The joyous news in Seahawks Nation this week was the dramatic win over the 49ers, of course. Unfortunately, despite that win, our chances of making the playoffs by winning out and finishing 9-7 plummeted from 21% to 9% thanks to some unfavorable results in other games. Here is the simplest summary of the scenario that gets the Seahawks a wild card berth in the NFC playoffs:
Seahawks win out + GB loses 3 + NYG loses 3 OR DAL loses 4 OR PHI loses 4 + ATL loses 2 + CAR, SF, and CHI all lose 1 = PLAYOFFS
You might notice that I haven't included the NFC West title as a possibility. It's still technically possible, but in addition to Seattle winning out, Arizona would have to LOSE out, including losses to the Lions and Rams. That aint happening.
The Seahawks have not only lost too many games, they've also lost the WRONG games. If Seattle wins out, they'd have a 6-6 conference record, which is the next wild card tie breaker after head-to-head. That's not going to be good enough to beat anyone else contending for a wild card spot in the NFC, so a LOT of teams need to finish 8-8 to give the Seahawks a shot. Also, the Seahawks would lose head-to-head tiebreakers with Dallas and Chicago, the division-record tiebreaker with SF, and the common-games tiebreaker with ATL.
The key teams are really Green Bay and NYG. The Seahawks would edge out the Packers if both teams finished 9-7, because one of Seattle's wins would be over GB. If one assumes Dallas and Philly get, say, the 4 and 5 seeds, the Giants would still stand in Seattle's way. Simply put, the Hawks need both the Packers and Giants to lose 3 of 4 from here on out.
Yes, I know all of this seems HIGHLY implausible, but the good news is that the Seahawks will still be alive next Tuesday morning if they leave Houston with a victory. For now, that's plenty good enough for me. Here's a list of the results that would be MOST helpful to the Seahawks this weekend (which, admittedly, is a matter of opinion to some extent):
Saints over Falcons
Bears over Packers
Patriots over Panthers
Chargers over Cowboys
Eagles over Giants
Cardinals over Niners
What do you think, sirs?