October 13, 2011

Wild Card, Bitches!



One of the few things putting a bit of a damper on the Seahawks' bye week is the fact that the Niners are 4-1. Given recent history, it's understandable to think that if the Niners don't stop winning soon, the Seattle's playoff chances are kaput no matter how many wins the Hawks string together. Of course we should all root for the 49ers to start losing (getting beaten down in Detroit Sunday would be a nice start), but even if they don't, the Seahawks' playoff hopes won't die any time soon.

Seattle hasn't qualified for the post-season as a Wild Card team since 2003, and the NFC West hasn't sent multiple teams to the playoffs since 2004, but this is starting to look like a year where the Hawks have more than one path to post-season play. At 2-3, Seattle is only one game out of the final playoff spot in the NFC. In terms of possible tiebreakers, they've lost to Atlanta and beaten NYG- Coming up they will play a TON of other possible Wild Card competitors including Dallas, DC, and Chicago (honestly, I think Philly will be left for dead by the time we get a shot at them).

If you look across the conference, the Packers, Lions, Saints and Niners look like good bets to take four of the six playoff spots, which leaves the Seahawks to (realistically) fight with Dallas, DC, NYG, TB, ATL, and Chicago for the last Wild Card slot (One NFC East team will get in by winning that division). So what do Seahawks fans want to root for (besides a shit-ton of Seattle wins and SF losses)?

1. Root for Green Bay and Detroit to rampage like Sterling Archer with Breast Cancer
Seattle doesn't play either team, so both of them whomping on the rest of their NFC opposition is good for us- Ideally, we'd see them both go something like 14-2 and 13-3, locking down the 1st and 5th seeds in the NFC.

2. Root for Seattle to finish one game ahead of Atlanta and Tampa Bay
We lose the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Falcons, and we don't play the Bucs this season. It would help us out immeasurably if, say, both teams finished 8-8 while the Hawks got to 9-7.

3. When NFC teams play AFC teams, root for the AFC team (yes, even the fucking Steelers)
One way Seattle can gain an advantage over their Wild Card competition is to win inter-conference games while they lose those same games on their schedules. It's highly unlikely for an AFC team beating an NFC team to hurt the Seahawks (unless we get down to weird tiebreakers like strength of victory, etc)- Almost always, NFC teams losing will help us (even if they are losing to the god damned Steelers).

Right now, the final NFC Wild Card team is only 1 game over .500 (3-2), so at this point it appears that 10-6 will get you in the playoffs (either as a division champ or a wild card)- 9-7 MIGHT get the Hawks in as that 6th seed, but the tiebreakers would have to break Seattle's way.

Imagine this- The Niners win the NFC West, but draw 13-3 Detroit in the first round of the playoffs... While Seattle gets to travel to Dallas, DC, or New York (hopefully after already beating all three teams in the regular season). Being the 6th seed doesn't look too bad then, does it (not to mention the fact that 3 of the last 6 Super Bowl Champions qualified for postseason as a 6th seed)?

So yes, it would be great if the Niners started losing- But if they don't it's far from The End of All Things.

What do you think, sirs?

5 comments:

killinggoliath said...

I hope Whitehurst can lead us while Tarvaris is out. I'm hoping he's out for no more than 1 game.

Eric Flatness said...

Sure anointing the 49ers early aren't we?
They'll lose next week to the Lions and we play them at RBP, so their 2-game lead is already non-existent. We simply have to play as well as they do in the remaining games.
The 49ers haven't won this division for over a decade. They have talent, but they also have Alex Smith. WE almost beat them, before the offense started to really click. Their season can fall apart in a few bad throws. We're barely a quarter in. Let THEM worry about wild cards.

Geoff said...

I don't wanna see Jackson start for us EVER again. I hope he's hurt and out the rest of the year. Are we even watching the same games?

DKSB said...

Geoff,
Wow- That's a pretty fucked up thing to say about one of our own players- particularly about a player who is improving every week and is showing his toughness/leadership skills more all the time.

You should be ashamed of yourself for wishing that a Seahawks player is seriously injured. If that's your attitude you aren't really welcome on this blog, my friend.

MTTHawk said...

Geoff,
I guess your TV only showed the first half of the first few games of the season. Otherwise, you wouldn't have made such a ridiculous statement.

JP,
We are only two games out of first place with eleven to go. As Jay Buhner said in late August, 1995: Screw the wildcard, we can take the division.