that scenario. san diego got in because denver choked a 3 game lead away with 3 games to play.
i got no issue with division winners getting in the playoffs in cases like seattle in 2010. it may come at the expense of a team with a better record missing out on a wild card spot. however that crappy division winner shouldn't be ensured a home playoff game. something doesn't sit right with me seeing a 12-4 team who ties for first in their division and tied for the best record in the conference but comes in 2nd in their division due to some strength of schedule or conference record go all the way down to the 5 seed and have to play on the road against a 8-8 team that's an opportunist and wins a crappy division. that needs to be modified.