Seahawks Playoff Scenarios: How Seattle Makes Postseason

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The Seahawks are fighting for their playoff lives over the final three weeks of the NFL season.

With the Seahawks loss to the Rams, Seattle now is in must-win territory, and will need some help to make the playoffs. The Seahawks sit just outside the playoff picture, and have a must-win game against the Cowboys next week. Given the competitiveness of the entire NFC, it is hard to imagine a team making the playoffs without possessing at least 10 wins.

In Week 16, the Seahawks travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys with the matchup impacting the NFC Wild Card picture. Seattle finishes out the regular season against the Cardinals. The Seahawks will need to win both games, and also likely needs some help in winning the tiebreakers with other NFC teams.

If the Seahawks were to finish with an identical record with another NFC team, here is how the NFL describes the tiebreaker scenarios.

1. Head-to-head, if applicable.
2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.
4. Strength of victory.
5. Strength of schedule.
6. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
7. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
8. Best net points in conference games.
9. Best net points in all games.
10. Best net touchdowns in all games.
11. Coin toss.

Things get more complicated if three or more teams have identical records. Here’s a look at the tiebreaker scenarios if it involves three or more teams.

1. Head-to-head sweep. (Applicable only if one club has defeated each of the others or if one club has lost to each of the others.)
2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.
4. Strength of victory.
5. Strength of schedule.
6. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
7. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
8. Best net points in conference games.
9. Best net points in all games.
10. Best net touchdowns in all games.
11. Coin toss

If the Seahawks had won the Week 15 matchup, they would have swept the Rams this season. While it is unlikely that the Rams and Seahawks finish with identical records, it would move through a series of the above tiebreakers if it did happen.

Heavy’s projections have the Seahawks just missing the playoffs, and finishing as the last team out of the postseason (No. 7 NFC team). This is based on projecting the Seahawks to go 1-1 over the next two weeks. If the Seahawks are able to win out this would greatly enhance their chances to make the playoffs.

Here’s a look at where the Seahawks sit the NFC standings heading into Week 15. The top six teams make the playoffs. The Eagles and Vikings have already claimed two of the six spots by winning their divisions.


NFC Standings

TEAM W L
1. Philadelphia Eagles 12 2
2. Minnesota Vikings 11 3
3. L.A. Rams 10 4
4. New Orleans Saints 10 4
5. Carolina Panthers 10 4
6. Atlanta Falcons 8 5
7. Detroit Lions 8 6
8. Seattle Seahawks 8 6
9. Dallas Cowboys 8 6
10. Green Bay Packers 7 7
11. Arizona Cardinals 6 8
12. Washington Redskins 6 8
13. Tampa Bay Bucs 4 9
14. Chicago Bears 4 10
15. San Francisco 49ers 4 10
16. N.Y. Giants 2 12

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1 Comment

13eeker

Umm, Rams lost to the ‘Hawks in week 5. Now they’re split, head to head…

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