Seattle Seahawks: Why Seahawks Will Make Playoffs
Okay, "will" is a strong word. But the Seattle Seahawks are not out of the hunt yet.
A lot can happen in four weeks—just look at the dramatic turnaround in the past month; the Seahawks went 3-1, and beat two superior opponents in the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles (while losing a stinker to a less-talented Washington Redskins team).
With four games to go, the Seahawks could potentially finish 9-7, and sneak into the playoffs for the second straight year—this time with a winning record.
Find out what has to happen inside.
Must Beat Chicago Bears
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The Seattle Seahawks must beat the Chicago Bears in their Week 14 matchup in Chicago in order to have a chance at the playoffs.
While this game seemed daunting just a few weeks ago, even in Chicago the Seahawks should be able to make a game of it with Jay Cutler out for the year with a broken thumb.
The Bears have lost two in a row, including a demoralizing loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last week, 10-3, and appear lost without Cutler. To make things worse it appears as if all-around playmaker Matt Forte may be sidelined at least another two weeks with a severely sprained knee.
With games against the Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos remaining, if the Seahawks steal a victory in Chicago (granting a head-to-head tiebreaker to Seattle), the Bears may be looking at just one win the rest of the year—at the Minnesota Vikings in Week 17, which would put them at just 8-8, and likely out of the playoffs.
New York Giants Must Do No Better Than 3-1
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With games remaining against the Dallas Cowboys (twice), the New York Jets and the Washington Redskins, the Giants—losers of four straight—shouldn't be favored to win more than two of their final four games.
But even if they manage to take one of two from Dallas, or win against the Jets, the Seahawks would still hold a head-to-head tie-breaker against New York for their victory in Week 5—if they can win out.
Detroit Lions Must Continue Second-Half Collapse
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After beginning the season 5-0, the Detroit Lions have faded dramatically in the second half—albeit against good teams—going 2-5 down the stretch.
The bad news for Detroit is that there are still a few good teams on the way: Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders, and the mercurial San Diego Chargers. They need to win two of their remaining games in order to be viable for the playoffs, as it doesn't appear likely that any 8-8 teams will make the postseason this year.
It wont help that Ndamukong Suh will be out at least another game.
The Seahawks need to hope for the worst for the Lions, as they represent the only playoff hopeful (other than the Atlanta Falcons) the Seahawks don't possess a head-to-head advantage over.
Seattle Seahawks Must Win Out
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In order to even think about making the playoffs, the Seattle Seahawks need to win their remaining four games.
Their remaining strength of schedule of .500 is the lowest of any team still in the playoff hunt (besides the Atlanta Falcons, .425), and that number is inflated by the record of the 10-2 San Fransisco 49ers, who the Seahawks have the advantage of facing at home.
The season may very well come down to their penultimate game—Week 16 against San Francisco.
Assuming that Atlanta takes advantage of their easy schedule, the Seahawks essentially are competing against the Bears, Detroit Lions, and New York Giants for the sixth and final playoff spot. If the Seahawks win out, their 9-7 record would rival any of these teams' final tallies, putting them in position to—once again—shock (and possibly disturb) the league by sneaking back into the playoffs.