Welcome to Week 10 of Seahawks Semantics.
A much needed, yet controversial Monday night win over the Buffalo Bills put the Seahawks in closer range of full control of the NFC. With a win over the Patriots this Sunday night, that dream of owning the NFC would become all the more of a reality.
Let’s get started.
NFC West Week 9 Roundup:
Panthers at Rams:
- Jeff Fisher’s offense faltered yet again dropping Los Angeles to 3-5. It seems so long ago that the Rams were 3-1 and atop the NFC West. LA’s defense held Cam Newton’s offense to only 7 points into the 4th quarter. However, the offense continued to struggle and the Rams were only able to score a touchdown with 35 seconds left in the game. This is the fourth year in the Jeff Fisher era that Los Angeles has started 3-5 after 8 games. The path to 7-9 is right on schedule.
Saints at 49ers:
- San Francisco was dealt their 7th loss of the season on Sunday afternoon. Chip Kelly’s squad is arguably the most devoid of talent in the NFL and that showed again. On the other side, New Orleans has quietly crept back into the playoff discussion as they currently hold the 8th seed in the NFC and boast a 4-4 record.
(Division tiebreakers are handled first, and go in the following order: head-to-head, division record, common opponents, conference record, strength of victory, strength of schedule. After that, conference ties are handled in this order: head-to-head, conference record, common opponents, strength of victory, strength of schedule. Ties are counted as half a win for percentage purposes.)
- Oakland came away with a huge victory Sunday night over the Broncos. The 30-20 rout has given the Raiders home-field advantage. Derek Carr is playing at MVP level and his performance helped to give Oakland its biggest victory since the 2002 AFC Championship Game. Right now, Raiders look like the biggest threat to dethrone Tom Brady and the Patriots.
- The AFC North is a mess. Ben Roethlisberger’s injury has momentarily sidelined Pittsburgh’s season. Baltimore was able to take advantage of Roethlisberger’s return on Sunday and grab an important win that vaulted them to the division lead. As Roethlisberger’s health returns to 100%, the Steelers should be able to retake the lead and sneak into the playoffs in January.
- The AFC West continues to be the best race in football. The Raiders have beaten Denver but lost to Kansas City. The Chiefs have the advantage over Oakland. And Denver still has two games against the Chiefs. San Diego is also the best 4-5 team in football and with a string of wins and some luck, could maybe grab a wild card spot. The race in the West is going to be the best storyline in the second half of the season.
- In Seahawks fashion, the team won on Monday night without confrontation and complaints about the quality of refereeing. Seattle goes on the road to face a tough New England team this week. The Patriots also have the benefit of coming off their bye week. The win against Buffalo was huge as this Patriots team is the best in the league and it gave the Seahawks a 2 game lead in the NFC West. Home-field advantage is great, but without a win in Foxborough, Seattle will once again be fighting to climb the NFC ladder.
- Seed 5 through seed 10 is a mess. The wildcard race will shakeout once we hit the last quarter of the season, but for now each week will be a cluster of teams in the middle. One team that has crept into the playoff discussion is the New Orleans Saints. An unexpected win against the Seahawks and a domination of the 49ers have the Saints in prime position for a playoff berth.
- To me, the Dallas Cowboys are going to take home-field advantage in the NFC. There is always the chance they drop this Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh and maybe a few cracks start to break. But right now, they’re playing too well for any team, even Seattle, to catch them and take home-field.
(Strength of schedule is found by calculating the win percentage of all 13 opponents on a team's schedule. Divisional opponents get double weight. In the event of a tie for strength of schedule, tiebreakers occur in the following order: conference record, division record and if the teams are from different conferences, a coinflip is used.)A Guide for the Rooting Man (Or Woman)
A Guide for the Rooting Man (Or Woman)
Chiefs (6-2) at Panthers (3-5)
- Carolina has helped Seattle over the past two weeks with wins over the Cardinals and Rams. Now it’s their turn to lose. A Kansas City win on the road would drop the Panthers to 6 losses on the season and all but shut the door on their playoff hopes.
Root For: Chiefs
Broncos (6-3) at Saints (4-4)
- AFC over NFC. The Saints ascension to the playoff picture is valiant, but in a worst case scenario I would hate for New Orleans advantage over Seattle to become a factor in late December. If the Saints lose this game, I’ll feel fairly confident that the Seahawks won’t need to worry about their Week 8 loss.
Root For: Broncos
Rams (3-5) at Jets (3-6)
- This game could go either way. The Rams are now two games below .500 so this is usually the time Jeff Fisher gets a win. However, the Rams have struggled in recent games against good offenses. I’m not sure the Jets qualify as a good offense, but having Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte should benefit them. Los Angeles dropping this game would mean the Rams are much closer to the perfect record of 7-9.
Root For: Jets
Packers (4-4) at Titans (4-5)
- Marcus Mariota and the young Titans will have a tough time in this game. Aaron Rodgers will probably light up a weak secondary and put the Pack over .500. Even though this Green Bay team doesn’t look like the force we’re familiar with, I still would hate to face Rodgers in the playoffs. What Seahawks fans need to hope for is that Green Bay’s offensive struggles are even more prevalent than many think and that it hits a crescendo in Nashville.
Root For: Titans
Falcons (6-3) at Eagles (4-4)
- If the Seahawks drop this game to New England this game becomes even more important. A Falcons win would give them the 2 seed and home-field advantage. However, an Eagles win would keep Seattle 2nd in the NFC. I hope Sunday is a career day for Carson Wentz and Philly’s offense.
Root For: Eagles
Vikings (5-3) at Redskins (4-3-1)
- This game won’t affect the standings much if the Redskins can win. A Redskins win gives them the chance to have the top wildcard spot, while a loss for Minnesota would cement their status as the lowest division leader. If the Vikings hold on and the Falcons and Seahawks lose, Minnesota will jump all the way back to the 2 seed. That would not be ideal.
Root For: Redskins
49ers (1-7) at Cardinals (3-4-1)
- If the Seahawks lose, it’s important that they maintain their two game lead over the Cardinals. I don’t know how this will play out, but having Chip Kelly on your sideline gives you at least a small chance for victory.
Root For: 49ers
Cowboys (7-1) at Steelers (4-4)
- A win by the Steelers could be huge as the season narrows. After Sunday night, if the Seahawks are 6-2-1, they could be just a half game out of the 1 seed.
Root For: Steelers
Bengals (3-4-1) at Giants (5-3)
- AFC over NFC. It wouldn’t hurt Seattle if New York wins, but it’s a lot nicer to have a large middle of the conference.
Root For: Bengals
Bears (2-6) at Buccaneers (3-5)
Texans (5-3) at Jaguars (2-6)
Dolphins (4-4) at Chargers (4-5)
I hope to see you next week where we’re discussing what needs to happen for the Seahawks to take full control of the NFC.