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So, there are 2 weeks left in the NFL regular season. As it stands right now, the Seahawks are in the 5th seed at 8-6; the Vikings are 6th at 7-6-1. All the Seahawks need to do to guarantee a playoff spot is to beat Arizona in Week 17. The Cardinals are 3-11 and in a SKRONG position for the #1 overall draft pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. The Seahawks will be at home for that one; we should win.
What this blog post presupposes is … maybe we don’t?
I think the Seahawks have as good a chance as any to beat the Chiefs this week, but let’s face it: the Chiefs are the better team, they’re favored in our stadium, and odds are they’re gonna come away victorious. If we ALSO blow it to the Cards – ostensibly in a similar, sloppy fashion to the way we just blew it to the 49ers – we’d end up 8-8, and in a lot of trouble when it comes to making the playoffs.
The Vikings play at Detroit this week. The Lions are done and I fully expect the Vikings to take care of business. Assuming that happens, and the Seahawks lose, we flip-flop positions in the NFC playoff chase: the Vikings would be 5th and the Seahawks would be 6th.
The other teams in play – as far as the Seahawks are concerned – are the Redskins and Eagles. There’s no way the Panthers can take our spot in the playoffs; the only way the Panthers make it is if they win out, the Eagles lose to the Texans this week, and the Redskins and Vikings lose out, in which case we’d be the 5th seed and Carolina would be the 6th seed.
The Redskins go on the road to play the Titans this week. Odds are they lose that game, but for the purposes of this exercise, that game is meaningless. The Eagles, meanwhile, host the Texans this week. If the Texans win, that effectively eliminates the Eagles as far as it relates to the Seahawks; they won’t be able to take our spot if we’re both 8-8. If they beat the Texans, then they’re still in play, because they could finish 9-7.
The biggest game – not counting the Seahawks/Cardinals game – is in Week 17, where the Redskins go to the Eagles. If the Redskins win that one and we’re both 8-8, they’d take the tie-breaker. With them being down to their 4th string quarterback, I find it hard to believe they’d win EITHER of their last two games, but you never know.
The ultimate wild card is the Vikings. As I talked about before, they should have no trouble beating the Lions. But, it IS a road game, and you never know with a divisional opponent (see: the 49ers game last week). It wouldn’t TOTALLY shock me if the Vikings lost to the Lions, because they’ve been pretty inconsistent all year. That leaves them with a Week 17 matchup hosting the Bears. The Bears could very well decide to rest their starters in this one; the Rams close out with the Cards and 49ers, which couldn’t be easier. That’s a lot of uncertainty in this variable, but you get the idea.
My hunch: the Vikings win out. The Redskins lose to the Titans. The Eagles beat the Texans. And the Eagles beat the Redskins in Week 17. The Seahawks lose to the Chiefs this week. Meaning, it all boils down to that game against the Cardinals.
I have to believe we beat the Cardinals, but I’ve been wrong a time or two before. As a betting man, I think we’ll see the Seahawks in Chicago. But, don’t be shocked if it’s the Eagles in Chicago and we’re talking about one of the most dramatic, unbelievable collapses in Seahawks history.
One unlikely scenario, for your information: if the Seahawks beat the Chiefs but lose to the Cardinals, the only way we get iced out of the playoffs is if the Redskins win both at Tennessee and against the Eagles. Seems unlikely, but if we get to the Sunday Night game this week and the Redskins have already lost, just know the Seahawks clinch with a win and can do fuck-all with their Week 17 game against Arizona.