December 14, 2010

For Those of You Who Still Want Seattle to Win the NFC West...

First off, the ESPN NFL Playoff Machine is your friend. Use it.

Weirdly, a lot of articles I'm reading online this week state that Seattle's week 16 game at Tampa (which is now at 4:15 East/1:15 West) is a "must win" for the Seahawks. Um... Probably not. Let me break down the various moving parts in the NFC West race:

-Arizona is still mathematically alive according to the NFL, but according to Danny O'Neil, their playoff chances hinge on Seattle and STL TYING their week 17 game.

-Here's the only way the Seahawks get eliminated before week 17: Seattle LOSES next two games AND either the Rams or 49ers WIN their next 2 games. Thankfully that kind of 4-game parlay is unlikely.

-Let's assume Seahawks LOSE next two, fall to 6-9. If STL beats KC and SF in next two games, they'd be 8-7, and Seattle couldn't tie them with a win in week 17 (remember- Seattle wins tiebreaker with STL based on divisional record). On the Niners tip, if SF beats SD, STL in next two games, they'd be 7-8. Seattle wouldn't be able to catch Niners, because SF would top Seattle on "common games" tiebreaker OR divisional record tiebreaker. If SF LOSES next two games, they'd be 5-9 and eliminated from playoff contention.

-What if Seattle loses next two, but SF wins ONCE to tie us at 6-9? Not only would Seattle need to beat STL at Qwest, but they'd also have to pray John Skelton and the Cardinals can pull an upset over Niners at Candlestick (yipes).

-If the Seahawks WIN EITHER of next two games (ATL, @TB), they CANNOT be eliminated before week 17; also, Arizona would be out, and SF would probably have to WIN OUT to take the division.

The bottom line? Seattle can at least ensure a meaningful week 17 game against the Rams by winning either of their next two games- If they drop both, they need to hope the Chargers beat the Niners Thursday, and that the Rams lose to KC but beat 49ers in week 16. If those plausible dominoes fall, Seahawks v Rams will decide the NFC West, even if Seattle comes in at 6-9.

Any questions? Corrections?


JimJam said...

Solid work. Looks all perfect to me.

Personally, the upcoming game I'm most nervous about isn't a Seahawks game- It's the 49er v Rams game. If the 9ers win, the will then need to beat them in order for SF to be eliminated, and I highly doubt that'll happen.

But then again, I'm still optimistic about the next two games, particularly week 16 v TB.

KillingGoliath said...

Before reading your article I used the playoff machine to predict the last scenario. Hopefully it works out that way for us!

Anonymous said...

San Francisco is playing solid football at this point in the season, and I would not be at all surprised if they won their next two. Conversely, the Seahawks have been playing quite poorly as of late, and I wouldn't be terribly surprised if they dropped their next two games. They just seem to be regressing heavily, both due in part to injuries and sloppy football.

Assuming no new injuries occur, the former shouldn't be a problem by the Bucs game. But the latter is up to the coaching and the team. The tackling issues, the 3rd down defense, and Hasselbeck's bad decisions ... they've all got to step up, and quickly. I'm convinced they can do it.

Go Hawks!