Seahawks Quest for the #1 Seed (Updated 11/20/13)

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  • Seahawks Quest for the #1 Seed ...
    Exploring Playoff Scenarios
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    A 41-20 win against the Vikings, coupled with a 49er Loss to the Saints (2nd Loss in a Row) made Sunday an awesome day for your Seattle Seahawks in their quest for the #1 Playoff Seed. Seattle is in pole position with a 1 ½ lap lead over the Saints ... a 2 ½ lap lead over the Panthers ... and now a full 3 ½ game lead over the 49ers, Cardinals, Lions, and Bears (Oh My!).

    950 KJR-am’s Mitch Levy often does a “Mr. Playoffs” segment where he examines all the playoff scenarios. We’re going to do something similar here, taking a look at a few scenarios for the Seahawks top competitors and where they all stand as far as the #1 Seed is concerned at this moment in time. We’ll take a look at each of the NFC’s top teams and examine the possibilities – assuming that the each team somehow ends the season tied with the Seahawks. Before we get in to that though, it’s incumbent to lay out how ties are broken. According to the NFL’s official website any potential ties for the #1 seed would be broken using the Wild Card tiebreakers. On the league’s website, we read …

    To determine home-field priority among division-titlists, apply Wild Card tie-breakers.


    In other words, if a situation ever presented itself where 2 teams in the same conference (who were not in the same division) ever tied for the conference’s best record, we would use the Wild Card tie breakers in order to decide who ends up with the #1 Seed. The NFL’s official Wild Card tie breakers are as follows …
    1. Head-to-head, if applicable.
    2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
    3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.
    4. Strength of victory.
    5. Strength of schedule.
    6. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
    7. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
    8. Best net points in conference games.
    9. Best net points in all games.
    10. Best net touchdowns in all games.
    11. Coin toss.

    Source:
    NFL Tiebreaking Procedures

    If two teams are tied and in the same division however, the tiebreaking procedures are a bit different. In this case, it would fall under the “To Break a Tie Within a Division” rules, which are as follows …

    If, at the end of the regular season, two or more clubs in the same division finish with identical won-lost-tied percentages, the following steps will be taken until a champion is determined.

    Two Clubs
    1. Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs).
    2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.
    3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games.
    4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
    5. Strength of victory.
    6. Strength of schedule.
    7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
    8. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
    9. Best net points in common games.
    10. Best net points in all games.
    11. Best net touchdowns in all games.
    12. Coin toss

    Source:
    NFL Tiebreaking Procedures

    Keep those in mind as we move forward. Now, let’s get going by taking a look at each of the Seahawks top competitors in the NFC at this moment in time …


    Welcome to Fantasy Island …
    Image
    Tatoo: ”The Plane Boss, The Plane” …


    Welcome to Fantasy Island. The place where all your playoff fantasy dreams can come true. We make our first stop here because it’s only here where these scenarios could ever exist. A wild weekend in the NFL left a logjam of 6-4 Teams all fighting for the playoffs. For sanity’s sake, we won’t even talk about the Eagles, as trying to figure out a scenario in which they’d actually be able to walk away with the #1 Seed would send anyone to Arkham Asylum.

    That said, let the dreaming begin, as we explore what it would take for the following teams to walk away with the NFL’s #1 Seed …


    Detroit Lions (6-4)

    Week 1 – vs. Minnesota Vikings [2-8] (Win 34-24)
    Week 2— at Arizona Cardinals [6-4] (Loss 21-25)
    Week 3 – at Washington Redskins [3-7] (Win 27-20)
    Week 4 – vs. Chicago Bears [6-4] (Win 40-32)
    Week 5 – at Green Bay Packers [5-5] (Loss 9-22)
    Week 6 – at Cleveland Browns [4-6] (Win 31-17)
    Week 7 – vs. Cincinnati Bengals [7-4] (Loss 24-27)
    Week 8 – vs. Dallas Cowboys [5-5] (Win 31-30)
    Week 9 – BYE
    Week 10 – at Chicago Bears [6-4] (Win 21-19)
    Week 11 – at Pittsburgh Steelers [4-6] (Loss 37-27)

    Remaining Schedule (with current record)
    Week 12 – vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers [2-8]
    Week 13 – vs. Green Bay Packers [5-5]
    Week 14 – at Philadelphia Eagles [6-5]
    Week 15 – vs. Baltimore Ravens [4-6]
    Week 16 – vs. New York Giants [4-6]
    Week 17 – at Minnesota Vikings [2-8]

    Record of Remaining Opponents 23-38 (.377)
    Strength of Victory … 26-34 (.433)

    In this scenario, we’re going to assume that the Lions miraculously win out the remaining 6 games of their schedule to get to 12-4. In addition …

    The Seahawks would have to lose 3 of their remaining 5 games (extremely unlikely, but let’s say they do for argument’s sake) to the 49ers, the Saints, and the Giants on the road. That would put the Hawks at 12-4.

    The Saints finish 11-5. Let’s have the Saints losing both Panther games (home and away)
    and to the Rams in Week 15. The Saints would go 3-3 down the stretch in this scenario.

    The Saints losing would mean that the Panthers would end up beating them twice. Let’s also have the Panthers finish by beating Tampa Bay at home and the Falcons on the road … but losing to Miami on the road next week and the Jets at home in Week 15. So, the Panthers would end up going 4-2 … and finishing up the season at 11-5.

