The fine folks at Yahoo! have provided a handy playoff scenario generator, allowing users to plug-in results and find out where their favorite team would land when the season ends. With that, we can figure out what it would take for the Seattle Seahawks to win the NFC West and steal the corresponding home playoff game. Taking into account the remaining schedule and the Seahawks’ struggles, it’s not looking pretty.
It’s a three-horse race in the NFC West with the Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams in a fight to the finish. The Rams and 49ers play in week 16, with the Seahawks and Rams taking the field in week 17. These two match-ups loom incredibly large in the playoff picture. Why? Because, as we’ve seen this year, it’s almost impossible to bank on a non-divisional win for any NFC West.
Here are the scenarios:
Week 15: All three teams lose. Each has a tough match-up, so let’s bank on an 0-3 week.
Week 16: If the Rams beat the 49ers, San Francisco is out of the playoff picture. If the 49ers win, they step into the driver’s seat. Seattle faces a tough Tampa Bay squad and seems destined to lose again.
Week 17: Best case for the Seahawks, the Rams beat the 49ers in week 16. This would set up a showdown for the NFC West playoff berth should the week 15 scenario hold true. Seahawks win and they’re in. Rams win and they go to the playoffs. If the 49ers win, the Seahawks would need San Francisco to lose in week 17 while also winning their own game against St. Louis to make the playoffs.
Seattle’s loss to the 49ers looms as a huge missed opportunity to seize control of the division. Win last weekend and the Seahawks carry a one-game cushion into the last three weeks of the season and would be the odds-on favorite to make the playoffs. Instead, we’re staring down the barrel of a complicated scenario and a division that may not be decided until the final whistle blows on Jan. 2.