The Seattle Seahawks now have an 88% chance to make the playoffs, per 538, and 90.1% over at FootballOutsiders, though those odds as of this writing came before Monday night’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington. Either way, as of Week 14, the Seahawks would need a lot more to go wrong than to go right in order to get to the postseason for the sixth time in seven years.
One thing that would make it very easy to go right is for Seattle to get a win over the Minnesota Vikings next Monday, which alone would increase their odds to 97-98% per 538. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any good bets at 2% odds, which is essentially the same as drawing five cards from a poker deck and getting three of a kind. Sure, you won’t cry “Foul!” if it happens, but you’d be slightly amazed. Especially if it happened on the first deal.
The Seahawks get their chance to nearly seal that deal at home against the Vikings in a week. How good are Seattle’s chances to beat Minnesota? The odds are certainly in their favor:
- The Seahawks are still a better team at home than they are on the road. That’s where they got their only win over a winning team (24-13 over the Dallas Cowboys) and biggest victory by scoring margin (43-16 over the San Francisco 49ers). They also came within yards of a potential game-winning field goal try against the 11-1 LA Rams at CentruryLink.
- Russell Wilson is 41-12 at home with a passer rating of 103.6. This season at home he’s got 16 touchdowns and just one interception with a rating of 127.9. Only Tom Brady has won more games at home than Wilson since 2012.
- In December, Wilson is 20-8 with a rating of 103.3, the highest December rating in NFL history. Only Brady has won more December games since 2012, while six more December touchdowns than any other player in that time.
- At home in December, Wilson has 35 touchdowns and eight interceptions with a rating of 106.3. Only Aaron Rodgers has a higher December passer rating at home in that time.
- Wilson is 6-2 on Monday night with 16 touchdowns and two interceptions. He has the highest career passer rating in Monday Night Football history at 111.8, among all QBs with at least 150 attempts. Move it down to 100 and only Colin Kaepernick has a higher MNF rating.
- Wilson is 3-0 against the Vikings with eight touchdowns, no interceptions, and a rating of 142. It’s his highest rating against any team in the NFL with at least two starts. He also has a rushing touchdown against Minnesota.
- The last time Seattle need a home win on Monday night in December, Wilson threw three touchdowns and no interceptions in a 34-7 rout against the New Orleans Saints, a team that was 9-2 prior to that loss.
- Wilson has a passer rating of 103.5 against the NFC North, the highest he has against any NFC division by a good margin, and he’s only faced the NFC West more often.
- He is 20-5-1 in primetime.
- Mychal Kendricks is returning from an eight-game suspension.
- The Vikings are 2-3-1 on the road.
- Kirk Cousins has thrown four interceptions in his last two road games.
- Their season-high for rushing yards in a road game is just 95. No team rushes for fewer yards per carry (3.71) or has fewer rushing touchdowns (2) on the road than Minnesota.
- Danielle Hunter is awesome but he’s been better at home. He has four sacks in six road games, none in the last two. Everson Griffen doesn’t have a sack in the last two road games. Neither does Sheldon Richardson. Eric Wilson has their only sack in the last two road games.
None of which is to say that Seattle is guaranteed a win by any means, just noting that which is in their favor for a game that holds a key that could unlock a near-certain wild card berth.
After Monday night’s result - the Eagles beat Washington to send both teams to 6-6 - the Seahawks now stand in the five seed. They are essentially two games up on the Carolina Panthers now. They also hold a one-game lead over Philly with a better conference record to boot. They hold a one-game lead over Washington. They are two games better than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Panthers travel to face the Cleveland Browns. The Eagles travel to face the Cowboys. The Bucs host the Saints. If the Browns, Cowboys, and Saints all won, Seattle could be looking at 94% before Monday even starts. A loss would only drop them to 85-86%, while a win would send them over 99%. The Seahawks could even have clinching scenarios by Week 15, when they travel for a rematch with the 49ers.
That’s how nice a win over Minnesota would be on Monday, but it is not entirely necessary. It’s just another odd in their favor.