    We’ll have the 49ers somehow lose to the Rams at home (they played them tough at home last year), but win the rest of their games as well to go to 11-5.

    The Chicago Bears have 6 games remaining as well. Let’s have them winning half of their games, beating the Vikings, the Browns, and the Cowboys at home … but losing to the Rams, the Eagles, and the Packers. They’d finish 9-7.

    The Arizona Cardinals have 6 games remaining and it’s a fairly tough schedule. We’ll have them losing to the Colts, the Seahawks, and the 49ers and also finish at 9-7.


    Head spinning yet? That’s more gymnastics than Mary Lou Retton ever performed. After all of that rigamarole, the Lions and Seahawks end up the season tied at 12-4. In that scenario, here is how the tie would be broken …

    Tiebreaker #1 – Head to Head (Best Win/Loss% Between 2 Clubs)… NA

    Tiebreaker #2 -- Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
    Lions … 10-2 (assuming wins in each of their last 6 games)
    Seahawks … 9-3 (assuming losses against the Saints, 49ers, and Giants)

    So the Lions would walk away with the #1 Seed. All it took was:
    A) Winning their remaining 6 games in a row.
    B) The Seahawks Losing 3 of their remaining 5 games.
    C) The Saints losing 3 of their remaining 6 games (including to the Panthers twice).
    D) The Panthers doing no better than 4-2 the rest of the way.
    E) Neither the Bears nor the Cardinals somehow catching fire and winning their remaining 6 games either.


    On to our next fantasy ...

    Chicago Bears (6-4)

    Week 1 – vs. Cincinnati Bengals [7-4] (Win 24-21)
    Week 2— vs. Minnesota Vikings [2-8] (Won 31-30)
    Week 3 – at Pittsburgh Steelers [4-6] (Win 40-23)
    Week 4 – at Detroit Lions [6-4] (Loss 32-40)
    Week 5 – vs. New Orleans Saints [8-2] (Loss 18-26)
    Week 6 – vs. New York Giants [4-6] (Win 27-21)
    Week 7 – at Washington Redskins [3-7] (Loss 41-45)
    Week 8 – BYE
    Week 9 – at Green Bay Packers [5-5] (Win 27-20)
    Week 10 – vs. Detroit Lions [6-4] (Loss 19-21)
    Week 11 – vs. Baltimore Ravens [4-6] (Win 23-20)

    Remaining Schedule (with current record)
    Week 12 – at St. Louis Rams [4-6]
    Week 13 – at Minnesota Vikings [2-8]
    Week 14 – vs. Dallas Cowboys [5-5]
    Week 15 – at Cleveland Browns [4-6]
    Week 16 – at Philadelphia Eagles [6-5]
    Week 17 – vs. Green Bay Packers [5-5]

    Record of Remaining Opponents 26-35 (.426)
    Strength of Victory … 26-35 (.426)

    Again in this scenario, we’re going to assume that the Bears miraculously win out the remaining 6 games of their schedule to get to 12-4. Let’s have many of the exact same circumstances play out, this time with the Bears. In addition to the Bears winning out, the following things would have to happen for them to end up tied with the Seahawks …

    The Seahawks would have to lose 3 of their remaining 5 games (extremely unlikely, but let’s say they do for argument’s sake) to the 49ers, the Saints, and the Giants on the road. That would put the Hawks at 12-4.

    The Saints would have to finish 11-5. Let’s have the Saints losing both Panther games (home and away) and to the Rams in Week 15. The Saints would go 3-3 down the stretch in this scenario.

    We’ll have the Panthers beat the Saints twice, Tampa Bay at home, and the Falcons on the road … but losing to Miami on the road next week and the Jets at home in Week 15. So, the Panthers would end up going 4-2 … and finishing up the season at 11-5 in this scenario.

    We’ll have the 49ers somehow lose to the Rams at home (they played them tough at home last year), but win the rest of their games as well to go to 11-5.

    As far as the Lions are concerned, let’s say they win 4 of their last 6 games (I’d say that’s fairly realistic), losing to both the Packers and the suddenly invigorated Giants to finish up 10-6.

    And let’s say that the Cardinals lose to the Seahawks, the Colts, and the 49ers … and again beat the Eagles, Rams, and Titans to finish 9-7. Pretty realistic too.

    So in our little scenario here, the Bears and the Seahawks both finish up 12-4, tied for the best record in the NFC. Here is how the tie would be broken …

    Tiebreaker #1 – Head to Head (Best Win/Loss% Between 2 Clubs)… NA

    Tiebreaker #2 -- Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
    Bears … 8-4 vs. the NFC (assuming wins in each of their last 6 games)
    Seahawks … 9-3 vs. the NFC (assuming losses against the Saints, 49ers, and Giants)

    In summary, for the Bears to have even a shot at the #1 Seed, the following would have to take place:
    A) The Bears would have to win their remaining 6 games in a row.
    B) The Seahawks would need to lose 3 of their remaining 5 games.
    C) The Saints would have to lose 3 of their remaining 6 games (including to the Panthers twice).
    D) The Panthers would have to do no better than 4-2 the rest of the way.
    E) The 49ers would need to finish 11-5 or below. If they finished 12-4 and tied the Bears, San Francisco would finish 9-3 against the conference. The Bears would be only 8-4 vs. the conference, so would lose to the 49ers at that point.
    F) Neither the Lions nor the Cardinals could win their remaining 6 games either. The Lions would win Head to Head Competition against the Bears (beat them twice). The Cardinals, meanwhile, would win based on Common Opponents, as they would be 2-2 vs. the Lions, Saints, and Rams while the Bears would be 1-3 against those same teams.

