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How Many Wins?

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It's too early in the offseason to have a serious go at looking at schedules in the attempt to figure out how many games the Seahawks can expect to realistically win. Sure, part of that is the general uncertainty with respect to NFL teams, but the Hawks have way too many moving parts to know what to expect in the upcoming season. It's pretty easy to envision scenarios in which the Hawks win as few as five games or as many as 10-11 (that's where the poll comes in). A piece at the SF Examiner got me thinking about parity; what is a realistic expectation for how many wins it will take to take the NFC West?

Completely ignoring games outside of the division, it's fair to expect some better competition within the West. The Rams, 49ers, and Seahawks were all in the bottom 8 in Weighted Team DVOA last year. That's bad. The Cardinals? Only the 20th best DVOA. That's a bad division. With even some minor progress by the 49ers and Rams, win expectations decrease for both the Seahawks and the Cardinals. For the sake of argument, let's say it takes 9.5 wins to make the playoffs out of the West.