5-7 right now. Not an amazing record but the win this last Sunday against the Eagles kept the Seahawks alive in the hunt for a playoff spot.
San Francisco has clinched the NFC West already so that leaves the Seahawks fighting for a wild card spot. Odds are they will miss out on the post season this year but looking at the teams that are ahead of them right now makes it a bit more probable than just looking at records.
Seattle will be fighting for a wild card spot with Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, and the NY Giants. I guess you can theoretically throw the Cardinals in as well. But there are some pretty big flaws with most of these teams:
Atlanta: Probably in the best shape of the potential wild card teams. They play at Carolina, home against he Jaguars, at New Orleans, and home against Tampa Bay. So they should win at least two of those games and end up at 9-7 or so. They don’t have any major injury issues and are probably the best overall team out of the wild card contenders.
Detroit: Injuries at running back, penalties, and dumb mistakes are killing the Lions right now. It is almost like they realized they were 5-0 and remembered they were the Lions. They have dropped 5 of their last 7 games and have been playing pretty bad the last few weeks. They play at home against Minnesota, at Oakland, home against San Diego, and at Green Bay. They can probably win 2 or 3 of those games if they can stop with the stupid mistakes but they can also lose 3 of them.
Chicago: Jay Cutler is on the shelf for the year and Matt Forte is now injured. The Bears season just got a LOT tougher. Those were their two best offensive players and their backups aren’t much to speak of. The Bears have one home game (Seattle) and three road games (Denver, Green Bay, Minnesota) left on their schedule. Minnesota might be their only win there. So they might be able to pull an 8-8 record but could easily lose their last 4 games.
New York Giants: The Giants have lost 4 straight games (SF, Philly, New Orleans, and GB) but 3 of those teams are the top 3 teams in the NFC. They finish out with two games against Dallas, at home against Washington, and at the Jets. The Dallas games will be tough and the Jets game could have some big playoff implications in the AFC. At 6-6 the Giants will probably need to win 3 of these games to get a wild card spot and I don’t see that happening. They will win against Washington and maybe steal a game from Dallas.
So where does that leave Seattle? Well, the Seahawks first of all need to take care of their own business and win their last four games. They have St. Louis at home, travel to Chicago, play the Niners at home, and then head to Arizona to finish out the season. They should beat St. Louis, the Bears game is a LOT easier now that Cutler and Forte are gone, the Niners could be resting players for the playoffs, and then they need to finish off an Arizona team that has been playing pretty decently lately.
This isn’t the easiest schedule left for the Seahawks but these are four games they can win. Just imagine how much different this playoff picture could look if Seattle had won the Redskins and Browns games. But we can’t dwell on what-ifs.
ESPN’s Playoff Predictor has Seattle with an 8% chance of making the playoffs. That is a pretty big improvement from the 1% they were sitting at a few weeks back. Seattle needs to win out, needs to root for Dallas to beat the Giants both games (Seattle holds the tiebreaker over the Giants), have Chicago lose at least two of their remaining games (including the matchup with Seattle), and have Detroit lose a couple. If Seattle can win out they will hold the tiebreaker against the Lions as well.
There are some scenarios where Seattle could squeak in with an 8-8 record but they would need a LOT of other things to go their way. And, believe it or not there is a way for Seattle to get in with a 7-9 record (Giants, Bears, and Lions need to lose their remaining 4 games and Seattle needs to beat Chicago) but what are the chances of a 7-9 team making the playoffs? So let’s just keep rooting for Seattle to win their final 4 games, finish at 9-7, and have the Giants, Bears, and Lions all lose a couple. BTW, the ESPN Playoff Machine is a lot of fun. Pretty cool to figure out all the different scenarios.