    So even if the Bears and Seahawks somehow end up tied … they would lose out on the #1 Seed because the Seahawks would have a better conference record, even if Seattle only wins 2 of their final 5 games. In order to actually get the #1 Seed, the Bears would in essence need an absolute collapse by the Seahawks, the Saints, and the Panthers. Ain’t gonna happen.

    Now we’ll turn our attention to our own division, to see if nightmares can come true and just how likely it is that the Seahawks lose the #1 Seed and the NFC West to their division rivals. We start with the team that has garnered a lot of attention lately after winning their last 3 games in a row ...

    Arizona Cardinals (6-4)

    Week 1 – at St. Louis Rams [4-6] (Loss 24-27)
    Week 2— vs. Detroit Lions [6-4] (Win 25-21)
    Week 3 – at New Orleans Saints [8-2] (Loss 7-31)
    Week 4 – at Tampa Bay Buccaneers [2-8] (Win 13-10)
    Week 5 – vs. Carolina Panthers [7-3] (Win 22-6)
    Week 6 – at San Francisco 49ers [6-4] (Loss 20-32)
    Week 7 – vs. Seattle Seahawks [10-1] (Loss 22-34)
    Week 8 – vs. Atlanta Falcons [2-8] (Win 27-13)
    Week 9 – BYE
    Week 10 – vs. Houston Texans [2-8] (Win 27-24)
    Week 11 – at Jacksonville Jaguars [1-9] (Win 27-14)

    Remaining Schedule (with current record)
    Week 12 – vs. Indianapolis Colts [7-3]
    Week 13 – at Philadelphia Eagles [6-5]
    Week 14 – vs. St. Louis Rams [4-6]
    Week 15 – at Tennessee Titans [4-6]
    Week 16 – at Seattle Seahawks [10-1]
    Week 17 – vs. San Francisco 49ers [6-4]
    Record of Remaining Opponents 37-25 (.5967)
    Strength of Victory … 20-39 (.3389)

    We’ll start by assuming many of the exact same circumstances. In order to end up tied with Seahawks for the #1 Seed, the Cardinals would first have to win all of their remaining 6 games. Then ...

    The Seahawks would have to lose 3 of their remaining 5 games to the 49ers, the Saints, and of course the Cardinals. That would put the Hawks at 12-4.

    The Saints would have to finish 11-5. Let’s have the Saints losing both Panther games (home and away) and to the Rams in Week 15. The Saints would go 3-3 down the stretch in this scenario.

    We’ll have the Panthers beat the Saints twice, Tampa Bay at home, and the Falcons on the road … but losing to Miami on the road next week and the Jets at home in Week 15. So, the Panthers would end up going 4-2 … and finishing up the season at 11-5 in this scenario.

    We’ll have the 49ers somehow lose to the Rams at home (they played them tough at home last year), but win the rest of their games as well to go to 11-5.

    As far as the Lions are concerned, let’s say they win 4 of their last 6 games (I’d say that’s fairly realistic), losing to both the Packers and the suddenly invigorated Giants to finish up 10-6.

    The Chicago Bears have 6 games remaining as well. Let’s have them winning half of their games, beating the Vikings, the Browns, and the Cowboys at home … but losing to the Rams, the Eagles, and the Packers. They’d finish 9-7.

    So after all of that, the Seahawks and Cardinals end up tied both for the NFC West and the conference’s best record. Again, since the two teams are in the same division, we would use the “To Break a Tie Within a Division” rules. So, here we go …

    Tiebreaker #1 – Head to Head (Best Win/Loss% Between 2 Clubs) …

    In this scenario, the Cardinals and Seattle would each be 1-1, having won against each other. We move on to the next tiebreaker.

    Tiebreaker #2 -- Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.

    Cardinals ...
    St. Louis Rams (Loss 24-27)
    San Francisco 49ers (Loss 20-32)
    Seattle Seahawks (Loss 22-34)
    St. Louis Rams (WIN in this scenario)
    Seattle Seahawks (WIN in this scenario)
    San Francisco 49ers (WIN in this scenario)
    Cardinals would be 3-3 against the NFC West.

    Seahawks …
    San Francisco 49ers [6-4] (Win 29-3)
    Arizona Cardinals [6-4] (Win 34-22)
    St. Louis Rams [4-6] (Win 14-9)
    San Francisco 49ers (LOSS in this scenario)
    Arizona Cardinals (LOSS in this scenario)
    St. Louis Rams (WIN in this scenario)
    Seahawks would be 4-2 vs. the NFC West.

    So even if the Cardinals win all 6 of their remaining games … and the Seahawks only win 2 of their remaining 5 … the Seahawks would STILL beat them out for the division AND the #1 Seed because they would have a better record against the NFC West.

    All the Seahawks would have to do is to win 1 of their remaining 3 games against the NFC West Teams to beat out the Cardinals for the division.

    In Summary, for the Cardinals to tie for the top spot in the NFC the following would have to happen:
    A) The Cardinals would have to win their remaining 6 games in a row.
    B) The Seahawks would need to lose 3 of their remaining 5 games.
    C) The Saints would have to lose 3 of their remaining 6 games (including to the Panthers twice).
    D) The Panthers would have to do no better than 4-2 the rest of the way.


