Go Bolts!


Next week's Charger-Lions game is a tight matchup, with an early -2.5 point spread.  If the Chargers win that game, the Seahawks are practically in control of their destiny.

If the Chargers lose next week @ Detroit, the Seahawks have a second draw at the deck:  Atlanta finishing 9-7, with the NY Giants beating Dallas to send everybody to 9-7.  This is not farfetched by any means.


ESPN has a peachy keen "NFL Playoff Machine" that allows you to noodle around with different NFL ballgames, the next two weeks, and then see the playoff matchups at a glance.

Once you boot it up, you can click on Week 16 and Week 17 and then click the Seahawks' logo to grant them victories and a 9-7 record.  The playoff scenarios will set even before any of the other teams have played their games.  Interesting!  

Try a few scenarios and you'll see that the Seahawks' chances are a lot stronger than you'd think.


=== Seahawks 9-7 ===

If you are a Mariners fan rubbernecking over through the Safeco LF stands over to Safeco, here's a primer.  Although the Seahawks reached the playoffs in 2010 with a 7-9 record, they need all 9 wins this year to have any chance.  The Packers and 49er's have clinched their own divisions, and the Saints almost have ... the two Wild Card teams right now are Detroit and Atlanta, and both have 9 wins already.

You have to start by assuming two Seahawk wins, but that's okay.  Next week is in CLink, where the crowd will burn the stadium down in the first quarter, and the last week is at the Cardinals.  The Hawks are on a serious roll, and a 9-7 goal is perfectly feasible, so let's continue...

The Seahawks are chasing the Lions and Falcons.  The loser of the Giants / Cowboys duel is a lesser factor.


=== Lions OR Falcons 9-7 ===

The Seahawks do not need both teams to "lose out" from 9-5 down to 9-7.  In most (!) scenarios, the Seahawks go to the playoffs if either team loses out.  If Atlanta wins to go 10-6 and Detroit goes 9-7, that's fine for the Seahawks.

Why would either team lose out?  The schedulemakers definitely wear Seahawk blue and teal on this question.  Both Detroit and Atlanta have already lost a future game.  Detroit's last game is at 13-1 Green Bay.  Atlanta's next game is at New Orleans, which is averaging 457 yards of offense per game.

Cancelling the fractions, that means a 9-7 Seahawk team would then need either San Diego to win @ Detroit (a 50-50 game), or the Buccaneers to win an upset @ Atlanta.  (If both Detroit and Atlanta win, we're done.)  Think of it as a 50-50 coin flip, but if you lose the coin flip, you get a "twist card" second flip at poor odds.


=== Tiebreakers ===

What's kind of interesting, the more you switch games outcomes here and there, is that --- > Seattle seems to lose most tiebreakers to Atlanta, but it seems make the playoffs whenever Detroit OR Dallas are in the 9-7 group.

For example, if Detroit goes 10-6 and Atlanta 9-7, then of course Detroit gets a clear WC spot and Atlanta gains the WC spot over us ... unless the 8-6 Cowboys finish 9-7, in which case Seattle wins a 3-way tiebreaker between Seattle, Dallas, and Atlanta.


=== Odds ===

In other words, the Seahawks need either Detroit or Atlanta to lose their "easy game", but if either does, a 9-7 Seahawks team seems to take a Wild Card slot about 75% of the time.

Detroit is a slim 6:5 favorite next week against San Diego.  Assuming a roughly 5:2 situation for Tampa Bay at Atlanta, that means that there is about a 60% chance of the Seahawks getting that one loss that they need.  

(A) If it's Detroit that gets the critical loss we need, Atlanta's 10-6, Detroit 9-7, no problemo - as far as I can tell, the Seahawks go in, in each scenario I set up, anyway.  (B) But if it's Atlanta that gets the loss we need, and we tie them at 9-7, we still have a draw at the deck (a Dallas 9-7 finish) to make it in that situation too.

So, fellow Seahawks homers, you've got to grant these starting points:

  • Seahawks go 9-7
  • Green Bay and New Orleans do manage to beat their rivals at home

If we start with that, then the 2012 Seahawks are slight favorites to go to the playoffs.  

Feel ever so free to improve this analysis, my friend.  It's late and I might have fouled this up majorly.  At any rate, Seahawks fans will be watching next week's Chargers-Lions game as much as their own game.  If the Chargers win, the Seahawks virtually in control of their destiny.

Now, would you like for us to explain the blue lines in hockey?


Dr D


Nathan H.'s picture

You know what's awesome? Talking seriously about playoff odds in week 15. If I went back and told week 1 me that, I'dda laughed my future self out of the living room.
If the Hawks win out Tarvaris will have been 9-5 as a starter for us playing with a busted chest. Now, I certainly still want an upgrade but I think I'd be happy with him forcing a rookie to sit for a year and all the benefits that that brings as opposed to throwing a rookie into the fire.


Tarvaris Jackson.
PRO:  Very calm and leisurely in the pocket.
CON:  Would be nice to throw the ball down the field now and then.
Shocking enough to see the Seahawks in the hunt.  Even more shocking to hear the TV guys talk about a big payday for Marshawn Lynch.
Nathan, why is the blocking so good without Okung and Carpenter?  That rushing TD after the field-goal pole vault penalty, I coulda scored that one.

Nathan H.'s picture

BupBupBup on the downfield throwing thing. Didja see his toss to Obamanu? Deep down the field and Right. On. Target. Maybe he hasn't been throwing it deep this season because of his pec? His scouting report has his deep ball as a strength.
O-line - I could be wrong. I'm well out of my depth here with regards to deep analysis of O-line play. That being said, my impression is that there are two factors.
1) Tom Cable. You get the impression that the Bevel/Cable offense has the seperation of powers to be Bevel = Skill Position coaching and Cable = In The Trenches coaching. With the ability to laser focus on his specific area of expertiese, he HAS to be having some kind of signifigant effect on the entire unit. Right?
2) Personnell. Maybe McQuistan, Jean-Pierre, Giacomini, etc. have more talent than we may be giving them credit for. McQuistan was on an island against Julius Bleeping Peppers almost all game and fared very well. Giacomini has looked very good all year. Jean-Pierre has flashed as well. Maybe Schneider and Carroll know something we don't about these guys. Would love to be able to pick their brains about this.
I'd be curious to know your impression.


catch the Niners tonight (Monday) against the Steelers. Big. Fast. Enourmously strong. All of them. Quick. Smart. Defense like a rock against the run, relentless against the pass.
I am not able to watch much pro football anymore. This was my first time seeing San Francisco, and they were VERY impressive. If Alex Smith could hit some of those open passes...

Steen.'s picture

This team is a QB away from being very VERY good. They could use another pass rushing rotation piece at DE, but that isn't what is holding them back currently, Tavaris Jackson is a gaping maw where a talented player should be. He's fidgety, has very little pocket presence, and doesn't have the confidence to try and hit tight windows in the middle of the field.(Maybe he knows he isn't very accurate, or he just can't see the plays developing?) On top of all of those deficiencies he's not young.
There is no upside with jackson. I would be shocked if they don't find his replacement this off season.

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