According to DVOA over at FootballOutsiders, the Seattle Seahawks have the NFL’s most difficult remaining schedule. The average DVOA of their next eight opponents (which is really seven opponents plus the San Francisco 49ers twice) is 14.3%.
For comparison, the closest team to a 14.3% DVOA is ... the Seattle Seahawks. Who are ninth in DVOA with a 13%.
That kind of means that Seattle’s average opponent over the next eight games is Seattle. For some fans this will be great news! For others, it’s a realization that the Seahawks will need to be better than the Seahawks we’ve seen so far and that’s both something that’s possible (given Pete Carroll’s second half success) and terrifying (given that they’ve still got to be better than the road that’s gotten them to 6-2).
Here are their final eight games (DVOA%, DVOA Rank):
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers, home (-.8%, 20th)
- San Francisco 49ers, road (46.3%, 1st)
- Philadelphia Eagles, road (6.1%, 12th)
- Minnesota Vikings, home (23%, 5th)
- LA Rams, road (11.1%, 10th)
- Carolina Panthers, road (2.9%, 15th)
- Arizona Cardinals, home (-20.1%, 27th)
- San Francisco 49ers, home (46.3%, 1st)
As you can see, Seattle has four road games and four home games. The only team ranked outside the top 20 is the Cardinals. They have three games remaining against a top-5 opponent, but two of those three are at home.
Clearly San Francisco is bumping up that SOS difficulty significantly, but the Seahawks don’t have much cake left to eat, if any. Their SOS up to this point? 25th, with an average DVOA against of -5.5%.
Things change of course. Some of these teams could get worse and probably will get worse. But Seattle can’t just rely on other teams to change — they’ll need to change themselves first and foremost.