    What about Harbaugh’s boys? Will he be dropping more F bombs at the end of the season? Let’s find out ...

    San Francisco 49ers (6-4)

    Week 1 – vs. Green Bay Packers [5-4] (Win 34-28)
    Week 2 – at Seattle Seahawks [9-1] (Loss 3-29)
    Week 3 – vs. Indianapolis Colts [6-3] (Loss 7-27)
    Week 4 – at St. Louis Rams [4-6] (Win 35-11)
    Week 5 – vs. Houston Texans [2-7] (Win 34-3)
    Week 6 – vs. Arizona Cardinals [5-4] (Win 32-20)
    Week 7 – at Tennessee Titans [4-5] (Win 31-17)
    Week 8 – at Jacksonville Jaguars [1-8] (Win 42-10)
    Week 9 – BYE
    Week 10 – vs. Carolina Panthers [6-3] (Loss 9-10)
    Week 11 – at New Orleans Saints [7-2] (Loss 20-23)

    Remaining Schedule (with current record)
    Week 12 – at Washington Redskins [3-7]
    Week 13 – vs. St. Louis Rams [4-6]
    Week 14 – vs. Seattle Seahawks [10-1]
    Week 15 – at Tampa Bay Buccaneers [2-8]
    Week 16 – vs. Atlanta Falcons [2-8]
    Week 17 – at Arizona Cardinals [6-4]
    Record of Remaining Opponents 27-34 (.4426)
    Strength of Victory … 23-37 (.3833)

    We’ll start with many of exact same circumstances. In order to end up tied with Seahawks for the #1 Seed, the 49ers would first have to win all of their remaining 6 games. That puts them at 12-4.

    After that ...

    The Seahawks would have to lose 3 of their remaining 5 games. Let’s have them losing again to the 49ers, the Saints, and the Giants on the road. That would have the Hawks ending up at 12-4.

    The Saints would have to finish 11-5. Let’s have the Saints losing both Panther games (home and away) and to the Rams in Week 15. The Saints would go 3-3 down the stretch in this scenario.

    We’ll have the Panthers beat the Saints twice, Tampa Bay at home, and the Falcons on the road … but losing to Miami on the road next week and the Jets at home in Week 15. So, the Panthers would end up going 4-2 … and finishing up the season at 11-5 in this scenario.

    We’ll further predict that the Cardinals lose to the Seahawks, the Colts, and the 49ers (obviously in this scenario) … and beat the Eagles, Rams, and Titans to finish 9-7. That should happen.

    As far as the Lions are concerned, let’s say they win 4 of their last 6 games (I’d say that’s fairly realistic), losing to both the Packers and the suddenly invigorated Giants to finish up 10-6.

    The Chicago Bears have 6 games remaining as well. Let’s have them winning half of their games, beating the Vikings, the Browns, and the Cowboys at home … but losing to the Rams, the Eagles, and the Packers. They’d finish 9-7.

    If all of those things actually came to fruition … and the Seahawks and 49ers ended up tied for the division lead … here is how the tie would be broken ...

    Tiebreaker #1 – Head to Head (Best Win/Loss% Between 2 Clubs) …

    In this scenario, San Francisco and Seattle would each be 1-1, having won against each other. We move on to the next tiebreaker.

    Tiebreaker #2 -- Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.

    49ers …
    Seattle Seahawks (Loss 3-29)
    St. Louis Rams (Win 35-11)
    Arizona Cardinals (Win 32-20)
    St. Louis Rams [4-6] (WIN in this scenario)
    Seattle Seahawks [10-1] (WIN in this scenario)
    Arizona Cardinals [6-4] (WIN in this scenario)
    The 49ers Would Be 5-1 Against the NFC West

    Seahawks …
    San Francisco 49ers [6-4] (Win 29-3)
    Arizona Cardinals [6-4] (Win 34-22)
    St. Louis Rams [4-6] (Win 14-9)
    San Francisco 49ers (LOSS in this scenario)
    Arizona Cardinals (WIN in this scenario)
    St. Louis Rams (WIN in this scenario)
    Seahawks would be 5-1 vs. the NFC West.

    They would still be tied in this scenario, so we move on to the 3rd Tiebreaker …

    Tiebreaker #3 – Best Win/Loss Percentage in Common Games …
    Again, in this scenario we’re going to assume that the 49ers win out the remainder of their games. Here are the games that the 49ers and Seahawks Played in Common along with their record against each …

    49ers …
    Indianapolis … Loss
    at Seattle … Loss
    at St. Louis … Win
    Houston … Win
    Arizona … Win
    at Tennessee … Win
    at Jacksonville … Win
    Carolina … Loss
    at New Orleans …Loss
    St. Louis … (WIN in this scenario)
    Seattle … (WIN in this scenario)
    at Tampa Bay … (WIN in this scenario)
    Atlanta … (WIN in this scenario)
    at Arizona … (WIN in this scenario)
    49ers Record in Common Games … 10-4

    Seahawks …
    at Carolina … Win
    San Francisco … Win
    Jacksonville … Win
    at Houston … Win
    at Indianapolis … Loss
    Tennessee … Win
    at Arizona … Win
    at St. Louis … Win
    Tampa Bay … Win
    at Atlanta … Win
    New Orleans …(LOSS in this scenario)
    at San Francisco … (LOSS in this scenario)
    Arizona … (WIN in this scenario)
    St. Louis … (WIN in this scenario)

    Seahawks Record in Common Games … 11-3

    So Even if the Seahawks would lose to the 49ers, Saints, and Giants in this scenario, they’d STILL walk away with the NFC West and the #1 Seed.

