DraftWatch, Week 5: How now dark cloud?

Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

This is one of the weirdest Seahawks seasons I can remember in a while.

The team sits last in the division, but with a 3-2 record where even the losses seemed winnable. People have been talking about Russell Wilson as if he's the bastard child of Rick Mirer and Herve Villechaize, and yet he's won more games than any of the other rookie QBs this year. (Of course, Andrew Luck has only played four thus far, but facts are stubborn things.) Every game this season seems to be met with equal portions excitement and dread, thanks Seattle's team monster defense coupled with a paltry offense. It's like 1992 all over again, just without the utter despair and hopelessness.

The weirdness of the season is compounded by the fact that five weeks into the season, the Seahawks are a team that is both in the midst of a rebuild and jockeying for a playoff spot. And not the fluky 7-9 divisional title sort of playoff positioning, either - if the team takes care of business at home and pulls off a couple more road wins, a wild card berth would definitely be in the cards. Add in the fact that we're really not in the market for a quarterback now, and it changes the way we look at the 2013 draft. Sacrificing a top-20 pick for the opportunity to play into January doesn't seem like as big of a deal as it did back in 2010. Thus, I don't think most of us would mind that the Seahawks currently rank 24th in the draft order, since that's where the playoff teams end up picking anyway.
Put it this way: at least we're not the Redskins.

1. Browns (0-5, .520 SOS)
2. Chiefs (1-4, .440 SOS)
3. Saints (1-4, .486 SOS)
4. Panthers (1-4, .500 SOS)
5. Jaguars (1-4, .526 SOS)
6. Titans (1-4, .539 SOS)
7. Raiders (1-3, .410 SOS)
8. Buccaneers (1-3, .487 SOS)
9. Lions (1-3, .646 SOS)
10. Broncos (2-3, .461 SOS)
11. Dolphins (2-3, .481 SOS)
12. Bills (2-3, .526 SOS, 0-2 Div.)
13. Rams via Redskins (2-3, .526 SOS, 0-0 Div.)
14. Jets (2-3, .538 SOS)
15. Packers (2-3, .584 SOS)
16. Steelers (2-2, .436 SOS)
17. Colts (2-2, .443 SOS)
18. Cowboys (2-2, .513 SOS)
19. Chargers (3-2, .368 SOS)
20. Bengals (3-2, .421 SOS)
21. Eagles (3-2, .480 SOS)
22. Giants (3-2, .487 SOS)
23. Patriots (3-2, .519 SOS)
24. Seahawks (3-2, .577 SOS, 0-2 Div.)
25. Rams (3-2, .577 SOS, 2-0 Div.)
26. Ravens (4-1, .461 SOS)
27. Bears (4-1, .526 SOS, 0-1 Div.)
28. Vikings (4-1, .526 SOS, 1-0 Div.)
29. 49ers (4-1, .557 SOS)
30. Cardinals (4-1, .608 SOS)
31. Falcons (5-0, .373 SOS)
32. Texans (5-0, .442 SOS)

(Strength of Schedule is calculated using the win-loss records of all 13 opponents on a team's schedule, with divisional opponents being given double weight. Ties are broken using divisional records, and then a coinflip if necessary.)

The Redskins are currrently the only team in the league without a first-round pick, and that's why it's good to not be them right now. And no, that's not a misprint with the Lions - their schedule is a combined 50-28, thanks to their own division having two four-win teams to go along with the NFC West and undefeated Atlanta being on their docket. Meanwhile, the NFC West continues to be the most dominant team in the league; not only is the combined 14-6 record a good 2 1/2 games better than the NFC North, it's the only division in the league where no team has a losing record.

Since this season - or at least the first third of it - could be just as much about the playoffs as it is the draft, we'll also give you a quick look at the NFC playoff standings. Bear in mind, this is just as premature as the draft rankings, but they're also just as useful in showing exactly where we stand.

Division leaders: Atlanta (5-0), Vikings (4-1, 1-0 Div.), Cardinals/49ers (4-1, 1-1/0-0 Div.), Eagles (3-2, 1-0 Div.)

Wild Cards: Cardinals/49ers (4-1, 1-1/0-0 Div.), Bears (4-1, 0-1 Div.)

Outside Looking In: Rams (3-2, 2-0 Div.), Giants/Seahawks (3-2, 0-2 Div.), Cowboys (2-2), Packers (2-3, 1-0 Div.), Redskins (2-3, 0-0 Div.), Buccaneers (1-3, 1-0 Div.), Lions (1-3, 0-1 Div.), Panthers (1-4, 1-2 Div.), Saints (1-4, 0-1 Div.)

As you can see, Seattle is very much in the hunt. They trail both the division and the wild cards by one game, divisional record woes notwithstanding. If they can find a way to string together a few wins in a row - like, say, this Sunday against the Patriots - they might be able to leapfrog a team or two.

Our next game is going to have a lot to do with the direction that the Seahawks take for the remainder of the season. A win puts them squarely in the early playoff picture, while a loss puts them right back at .500 - and considering what the other teams in the division do, it might put the 'Hawks behind the 8-ball with the season barely 1/3 of the way done. Either way, we'll be here keeping track of it all. See you next week!

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