Is it ever too early to look at the NFL playoff picture? If so, I’d argue that time is no longer now. There are lots of games left, but there have also been lots of games played and some teams are beginning to make clear they aren’t going away, while some are making it clear they were never there to begin with.
The Seahawks are sort of right in the middle — at 5-3, they aren’t quite what people thought they’d be at this point, but they still have every chance of being what people thought they’d be at the end of the season.
If the season ended today, Seattle would be the sixth seed in the NFC and would travel to Philadelphia in the wild card round.
But as we all know, a pretty challenging schedule awaits Seattle in the second half of the season, especially after this week’s visit from the bedraggled Giants.
The website MakeNFLplayoffs.com, which uses a computer model to asses the playoff chances of every team at the end of each week (explained here) gives Seattle a 49.9 percent chance to make the playoffs and just under 18 percent to win the NFC West. The website says the Seahawks ” need to win six of the remaining eight games to virtually clinch a playoff berth.”
That means holding serve at home and winning at least two of the final four road games, all against teams that a year ago won 10 or more games, and all of which are at .500 or better this season — Kansas City, Philadelphia, Arizona and the 49ers.
A lot can, and will, happen between now and the final regular season game on Dec. 28 against the Rams at CenturyLink Field. The best odds are that a lot will be riding on that game for Seattle.
Here are some other links and notes this morning. …
— Here’s a roundup of news and notes around the NFC West.
— Herman Sarkowsky, one of the Seahawks’ original owners, has died.
— Here’s my story wrapping up what Pete Carroll said on Monday.
— As always, really good stuff here in Hugh Millen’s breakdown of Sunday’s game.
— The Giants will come to Seattle with everyone in town having declared their season over after last night’s blowout loss to the Colts.
— The Giants tried to throw deep a lot Monday night without success.
— And more on New York’s beat-up secondary.
— ESPN says the Seattle defense is beginning to find its swagger.
— ESPN notes Marshawn Lynch might have had 67 more yards Sunday if not for three plays called back due to penalties.
— Seahawks.com wraps up Monday’s news.
— Some in Kansas City disappointed the NFL didn’t flex Seattle’s visit there on Nov. 16 into the later afternoon window.
— FootballOutsiders rated Russell Wilson the 20th most valuable QB of the weekend and Marshawn Lynch No. 2 among running backs.
Of Wilson, they write:
|Inside the Oakland 40, Wilson went 4-of-10 for 33 yards and ony one first down, incuding an 0-for-4 performance inside the red zone. On deep passes, he gained 36 yards on one DPI, 20 yards on one completion, and zero yards on nine incompletions.|
And of Lynch:
|Slow and steady against Oakland for Lynch, whose longest run was just 11 yards. He was stuffed for no gain or a loss three times, but he had five first downs on the day, 11 of his carries gained 3 yards or more. He also led Seattle in catches and receiving yards, with three 10-plus-yard gains, capped off by a 39-yarder, and also had a 7-yard catch on third-and-5.|
— Terrelle Pryor, who hasn’t been on a roster since being released by Seattle, worked out for the Redskins this week.
— Jeremy Lane, now eligible to come off short-term IR, excited to get back to work:
The wait is over … Back in action !!!!
— Finally, here’s the feeling on the Giants today in New York;