They’re not ALL “Must Win” games, because there are a number of games you CAN lose and still achieve what you’re looking for. But, that number of acceptable defeats tends to shrink depending on what your goal is, and how hard or easy you want to make it on yourself.
The Seahawks have three losses and it’s not even November. Unquestionably, the goal for the Seahawks this year is to repeat as world champions. Now, technically, all the Seahawks have to do is find a way to get in the playoffs. Even as a 6-seed, all they have to do is win three games on the road before making the Super Bowl. But, as history teaches us, it’s not easy to advance as a 6-seed (unless you’re the cheating, buttsniffing Pittsburgh Steelers).
Ideally, you want home field advantage. To get that, the Seahawks WOULD have to win out most likely, and even then they’re going to need some help. So, in that sense, every game from now on is “Must Win”.
If we’re all ready to forget about home field – because with this schedule it looks nigh on impossible to go undefeated the rest of the way – then the next step would be winning the division. I don’t THINK the Cardinals will end up with the NFC’s best record, but you never know. In that sense, again, they’re all “Must Win” games. Or, at the very least, I would think the Seahawks will need to go 8-1 or 7-2 (in both cases, it would probably help if they swept the Cardinals in the season series).
I’m not ready to give up the dream on the division just yet, but it would fucking be nice if some of these other teams could help us out and steal a game or two against the Cards and 49ers!
To scale back expectations even further, if we want to simply just make the playoffs as a Wild Card team, then we should probably be safe with a 6-3 record the rest of the way (depending on which games you win, to allow for tie-breakers and such). Going 10-6 isn’t a fool-proof guarantee, of course. Just last year, Arizona was on the outside looking in with 10 wins. You’re almost certainly set with an 11-5 record, though.
Let’s take a look at the schedule the rest of the way, knowing what we know now about these teams:
vs. NY Giants
These next two games look easy enough. They’re not very good, plus we’re at home.
@ Kansas City
That’s our impossible 6-game stretch.
vs. St. Louis
That’s our Week 17 game that wasn’t looking all that scary at the beginning of the season, but will probably be all-important when it finally takes place.
If you bank on the Seahawks winning the games they SHOULD win (Raiders, Giants, Rams), that gives us three wins. If we somehow manage to go 3-3 in that impossible stretch (two home games, plus stealing one on the road), that would get us to 10 wins, and a very good shot at the playoffs.
If we win all our home games and take TWO road games (at the moment, I’m liking our chances at KC and at Philly more than I do at SF and at Zona), that’s almost a lock of making the playoffs.
So, in a sense, this Sunday’s game against Oakland isn’t TECHNICALLY a “must win”. But, if we blow it somehow, that just means we have to win one more game against a really GOOD team.
Let’s make it easy on ourselves, Seahawks! Take care of business against one of the worst teams in football and let’s all get our confidence back!