Sunday, November 18, 2012

Seahawk's Outlook for the Remainder of the Season

A tie? Really? A tie?! The Rams not being able to close out the 49ers last weekend was one of the more painful things I have had to watch so far this season. An illegal formation penalty to call back an 80 yard play to start overtime, and a delay of game penalty to take back a 53 yard field goal to end overtime doomed the Rams. Talk about a sloppy overtime. Now instead of the Seahawks being one game behind the 49ers, they are now two games behind. That being said, if the season ended today the Hawks would still be in the playoffs as the six seed, and I am here to tell you how the Hawks can either stay as a wild card spot, or potentially even win the division.

The 49ers and Rams tied last week, a game the Rams should have won.
Kyle Terada-US Presswire

After a bye this week, the 6-4 Seahawks play the Dolphins in Miami, the Bears in Chicago, the Cardinals at home, the Bills in Buffalo, and finish with the 49ers and Rams both at home. The Dolphins looked atrocious this week, so even with the inconsistent play of the Hawks on the road it should be a pretty easy win for the ‘Hawks. Now as good as the Seahawks have looked recently, let’s be honest, they aren’t going to beat the Bears in Chicago, especially considering Cutler will probably be back by then. They could contend, but I expect the Bears to pull away. The next four games though, are all winnable games, especially with three of them being at home. The big game will obviously be the week 16 matchup against the 49ers at Century Link. Beating the 49ers in week 16 is the difference between 11-5, and 10-6, which in a competitive NFC, could mean everything.

The 49ers on the other hand, have a very tough remaining schedule. Starting with the Bears at home this week on Monday night, they go to New Orleans to play the red-hot Saints, then play the Rams in St. Louis, which is always tough, then play at home against the Dolphins, against the Patriots at Gillette Stadium, against the Hawks at Century Link, and finish at home against the Cardinals. The Niner’s may be two games up on us, but it is not unlikely for them to lose against the Bears, to the Saints in New Orleans, and to the Patriots in Foxborough. That would leave them with five losses, going into the game against the Seahawks. In this scenario, the winner of that pivotal week 16 game, would finish one game ahead of the other, and would win the NFC West.

The Seahawks look to avenge their previous loss when they face the 49ers in week 16.
Kyle Terada-US Presswire
While winning the division, and getting home-field advantage in the first round would be huge for us (as shown by our win against the Saints last year), getting in through the wild card would still be better than missing the playoffs completely. The Packers are one game ahead of us right now, and it is conceivable that they will only lose one or two more games the rest of the season, which would essentially guarantee them a playoff spot. The only other viable threats to our playoff spot are the Vikings (6-4), the Buccaneers (5-4), and the Saints (4-5). The Vikings chances do not look good at all, playing the Bears and the Packers twice more, along with the Texans. The Buccaneers have to play the Falcons twice more, play the Saints in New Orleans, and the Broncos in Denver. The Saints are a team that is smoking hot, and has an easy enough schedule to give us a run for our money. Their remaining schedule is the Raiders in Oakland, 49ers at home, Falcons in Atlanta, Giants in New York, Buccaneers at home, Cowboys in Dallas, and Panthers at home. The Saints are virtually impossible to beat at home, and with the Giants struggling, the only game I see them losing is in week 13 at the Falcons. That would put them at 10-6. Now it should be abundantly clear, that the Seahawks week 16 game against the 49ers is the key to our playoff hopes. If we win that game, and win the others we are supposed to down the stretch, we have a great chance of not only making the playoffs, but winning the division as well.
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