    Let’s wake up and and return once again to Terra Firma ...


    Splashdown …
    Image

    Back to life … back to reality …

    Alright, let’s turn our attention to the 2 teams that could actually challenge the Seahawks the rest of the way ...

    Carolina Panthers (7-3)

    Week 1 – vs. Seattle Seahawks [10-1] (Loss 7-12)
    Week 2 – at Buffalo Bills [4-7] (Loss 23-24)
    Week 3 – vs. New York Giants [4-6] (Win 38-0)
    Week 4 – BYE
    Week 5 – at Arizona Cardinals [6-4] (Loss 6-22)
    Week 6 – at Minnesota Vikings [2-8] (Win 35-10)
    Week 7 – vs. St. Louis Rams [4-6] (Win 30-15)
    Week 8 – at Tampa Bay Buccaneers [2-8] (Win 31-13)
    Week 9 – vs. Atlanta Falcons [2-8] (Win 34-10)
    Week 10 – at San Francisco 49ers [6-4] (Win 10-9)
    Week 11 – vs. New England Patriots [7-3] (Win 24-20)

    Remaining Schedule (with current record)
    Week 12 – at Miami Dolphins [5-5]
    Week 13 – vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers [2-8]
    Week 14 – at New Orleans Saints [8-2]
    Week 15 – vs. New York Jets [5-5]
    Week 16 – vs. New Orleans Saints [8-2]
    Week 17 – at Atlanta Falcons [2-8]

    Record of Remaining Opponents 22-28 (.440)
    Strength of Victory … 27-43 (.3857)


    In this scenario, let’s assume that Carolina wins out the rest of its 6 games while Seattle ends up losing to both San Francisco and New Orleans. So, both clubs would come in at 13-3.

    If Carolina wins the remainder of its games, then New Orleans would finish 12-4, as they would lose to the Panthers twice.

    With the way Carolina has been playing of late, I’d say that’s a fairly realistic possibility. If that came to pass, here’s how the tiebreakers would work …

    Tiebreaker #1 – Head to Head (Best Win/Loss% Between 2 Clubs) …
    Seattle Won 12-7 in Week 1

    This scenario is pretty straightforward. Because Seattle won against the Panthers clear back in Week 1, the Seahawks would win the tiebreaker and be the #1 Seed. Who would have believed that a win clear back in Week 1 could be as significant as it appears it’s going to be?

    Lastly, let’s end by taking a look at Seattle’s greatest competition, those holy rollers from the Bayou who are certainly rolling now ...


    New Orleans Saints (8-2)

    Week 1 – vs. Atlanta Falcons [2-8] (Win 23-17)
    Week 2 – at Tampa Bay Buccaneers [2-8] (Win 16-14)
    Week 3 – vs. Arizona Cardinals [6-4] (Win 31-7)
    Week 4 – vs. Miami Dolphins [5-5] (Win 38-17)
    Week 5 – at Chicago Bears [6-4] (Win 26-18)
    Week 6 – at New England Patriots [7-3] (Loss 27-30)
    Week 7 – BYE
    Week 8 – vs. Buffalo Bills [3-7] (Win 35-17)
    Week 9 – at New York Jets [5-5] (Loss 20-26)
    Week 10 -- vs. Dallas Cowboys [5-5] (Win 49-17)
    Week 11 – vs. San Francisco 49ers [6-4] (Win 23-20)

    Remaining Schedule (with current record)
    Week 12 – at Atlanta Falcons [2-8]
    Week 13 – at Seattle Seahawks [10-1]
    Week 14 – vs. Carolina Panthers [7-3]
    Week 15 – at St. Louis Rams [4-6]
    Week 16 – at Carolina Panthers [7-3]
    Week 17 -- vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers [2-8]
    Record of Remaining Opponents 25-26 (.490)
    Strength of Victory … 36-45 (.4444)

    In this scenario, let’s assume that the Saints win out the remainder of their games (which obviously would mean beating Seattle) … and the Seahawks win out the remainder of their games (minus that loss to New Orleans).

    So in that case, each of the teams would finish at 14-2. Here is how that would go …

    Tiebreaker #1 – Head to Head (Best Win/Loss% Between 2 Clubs)…

    This scenario is very clear. If Seattle loses to the Saints (even if they win the rest of their games), the Saints would end up with the #1 Seed. If Seattle wins and they end up tied with the Saints, the Seahawks would get the #1 Seed. It’s that clear.

    That Saints game on Monday Night, December 2nd at Century Link Field is the biggest game remaining of the Seahawks schedule – at this point in fact, the only one that we could honestly call a “Must Win.”

    After a convincing win over the Cowboys (49-17) and a hard fought 23-20 victory against the 49ers, going 6-0 doesn’t sound all that far fetched for this team.

    BUT … looking at the Saints remaining schedule (see above) reveals why that might be far harder in reality. Over their last 6 games, the Saints face …

    The Seahawks (on the Road) on December 2nd. The Seahawks haven’t lost a home game since December 24, 2011 and are 19-8 all time on Monday Night Football – best winning percentage in the history of the league (.708) on MNF. Russell Wilson is also 1 win away from tying an NFL Record. Wilson is 21-6 over his first 2 years in the league and he has never lost at home. Since 1966, only Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger has more wins (22) than Wilson … and the Seahawks have 5 games to go.

