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Seahawks Semantics Week 16: Rooting Guide, Draft Order and Playoff Positioning

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Week 16 of Seahawks Semantics!

After a solid win last Thursday night, the Seahawks look forward to a tough matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals (5-8-1) are out of playoff contention, but I’m sure they would love nothing more than to knock Seattle down to the Wild Card round and miss out on the bye week.

Unfortunately I’ve had some family affairs that have preoccupied my time this week and this article will be shorter than usual. Next week will be back to normal as we head into Week 17 and from there, the playoffs.

Draft Order

(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.)

*Since the draft order is not strictly made by record—playoff teams pick at the end—color lines have been added to denote which teams have been eliminated (red), as well as teams still in playoff contention (blue), division leaders (green) and teams that have clinched the playoffs (silver).

Playoff Positioning

(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).

Teams below the red line have been officially eliminated from playoff contention.



Quest for the 2nd Seed—Rooting Guide

Seattle is two weeks away from their fifth straight playoff appearance. Amidst the Richard Sherman press conference debacle this week, the inconsistent offensive line play and the two poor losses to Tampa Bay and Green Bay, the Seahawks can earn a bye week and a divisional round matchup at CenturyLink Field.

If the Seahawks win out, they’ll automatically clinch the second seed. However, with a little help this week, Seattle can stroll into Week 17 with the other home spot in the divisional round locked up.

Panthers (6-8) at Falcons (9-5)

  • The first domino that has to fall is the Atlanta Falcons losing their NFC South matchup to the Carolina Panthers.

Root For: Panthers

Vikings (7-7) at Packers (8-6)

  • The possibility still stands that Green Bay could win out and the Seahawks drop their last two matchups. The Packers would then jump above Seattle in playoff seeding. A Minnesota win would prevent this scenario.

Root For: Vikings

Buccaneers (8-6) at Saints (6-8)

  • The sequence that I explained above is applicable with the Buccaneers as well. Go Saints.

Root For: Saints

Lions (9-5) at Cowboys (12-2)

  • The last thing needed is a Cowboys victory. The Seahawks can’t reach the Cowboys so it’s pointless to root against Dallas. A Seahawks victory plus losses from the Lions and Falcons will give the Seahawks the second seed this week.

Root For: Cowboys

Remaining Games

Giants (10-4) at Eagles (5-9)

Dolphins (9-5) at Bills (7-7)

Redskins (7-6-1) at Bears (3-11)

Jets (4-10) at Patriots (12-2)

Chargers (5-9) at Browns (0-14)

Titans (8-6) at Jaguars (2-12)

Colts (7-7) at Raiders (11-3)

49ers (1-13) at Rams (4-10)

Bengals (5-8-1) at Texans (8-6)

Ravens (8-6) at Steelers (9-5)

Broncos (8-6) at Chiefs (10-4)

I can’t wait to get back next week and dive deep into the different Wild Card scenarios that could play out.

Go Hawks!