Well, we’re just about at the midway point of the season for most teams. Either you’ve played 8 games, or you’ve been one of the unlucky teams to have an early BYE. Time to take a look at the playoff picture and see where we stand.
In the AFC, Denver and New England are running away with the top 2 seeds. Denver is up 2 games on San Diego in the loss column, with an edge in the tie-breaker after having beaten them last week. Cincy and Indy round out the division leaders (with Baltimore hot on the Bengals’ heels, and no one hot on the Colts’). The Chargers and Bills currently round out the Wild Card teams, but raise your hand if you believe the Bills have what it takes to last the full season.
I thought so.
Baltimore, Pittsburgh, KC, Miami, and Cleveland all have three losses to go with Buffalo and San Diego, so really the AFC Wild Card spots are wide open. Should be fun.
On to the NFC (because who gives a damn about what happens in the AFC; the Broncos are going to charge through to the Super Bowl anyway).
Arizona: 6-1, Detroit: 6-2, Dallas: 6-2, Philly: 5-2. Those are your best teams, in order (you’ve also got to throw the NFC South winner in there as the 4th seed, hosting a playoff game; Carolina currently has the tie-breaker edge on that race by their tie game).
From a Seahawks perspective, there are three things on our minds: will we make the playoffs at all, will we win our division, and will we get a top 2 seed?
Right now, we’re tied for second with San Francisco at 4-3. Both teams are two games behind the Cards. The 49ers already lost one game to the Cards; the Seahawks play them twice. The Seahawks also play the 49ers twice, so you know right away which four games are the most important four games of the season.
The Seahawks are 0-1 in the division. Frisco is 1-1 and Zona is 1-0. The Seahawks currently hold their destiny in their hands, so it’s all about winning those four games.
From a conference perspective, the Seahawks are 3-2 in the NFC. Dallas is 4-2 (that loss to the Redskins really helped the Seahawks), Philly is 3-2 and we play them later in the year, Detroit is 5-1 and has a REALLY good shot at one of the top two seeds. And, of course, Arizona is 4-0 (interestingly, the Packers are 3-3 in conference, and we have the tiebreaker over them, so if Detroit keeps rolling, things won’t look too good for the Pack).
At some point, you’d think the other shoe will drop with the Cards, but I dunno. They could keep rolling and sticking it to me every step of the way. The Seahawks just need to figure out ways to keep winning. The teeth of the schedule starts on November 16th and it looks like this:
@ Kansas City
- vs. Arizona
- @ San Francisco
- @ Philadelphia
- vs. San Francisco
- @ Arizona
There might not be a more difficult 6-game stretch in all of football this year.
Whatever happens, if I’m sitting there lamenting that Rams defeat at the end of the season, I’m going to be VERY depressed.
- Denver Broncos (6-1) – They look like the most unstoppable killing machine we’ve ever seen right now. But, just wait until December when the weather gets cold and Peyton Manning turns back into a pumpkin.
- Arizona Cardinals (6-1) – Look, I just can’t deny it anymore. This team is very, very good; and I am very, very bad at power rankings. THERE, ARE YOU HAPPY???
- Detroit Lions (6-2) – They’ve had the same talent for the last couple years, but are only now starting to put it together (unless they fall apart like they always do). So, you can’t tell me the coaching staff isn’t having SOME sort of positive influence.
- San Diego Chargers (5-3) – If you’re like me and you believe that Buffalo is kind of a joke, then the Chargers have really only beaten one good team (the Seahawks). Don’t get me wrong, I still like the Chargers, and I still think they’re going to be a playoff team, but if they don’t win down in Miami this week, they’re going to be tumbling down my rankings.
- New England Patriots (6-2) – This team has a MASSIVELY tough schedule over the next six games: Den, @Ind, Det, @GB, @SD, Mia. I hope they brought enough offense to share with the rest of the class, because they’re going to need it.
- Philadelphia Eagles (5-2) – Totally let me down last week by blowing that game against the Cards.
- Dallas Cowboys (6-2) – That Monday night game hurt the Cowboys in more ways than one, but my favorite way was how embarrassing it was to Jerry Jones.