    The Panthers TWICE (on December 8th and two weeks later on the 22nd). San Francisco found out yesterday that the Seahawks 12-7 victory on the road was a fairly monumental feat.

    The Rams (on the Road) on December 15th. The Colts weren’t feeling very Lucky after a 38-8 thrashing by the Rams in Week 10. They found out first hand St. Louis is deceptively good.


    If the Seahawks somehow lose to the Saints, they’ll need help. But Mike Greenberg probably said it best, “The best gift that the Seahawks got this year was the rise of the Carolina Panthers.” With the Saints having to play the Panthers home and away, it’s highly likely that the two teams will at least split. If they do, that would mean that the Saints (even if they beat Seattle) would finish no better than 13-3. The Seahawks then, if they win the rest of their games, would finish 14-2 and still capture the #1 Seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

    As we sit right now, your Seattle Seahawks are very much in the catbird seat. With 3 of their last 5 remaining games at home (where they are 23-7 since the start of the Pete Carroll era) and a very mortal Giants team on the road, it looks highly likely that the Seahawks will indeed be the ones to swoop away with the NFC’s #1 Seed.

    To put it simply, all the Seahawks have to do is win their remaining 3 games at home. If they do that, regardless of whether or not they win either of their road games and despite what anyone else does, your Seattle Seahawks will be the #1 Seed in the NFC and have home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Consider this -- your Seattle Seahawks are a mere 5 home wins away from a trip to the Super Bowl. Put that one under your pillow tonight Seattle fans and sleep well.
    Last edited by Hawkscanner on Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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  • You have a typo in the Arizona section:

    Seahawks would be 6-4 vs. the NFC West.


    Should read 4-2, I believe. ;)
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  • sutz wrote:You have a typo in the Arizona section:

    Seahawks would be 6-4 vs. the NFC West.


    Should read 4-2, I believe. ;)


    You're absolutely right. You know try your best to catch all of those, but sometimes a few just kinda slip by. Gracias. Fixed.
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  • I'm not too concerned about the Panthers. We'd have to lose 3 of our last 5, and if that happens, not getting HFA would be the least of our problems. Just beat the Saints, and everything else will take care of itself.
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  • Welcome to Fantasy Island...hmmm isnt it more like Kirk saying " Khan...Khan.....I dont believe in a no win scenario." :P
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  • Great detailed post. The nice thing is that after MNF with the Saints, this post will be much, much shorter. One way or the other, the playoff picture will be very clear.
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  • Seahawkfan80 wrote:Welcome to Fantasy Island...hmmm isnt it more like Kirk saying " Khan...Khan.....I dont believe in a no win scenario." :P


    In the case of those 6-4 teams, I'd say it's a heck of a lot more like this ...
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    NorthwestSportsFan wrote:Great detailed post. The nice thing is that after MNF with the Saints, this post will be much, much shorter. One way or the other, the playoff picture will be very clear.


    Amen to that. Going through all those teams and figuring out all those possible scenarios. UGH! You got that right, it's gonna get a whole lot nicer and cleaner as far as the #1 Seed is concerned in a couple of weeks.

    RiverDog wrote:I'm not too concerned about the Panthers. We'd have to lose 3 of our last 5, and if that happens, not getting HFA would be the least of our problems. Just beat the Saints, and everything else will take care of itself.


    Exactly. As I mentioned above, I think Mike Greenberg said it best (paraphrasing here), "The best thing that happened to Seattle this year has been the rise of the Carolina Panthers." At this point, the Panthers can really only help Seattle. If they win the remainder of their games, the very best that the Panthers can get to is 13-3. By virtue of Head-to-Head Matchup (first tiebreaker) Seattle would beat the Panthers if the Hawks simply win the rest of their home games (win 3 of their last 5 games).

    The Saints are the real issue here. If they beat the Seahawks and win out the remainder of their games, they go to 14-2. Even if the Seahawks win their remaining 4, they would lose the #1 Seed, as the Saints would hold the Head-to-Head tiebreaker. But again, the Saints have to play the Panthers twice, so undoubtedly Seattle is probably going to get an early gift in its stocking from that. Precisely right -- beat the Saints and everything else takes care of itself. You got it.

    If Seattle simply wins its home games -- never mind the road games here for a second -- just wins its remaining 3 home games ... the Seahawks will be the #1 Seed regardless of what anybody else does. Plain and simple.
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  • The joy of leading the pack is that all the Seahawks have to do is keep winning games, something they've proven to be pretty good at this year. :)
    Last edited by sutz on Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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  • sutz wrote:The joy of leading the pack is that all the Seahawks have to do is keep winning games, somehthing they've proven to be pretty good at this year. :)


    I dunno. Maybe it's just me, but I much rather prefer being the hunter rather than the hunted. While it's cool that the Seahawks are leading the pack and garnering some national attention, I'd almost rather be that team that's laying in the weeds who will rise up during playoff time and bite you. It sure doesn't sound as if all this front runner stuff is getting in to the players' heads. Hopefully it stays that way and they keep in mind what Pete keeps preaching to them -- we haven't truly won or accomplished anything yet.
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  • Hawkscanner wrote:
    sutz wrote:The joy of leading the pack is that all the Seahawks have to do is keep winning games, somehthing they've proven to be pretty good at this year. :)


    I dunno. Maybe it's just me, but I much rather prefer being the hunter rather than the hunted. While it's cool that the Seahawks are leading the pack and garnering some national attention, I'd almost rather be that team that's laying in the weeds who will rise up during playoff time and bite you. It sure doesn't sound as if all this front runner stuff is getting in to the players' heads. Hopefully it stays that way and they keep in mind what Pete keeps preaching to them -- we haven't truly won or accomplished anything yet.

