Seattle Seahawks: What You Need to Know Heading into Week 12

Keith Myers@@myersNFLContributor INovember 19, 2013

It was a good week for the Seattle Seahawks and their fans. Not only did they blow out the Minnesota Vikings 41-20 at home in front of the 12th Man, but other game results also helped out Seattle's quest to win the NFC West. 

The Seahawks now get a week off to rest and get healthy. Seattle's next game is in two weeks, when the Seahawks play the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football

Here is the weekly recap of all things pertaining to the Seahawks:


Division Standings

With another Seattle win, coupled with another San Francisco loss, the Seahawks are now 3.5 games in front of both Arizona and San Francisco with just five games left to play. The Seahawks currently hold the tiebreaker over both of the other teams, but it is possible that could change before the end of the season.

The Seahawks' magic number (Seattle wins or losses by both San Francisco and Arizona) to clinch the division stands at three, though it is possible for them to do so at two if the tiebreakers fall correctly.


Playoffs Standings

NFC West Standings
Seattle Seahawks101.909306179127
San Francisco 49ers64.60024717869
Arizona Cardinals64.600214212-2
St. Louis Rams46.400224234-10

The Seahawks and Saints both won this week, so the top of the NFC remains unchanged. Seattle is 1.5 games up on the Saints, but are headed into their bye week. This gives the Saints a chance to move within just one game before those two teams play on Monday Night Football in Week 13. 

Below the two teams, the race became much tighter last week. The Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers both lost. Combine that with wins by the Arizona Cardinals and Chicago Bears, and there are now four teams with 6-4 records competing for two spots that have to be separated by tiebreakers. 


Injury Report

Seattle head coach Pete Carroll addressed the media on Tuesday and discussed the team's current injury situation. With no game this week, this was a much smaller portion of Carroll's presser than is typical. These updates come from his comments. 

The only new injury for the Seahawks was a concussion for wide receiver Jermaine Kearse. Kearse left the game after a brutal hit on a kickoff return in the first quarter and never returned. Kearse will have to pass through the league's concussion protocol tests before he can return to the field, but with two weeks to do so, he should be available for Seattle's next game.  

NFC Playoff Standings After Week 11
1Seattle Seahawks101NFCW
2New Orleans Saints82NFCS
3Detroit Lions64NFCN - leads CHI due to wins over common opp
4Philadelphia Eagles65NFCE
5Carolina Panthers73
6San Francisco 49ers64leads AZ due to head-to-head win
7Arizona Cardinals64
8Chicago Bears64behind both SF and AZ due to conf win pct.
9Dallas Cowboys55leads GB due to conf win pct.
10Green Bay Packers55

The bad news of the day from Carroll was about starting cornerback Brandon Browner. Browner's groin injury suffered in Week 10 was as bad as feared. Pete Carroll indicated that Browner has some "soft tissue damage" and is likely out at least 4-6 weeks. 

Pete Carroll didn't appear to be optimistic that Browner would be able to play again this season, so it is possible that Browner will be placed on injured reserve. 

Another big topic for Pete Carroll was the return of wide receiver Percy Harvin. Carroll said that Harvin was a little sore, but felt good overall. Carroll said that Harvin would play without restriction after the bye, and that he'd also be the team's kick returner.  


What Must Improve

Following two straight blowout wins, it is difficult to be too critical about the play on the field. This is especially true since the Seahawks are heading into the bye week. 

What the Seahawks must improve at this point is their overall health. Seattle had 16 players listed on their injury report last week. Of those 16 players, 14 of them were listed as "probable." The injuries didn't keep players from getting out on the field, but that doesn't mean that it didn't affect their play. 

This is a banged up team at the moment. The bye week should help the players get rested and healthy, preparing them for the sprint to the end of the season and the playoffs. 

Of course, the Seahawks have to avoid the temptation of taking the week off too far. A year ago, they came out of their bye week and struggled in their loss against a mediocre Miami Dolphins team. With the NFC's No. 1 seed on the line this season, Seattle cannot afford to make the same mistake this year. 


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