Seattle's Playoff Picture Going into Week 16

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  • Everyone,

    I'll post a different topic for the entire NFC after MNF tomorrow, but I can now expand on Seattle's complete playoff picture now.

    As a point of reference the current NFC Playoff Picture look like the following with two games to go (three in the case of Detroit)

    #1 Seattle_x(NFCW) 12-2 (Div 3-1, Conf 9-1)
    #2 New Orleans (NFCS) 10-4 (Div 4-0, Conf 8-2)
    #3 Philidelphia (NFCE) 8-6 (Div 3-2, Conf 7-3)
    #4 Chicago* (NFCN) 8-6 (Div 2-3, Conf 4-6)
    #5 Carolina (NFCS) 10-4 (Div 3-1, Conf 7-3)
    #6 San Fran (NFCW) 10-4 (Div 3-1, Conf 7-3)

    x: Seattle has clinched a playoff berth
    *: Detroit has three games to play and has a 2-0 head to head vs Chicago and thus the inside track to the NFCN title.

    The following teams are mathematically alive:

    Arizona (NFCW) 9-5 (Div 1-3, Conf 5-5)
    Detroit* (NFCN) 7-6 (Div 4-1, Conf 6-4)
    Dallas (NFCE) 7-7 (Div 4-0, Conf 6-4)
    Green Bay (NFCN) 7-6-1 (Div 2-2-1, Conf 5-5-1)

    For the most important part, let me do that first. Seattle's magic number (vs San Fran) to clinch both the Division and the #1 seed (HFA) is 1/2. What that means is that Seattle could TIE and still clinch (and likewise San Fran could TIE and Seattle would still clinch). That's because anything other than a loss in the next two games puts seattle mathematically out of reach of any other team in the NFC assuring both the Division and HFA throughout the playoffs. Seattle has 12 wins. The best ANY other team in the NFC can do is now 12 wins, and San Fran and only San Fran has any tiebreaks against Seattle in the event of a tie.

    Furthermore because Seattle won and New Orleans lost, Seattle has been eliminated from the following playoff seeds:

    2, 3, 4, 6

    Seattle is eliminated from the two seed because the best either Carolina or New Orleans can do is tie Seattle, and if Seattle does win the division at 12-4 (the only way this happens), Seattle has the head to head tiebreak on both.

    Seattle was eliminated from the #3 seed when Philly lost. It is no longer possible for any other division champion to force a three way tie with the winners of the NFCW and NFCS which means that the NFCS and NFCW will have the #1 and #2 seeds no matter what.

    Seattle was already elminated from the #4 seed by virtue of having more than 10 wins, beyond the reach of any NFCN (and now NFCE) team.

    Seattle has been eliminated from the #6 seed by virtue of having 12 wins. In order to be a wildcard with 12 wins, Seattle would have to lose out, but New Orleans and Carolina play each other next week and one of them will be the wildcard out of the NFCS. This guarantees that the wildcard out of the NFCS will have less than 12 wins.

    I hope this has been useful for everyone. It's #1 seed (by far the most likely) or the #5 seed. No other possibilities for Seattle.
    Polaris
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  • Yeah, and I like that our magic number is one. One victory, at home, and we are the #1 seed.

    (OK, technically one half, but I hate ties.)
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    BocciHawk
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  • Arizona and SF could still take the two wild cards if I am looking at this right
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    mikeak
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  • mikeak wrote:Arizona and SF could still take the two wild cards if I am looking at this right


    They could indeed, but doing that would insure that Seattle wins the division. In fact there are several scenarios this could happen. Basically San Fran, Arizona, and Carolina would have to tie or San Fran would have to have a better record than a tied Arizona and Carolina.

    There may be other ways, but those are the most likely.
    Polaris
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  • mikeak wrote:Arizona and SF could still take the two wild cards if I am looking at this right


    Yep. If Carolina and Arizona end with the same record, ARZ owns the tiebreak.

    If Carolina loses their last two, we beat ARZ, and ARZ beats SF, that would make us the one-seed, SF, the five-seed, and ARZ the six-seed, which would be the only way that all three teams get in and we keep the one-seed, I think.
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    Smelly McUgly
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  • Smelly McUgly wrote:
    mikeak wrote:Arizona and SF could still take the two wild cards if I am looking at this right


    Yep. If Carolina and Arizona end with the same record, ARZ owns the tiebreak.

    If Carolina loses their last two, we beat ARZ, and ARZ beats SF, that would make us the one-seed, SF, the five-seed, and ARZ the six-seed, which would be the only way that all three teams get in and we keep the one-seed, I think.


    Hmmm, I don't think that's quite right. If Arizona and Carolina both ended at 10-6 and San Fran ended at 12-4, Seattle could win it's last game (vs the Rams) and win HFA at 13-3. San Fran would get the #5 seed at 12-4, and Arizona would get the #6 seed by tiebreak.

    This would require Seattle to lose to Arizona but beat St Louis, Arizona to beat Seattle but lose to San Fran, and finally for Carolina to lose out.
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    PlinytheCenter
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  • Since we're talking about it, here are some NFCWest clinching and elimination scenarios for Week 16.

    Seattle we all know: Win (or tie) for HFA. A San Fran loss (or tie) will work too. Seattle has clinched a playoff spot and can not be eliminated. Seattle can not be eliminated from the Division race in week 16.

    San Fran: If San Fran wins *or* Arizona loses, they're in. Period. San Fran can not win the division in week 16. In terms of elimination, if Seattle wins (or ties) or San Fran loses (or ties), San Fran is eliminated from the Division.

    Arizona: Arizona can not clinch a playoff spot in week 16. Arizona is eliminated with a loss + Carolina win.
    [Arizona loses the tiebreak with New Orleans for a wildcard spot, and a Carolina win + a loss would make it mathematically impossible to tie Carolina.]
    Polaris
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  • Actually things turned out pretty much like I wanted. I did not want us to clinch HFA today. I want us playing hard through at least another week before we start sitting players. I keep thinking about how Indy won HFA with about 3 weeks left to go in the season and came out flatter than a pancake in the playoffs. If we can't win one out of two of the last two home games, then we have no business thinking of ourselves as SB contenders anyway.
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    RiverDog
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