    You're just a Seahawks fan, waiting for the other shoe to drop. ;)

    Your statement about the players' attitudes and Pete's motivational skills is true though. They do seem to exhibit the right attitude. Hopefully it continues for several seasons...
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  • sutz wrote:
    Hawkscanner wrote:
    sutz wrote:The joy of leading the pack is that all the Seahawks have to do is keep winning games, somehthing they've proven to be pretty good at this year. :)


    I dunno. Maybe it's just me, but I much rather prefer being the hunter rather than the hunted. While it's cool that the Seahawks are leading the pack and garnering some national attention, I'd almost rather be that team that's laying in the weeds who will rise up during playoff time and bite you. It sure doesn't sound as if all this front runner stuff is getting in to the players' heads. Hopefully it stays that way and they keep in mind what Pete keeps preaching to them -- we haven't truly won or accomplished anything yet.

    You're just a Seahawks fan, waiting for the other shoe to drop. ;)

    Your statement about the players' attitudes and Pete's motivational skills is true though. They do seem to exhibit the right attitude. Hopefully it continues for several seasons...


    You're darned right I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop because as both you and I know throughout our history -- it always has. Prior to Russell Wilson, those game winning drives always turn in to game losing interceptions. Those times that it looks like a win is imminent, the Seahawks historically have found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I'm trying to re-train my brain to a new way of thinking, but after seeing years of this -- I'll admit, man it's tough. With every big, clutch victory I'm getting closer and closer to expecting to win in the big game ... rather than always expecting to lose.
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  • Hawkscanner wrote:Consider this -- your Seattle Seahawks are a mere 5 home wins away from a trip to the Super Bowl. Put that one under your pillow tonight Seattle fans and sleep well.


    This right here is what puts it into perspective for me. :3:
    "If the opportunity presents itself, we're going to come get you. You’re part of the family. You're part of us. You helped us start this thing." - John Schneider before releasing Michael Robinson
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  • Even the second seed has home-field advantage until the NFCCG, and keeps it if the first seed gets knocked off in the 2nd round of the playoffs, right?

    Anything can happen at that point, but the Saints have a strong home-field advantage. I'd like to keep it in Seattle if we have to see them again.
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  • The awesome thing is...of the only real "threats" to the #1 seed...we actually play (Saints) or have already beaten (Panthers) to control the outcome and not hope someone loses!
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  • Screw that, being the top seed and the hunted is awesome. Bring it on.
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  • How long does it take you to write these things up?
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  • Great post, but I agree with a few of the other posters... for me personally, it's good enough to know that we're in the lead, we control our own destiny, we'll know more after the games this week, and it'll all become a LOT clearer once we play the Saints.

    It's great to not have to depend on anyone else though, and I agree with everyone that if we simply take care of business at home, we'll be fine, and if for some reason we drop a game at home, we can probably make it up on the road (plus hope for help from the Panthers).
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  • Think about this for a second...if we had LOST to the Panthers (all else being the same,) they would be 8-2 and us 9-2. Glad we had them to start the season!
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  • Hawkscanner wrote:
    sutz wrote:The joy of leading the pack is that all the Seahawks have to do is keep winning games, somehthing they've proven to be pretty good at this year. :)


    I dunno. Maybe it's just me, but I much rather prefer being the hunter rather than the hunted. While it's cool that the Seahawks are leading the pack and garnering some national attention, I'd almost rather be that team that's laying in the weeds who will rise up during playoff time and bite you. It sure doesn't sound as if all this front runner stuff is getting in to the players' heads. Hopefully it stays that way and they keep in mind what Pete keeps preaching to them -- we haven't truly won or accomplished anything yet.


    It's not just you. We're not used to watching our team leading the pack and everyone nipping at our heels. It's a different kind of nervous. We're looking at games like NO and SF and going "man look at the ramifications of losing the #1 seed"

    Before it was like " man we need to beat NO and SF to almost lock up a playoff spot. If we lose to either one, we need help from X , Y and Z team against teams A and B."

    I'm liking scenario 1 much bette this year.
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  • Hawkscanner wrote:
    sutz wrote:

    You're just a Seahawks fan, waiting for the other shoe to drop. ;)

    Your statement about the players' attitudes and Pete's motivational skills is true though. They do seem to exhibit the right attitude. Hopefully it continues for several seasons...


    You're darned right I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop because as both you and I know throughout our history -- it always has. Prior to Russell Wilson, those game winning drives always turn in to game losing interceptions. Those times that it looks like a win is imminent, the Seahawks historically have found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I'm trying to re-train my brain to a new way of thinking, but after seeing years of this -- I'll admit, man it's tough. With every big, clutch victory I'm getting closer and closer to expecting to win in the big game ... rather than always expecting to lose.

    Don't forget the refs, taking games away from us like they're wont to do. It ain't over till the fat lady sings.
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  • Tonight's game: Saints at Falcons

    We all become Falcons fans tonight.
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  • Keyhawk wrote:Tonight's game: Saints at Falcons

    We all become Falcons fans tonight.