- Indianapolis Colts (5-3) – The Colts will be cruising along, and then all of a sudden, they have one of these games where they lose and you can’t figure out why. That Steelers game was a prime example.
- Green Bay Packers (5-3) – They get their BYE week smack dab in the middle of the season, which is ideal. Then, they have only three road games remaining. Detroit better watch out.
- San Francisco 49ers (4-3) – Not for nothing, but aside from two games against the Seahawks in a three-week period, the 49ers have a pretty easy schedule the rest of the way.
- Baltimore Ravens (5-3) – Well, it’s like I said last week, the Ravens are behind the 8-ball now when it comes to their division. 2-2 record, with both losses coming to the Bengals. It won’t be the easiest road the rest of the way.
- Kansas City Chiefs (4-3) – Seems to me all you need to do is stop their running game and force Alex Smith to beat you, right? Am I the first person in the world to think of that?
- Seattle Seahawks (4-3) – There’s a trust that’s been broken, Seahawks. You’ve played shitty football, so here you remain outside of the top 10. I’m going to need to see some real ass-whompings in the next two games against the Raiders and Giants before I feel comfortable around you again.
- Cincinnati Bengals (4-2-1) – Why are they still ranked behind the Ravens? Because they suck in big games. I don’t care how good they are, you can’t get shut out by the Colts; that sour taste won’t quickly leave my mouth.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3) – I mean, shit, the Steelers dropped five dimes on the Colts! It can’t be THAT hard to score on them. My sour taste with the Steelers comes in the form of that loss to Cleveland a few weeks ago.
- Miami Dolphins (4-3) – This game against the Chargers this week is HUGE. It’s got all the tie-breaker potential in the world. Loser of this game might be eliminated from the playoffs, the way the AFC is looking. Think about it: the Dolphins aren’t catching the Patriots, just like the Chargers aren’t catching the Broncos. That leaves both up for two Wild Card spots, with teams like Kansas City, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh all lurking (not to mention Buffalo and Houston with outside shots).
- Carolina Panthers (3-4-1) – Considering all that they’ve lost, it’s pretty impressive they’re as good as they are.
- New York Giants (3-4) – If they’re not 8-8 by season’s end, I’ll eat my hat. They’re the consummate Good Bad Team. So, they’ll beat all the teams below them, and lose to all the teams better than them. They do nothing well, but pretty much everything adequate.
- Houston Texans (4-4) – They’re like the AFC’s version of the New York Giants.
- New Orleans Saints (3-4) – This would be a good time for the Saints to go on a little winning streak, considering they play the 49ers in a couple weeks.
- Chicago Bears (3-5) – Mike Singletary and Mike Ditka must be rolling over in their graves at how terrible this defense is.
- Buffalo Bills (5-3) – Get the fuck out of here! You’re telling me this team is 3-1 with Kyle Orton at the helm? Don’t even think about being a good team that I’m forced to pick on a weekly basis!
- Cleveland Browns (4-3) – Five of their final eight games are on the road, so watch out for that.
- St. Louis Rams (2-5) – We lost to a team that got trounced by the Chiefs a week later. If I shake my head any harder, it’s going to fall off.
- Atlanta Falcons (2-6) – Remember when injuries killed this team’s 2013 season? Well, consider this the Hangover Part 2 of Atlanta Falcons seasons.
- Washington Redskins (3-5) – In all honesty, that Monday night game was as feel-good of a story for Colt McCoy as it gets. It’ll probably be his last hurrah, but what a way to go.
- Minnesota Vikings (3-5) – They’re in the softer part of their schedule right now. Even if they don’t rack up a ton of wins, it would be good to get Bridgewater some confidence through the end of the season and on into next year.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-6) – It must be tough to be a long-time Bucs fan, dating back to the team’s inception. Aside from that Super Bowl season, it’s been a lot of dreck like this.
- New York Jets (1-7) – The bottom of this league is REALLY bad right now.
- Tennessee Titans (2-6) – If these teams didn’t play one another …
- Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7) – I’d wager they might not win a game …
- Oakland Raiders (0-7) – The rest of the way.