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Seahawks sit in 7th place after bye week

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NFL: International Series-Seattle Seahawks at Oakland Raiders Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks didn’t play this week, but they did improve. The Chicago Bears lost to the New England Patriots, dropping them to 3-3. The Philadelphia Eagles fell to 3-4 after a loss to the Carolina Panthers. The Dallas Cowboys took a late L to Washington, also falling to 3-4. Per ESPN, this was enough to improve the Seahawks to the best 3-3 team in the NFC:

  1. LA Rams, 6-0
  2. New Orleans Saints, 5-1
  3. Washington, 4-2
  4. Minnesota Vikings, 4-2-1
  5. Carolina Panthers, 4-2
  6. Green Bay Packers, 3-2-1
  7. Seattle Seahawks, 3-3

The first question you are probably wondering is, “Shouldn’t the Bears be ahead of Seattle since they beat them in Week 2?” But there are other head-to-head tiebreakers to consider. Per ESPN, Chicago is actually the lowest ranked 3-3 team despite having the best conference record at 3-1. Here’s ESPN’s breakdown for the Seahawks:

Wins tie break over Tampa Bay based on best win percentage in common games. Wins tie break over Detroit based on best win percentage in conference games. Division tie break was initially used to eliminate Chicago (Detroit wins tie break over Chicago based on best win percentage in division games).

Regardless though, there are still nine games left to play, beginning in Week 8 against the 3-3 Lions. A win on the road solidifies Seattle’s advantage over Detroit (for now) and gives them one more W away from their home turf, which is also important. The Seahawks are 2-2 on the road this season, the Lions are 2-1 at home, coming off of a 32-21 win in Miami over the Dolphins this weekend. One thing you can expect a lot of is Seattle running the ball, since that’s been their M.O., and Detroit is ranked 32nd in yards per carry allowed.

The Lions gave up 48 points to the New York Jets at home in Week 1, then beat the Patriots 26-10 at home in Week 3. Go figure. We have no idea what Lions team is going to show up.

If you’re looking for the Seahawks to be in a wild card position after next weekend, here’s some things to look for besides their own need for a win:

The Packers travel to LA to take on the 7-0 Rams. The next week, they go to New England to face the 5-2 Patriots. Green Bay has Aaron Rodgers still, but going 2-0 in those games would be stunning. A loss drops the Packers to 3-3-1, which would not be as good as 4-3.

The Panthers host the 4-3 Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens have the best defense in the NFL, and are coming off of a 24-23 loss to the Saints. A loss would drop Carolina to 4-3.

The Vikings host the 5-1 Saints. A loss would drop them to 4-3-1.

The Packers and Vikings all travel to Seattle in the coming weeks, while the Panthers host the Seahawks in Week 12.

Chicago has maybe the easiest schedule ahead, hosting the Jets, then traveling to face the Buffalo Bills the following week. The Seahawks need to win to stay ahead of the Bears, possibly. The Bucs, coming off a surprising last second OT win over the Cleveland Browns, travel to face the Cincinnati Bengals before heading to Carolina. They’ve still allowed the most points in the NFL this year.

All told, this is what the Seahawks are looking at right now, standings-wise. They started 0-2, they’re knocking on getting over .500 with two games to go until the midway point. Will Pete Carroll once again have them looking better as the season goes on?