    You got that right. I would probably fall out of my chair and would probably end up going on the DL if the Falcons actually knocked off the Saints tonight ... but you bet I'm a Falcons fan tonight.
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  • HawkFan72 wrote:How long does it take you to write these things up?



    Mmmmm ... I peck away at these things an hour or so a night and then just whenever I get the chance. Way too much time definitely.

    SalishHawkFan wrote:Don't forget the refs, taking games away from us like they're wont to do. It ain't over till the fat lady sings.


    Holmgren: "I didn't know we were going to be playing the guys in the striped shirts as well."

    No way I've forgotten that. Still probably considered the worst officiated game in Super Bowl history. Grrrrrrrr.

    Ad Hawk wrote:Even the second seed has home-field advantage until the NFCCG, and keeps it if the first seed gets knocked off in the 2nd round of the playoffs, right?

    Anything can happen at that point, but the Saints have a strong home-field advantage. I'd like to keep it in Seattle if we have to see them again.


    You're correct. The Hawks WOULD have HFA until the NFCCG if they ended up with the #2 Seed. Obviously the #1 is much better, as playing the NFCCG at the Super Dome wouldn't be my first choice.

    BlueTalons wrote:Think about this for a second...if we had LOST to the Panthers (all else being the same,) they would be 8-2 and us 9-2. Glad we had them to start the season!


    Yep. Yep. Yep. And don't look now -- if the season ended today, the #4 Seed would be the Eagles and the #5 Seed the Panthers. Guess who Seattle would most likely play in the 2nd Round? They're looking MUCH stronger now. Sure glad we'd be playing at game at Century Link.
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  • Hawkscanner wrote:
    HawkFan72 wrote:How long does it take you to write these things up?



    Mmmmm ... I peck away at these things an hour or so a night and then just whenever I get the chance. Way too much time definitely.



    Well you do a great job with them. I just was distracted by thinking about how much work it must take. Thanks for doing it!
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  • Hello Everybody,

    It's looking real good for HFA. Beating the Saints is obviously the key, and I feel this team's collective focus will trump the issues of bye week's past. Can't take anybody lightly, but clearly we're working from an advantage by hosting New Orleans at The Clink.
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  • Zorn76 wrote:Hello Everybody,

    It's looking real good for HFA. Beating the Saints is obviously the key, and I feel this team's collective focus will trump the issues of bye week's past. Can't take anybody lightly, but clearly we're working from an advantage by hosting New Orleans at The Clink.


    I'll tell you what, I absolutely expected Drew Brees and the New Orleans offense to be able to move the ball pull this game out tonight -- and they did. Jimmy Graham is a force to be reckoned with and stopping him is going to be a real focal point of this game. What I didn't expect however, was that the New Orleans defense was going to decide to take the night off. Sure they were able to get 5 sacks and 10 QB Hits ... but they also allowed almost 300 yards passing and nearly 400 yards of total offense to a Falcons offense that frankly isn't all that good at the moment. I'm certainly encouraged by that. Those are good signs heading in to this upcoming game.
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  • Hawkscanner wrote:
    Zorn76 wrote:Hello Everybody,

    It's looking real good for HFA. Beating the Saints is obviously the key, and I feel this team's collective focus will trump the issues of bye week's past. Can't take anybody lightly, but clearly we're working from an advantage by hosting New Orleans at The Clink.


    I'll tell you what, I absolutely expected Drew Brees and the New Orleans offense to be able to move the ball pull this game out tonight -- and they did. Jimmy Graham is a force to be reckoned with and stopping him is going to be a real focal point of this game. What I didn't expect however, was that the New Orleans defense was going to decide to take the night off. Sure they were able to get 5 sacks and 10 QB Hits ... but they also allowed almost 300 yards passing and nearly 400 yards of total offense to a Falcons offense that frankly isn't all that good at the moment. I'm certainly encouraged by that. Those are good signs heading in to this upcoming game.

    Jimmy Graham, meet Mr. Earl Thomas. BOOM!!!
    Last edited by i5roadrunner on Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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  • Meh, the saints won, but not handily. Yes it's a rival game, so Atlanta was stepping up but the thing to remember is the Atlanta atmosphere is nothing compared to the 12th man.

    And The Hawks just smashed the Falcons in there. Dammit we still have to wait 11 days!!
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  • Hawkscanner wrote:
    sutz wrote:The joy of leading the pack is that all the Seahawks have to do is keep winning games, somehthing they've proven to be pretty good at this year. :)


    I dunno. Maybe it's just me, but I much rather prefer being the hunter rather than the hunted. While it's cool that the Seahawks are leading the pack and garnering some national attention, I'd almost rather be that team that's laying in the weeds who will rise up during playoff time and bite you. It sure doesn't sound as if all this front runner stuff is getting in to the players' heads. Hopefully it stays that way and they keep in mind what Pete keeps preaching to them -- we haven't truly won or accomplished anything yet.


    That's a legitimate concern.

    Think about this for a minute. Suppose we beat the Saints and Niners and the Panthers lose this weekend to Tampa Bay and then beat the Saints in Week 14. That would wrap up HFA for us with three regular season games to play. Throw in a first round bye and we have an entire month off between meaningful games. The last team that happened to, the 2005 Colts, were one-and-done that season, bounced at home by a #6 seed that had to scratch and claw their way into the playoffs.
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