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Seattle Seahawks: What You Need to Know Heading into Week 13

Nov 17, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) calls out a play at the line during the first half against the Minnesota Vikings at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Keith MyersContributor INovember 26, 2013

Luckily, football is back in Seattle this week. The New Orleans Saints will be in town to take on the Seahawks on Monday Night Football

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

 

Division Standings

NFC West Standings
TeamWLGames BackPoint Dif.
Seattle Seahawks101--127
San Francisco 49ers74390
Arizona Cardinals74331
St. Louis Rams56511
NFL.com

While the Seahawks rested on their bye week, the rest of the division all won their games. All three teams were able to pick up a half-game on Seattle in the standings.

It matters little though, the Seahawks still have a three-game lead on both San Francisco and Arizona, with just five weeks left in the season. It would require a massive collapse by the Seahawks down the stretch for any team in the division to catch them. 

 

Playoff Standings

NFC Playoff Standings After Week 11
RkTeamWLNotes
1Seattle Seahawks101NFCW
2New Orleans Saints92NFCS
3Detroit Lions65NFCN - Lead 6-5 teams due to head to head wins
4Dallas Cowboys65NFCE - ahead of PHI due to head to head wins
5Carolina Panthers83
6San Francisco 49ers74Ahead of AZ due to head to head wins
7Arizona Cardinals74
8Philadelphia Eagles65Ahead of CHI due to conf. win percentage
9Chicago Bears65
ESPN.com

The Seahawks still sit atop the NFC, with the New Orleans Saints just one game back. This obviously sets the stage for Monday's game between those teams, which will likely determine the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs.

Behind those two teams, everything is a mess. The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions both lost, while the Green Bay Packers somehow finished with a tie. The NFC North is keeping things muddled as to which team will claim the No. 3 seed. The same is true with the NFC East and No. 4 seed. 

The one positive element here is that the distance between the Seahawks and the teams capable of claiming the No. 3 seed increased. This means that as long as Seattle wins the NFC West, they will also receive a first-round bye. 

 

Injury Update

Because of the bye week, head coach Pete Carroll did not hold his usual Monday press conference and update the injury status of Seattle's players. On the other hand, there wouldn't have been much to update even if he had done so.

The Seahawks only had two players who might have missed time this week, and one of those, cornerback Brandon Browner, is now suspended. The only real question now is the status of wide receiver Jermaine Kearse.

Kearse suffered a concussion in the win over the Vikings in Week 11. Because of the bye week, there has been no update on his status. All that is known is that he will have to pass the league's concussion protocol before he can return to the field. 

The Seahawks had 14 other players on their injury report heading into the game against the Vikings, but all of them were available to play. They will certainly be ready to play now after having a week off to heal. 

 

What Must Improve

After the news from the past few days, what needs to improve in Seattle is the off-field decisions that are being made by some of the players.

At the time, that message from Pete Carroll to his team seemed like an obvious one: Stay out of trouble. Unfortunately, not everyone on the team was listening.

According Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com, the Seahawks have had two players suspended in the last week as a part of the league's substance abuse policy. Cornerback Walter Thurmond was suspended for four games, and CB Brandon Browner has been suspended for a year. 

The Seahawks certainly didn't need this. They were poised to claim the division crown and the No. 1 in the NFC in the next couple of weeks. Now, they're without two of their top three cornerbacks and faced with the endless distraction that these suspensions will create. 

Luckily for the Seahawks, the depth at cornerback is very good. Seattle also had to play without Browner and Thurmond for the final four games of the 2012 season. Thurmond was on injured reserve after a hamstring injury, and Browner was suspended for four games for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing drugs. The team went 4-0 in those games and gave up just 43 points combined. 

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