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Playoff Rooting Interest, Week 14: Seahawks, maybe consider beating the Jets too

Apparently that needs to be specified, after the Giants debacle

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams
you should know this photo is from the future
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Beyond defeating the Rams in Week 16, which has become the paramountest task the Seahawks have between now and the postseason, they might want to explore the possibility of dispatching the Jets first. Apparently I wasn’t clear enough in this space last week: the teams Seattle fans want to lose around the league should lose, please, and that includes the team playing the Seahawks. Frickin’ loopholes.

With that cleared up, each of this weekend’s games will again be ranked by FaIR factor, a mix of feasibility, investment and reward. But first, a recap of just how shitty everything broke for the Seahawks in Week 13.

Saints 21, Falcons 16: bad

Packers 30, Eagles 16: bad too

Rams 38, Cardinals 28: very very bad. so bad

WFT 23, Steelers 17: enjoyable, yet bad

Vikings 27, Jaguars 24: not that bad but definitely not good

Ravens 34, Cowboys 17: neutral which is still not good

Lions 34, Bears 30: fine I guess but who cares

The entire slate of results was... bad, which still wouldn’t have mattered that much in the long run, except for the small matter of losing a very, very winnable game to the Giants. Oh well.

FaIR Factor lives on. It’s how I balance the importance of a game with the chance it breaks right. F is for Feasibility, I is for Investment of your time and emotions, and R is for Reward. It’s a 20-point scale with “Reward” as the largest component.

On to Week 14, which will be played even though there were reasons to doubt the season would ever get this far. Last week I listed games chronologically, but this week they’re ranked by the dumb metric I invented.

ARI (6-6) @ NYG (5-7), 10 a.m. Root for: Giants

If only for the reason that it makes the loss to New York a little more palatable. No! Because the Cardinals are our small-beaked hated rivals! Grrr. Bad birdies. Okay both reasons.

FaIR Factor: 9 for Feasibility and Investment. 7 for Reward. 16/20

NO (10-2) @ PHI (3-8-1), 10 a.m. Root for: Eagles obviously

Philly could still win the NFC East at 6-9-1. If the humor inherent in that situation isn’t enough, maybe the long shot of the Seahawks passing the Saints will do it. Remember Seattle can still win out, realistically!

FaIR Factor: 6 for Feasibility and Investment. 8 for Reward. 14/20

GB (9-3) @ DET (5-7), 1:25 p.m. Root for: Lions

Root for the Lions even if the records are reversed. We’re done here.

FaIR Factor: 4 for Feasibility and Investment. 9 for Reward. 13/20

WFT (5-7) @ SF (5-7), 1:25 p.m. Root for: Tie

A) It could happen

B) The NFC East needs this to complicate tie-breakers

C) Don’t want the Washingtons or the San Frans to win

D) Profit

FaIR Factor: 4 for Feasibility and Investment. 9 for Reward. 13/20

MIN (6-6) @ TB (7-5), 10 a.m. Root for: Buccaneers, barely

Tricky tricky. Do we want the BradyBucs to fall out of playoff position, and risk bringing the Vikings back into the mix? Or do we want to put the Vikings in a win-out position to make the postseason?

The Bucs don’t scare me as a first-round opponent. The Vikings do, with a top 10 quarterback in Cousins, a running back who doesn’t get tackled in Dalvin Cook, and a wide receiver who doesn’t get covered in Justin Jefferson. Plus Adam Thielen and a competent coach.

There’s no really bad result here though. If the Vikings win the Seahawks probably get closer to clinching a playoff spot.

Give me the 450 years of wear and tear on Tom Brady, Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski’s six total knees any day. Any cold day in January.

FaIR Factor: 8 for Feasibility and Investment. 4 for Reward. 12/20

DEN (4-8) @ CAR (4-8), 10 a.m. Root for: Panthers

Harkening back to the olden days of AFC West rivalries is a card you can play just about once every December. It has been laid. May the AFC West-winning, Dave Krieg-defeating, not-giving-the-49ers-even-a-decent-effort-Super-Bowl-losing Broncos find their demise on Sunday, and may it be embarrassing. Amen.

FaIR Factor: 8 for Feasibility and Investment. 2 for Reward. 10/20

HOU (4-8) @ CHI (5-7), 10 a.m. Root for: Bears?

Need Da Bears on a bit of a roll for their season-ending meetings with the Vikings (Week 15) and the Packers (Week 17). Stranger things have happened. In addition, the game is watchable because Deshaun Watson is soooooo underappreciated.

FaIR Factor: 6 for Feasibility and Investment. 2 for Reward. 8/20

ATL (4-8) @ SD (3-9), 1:25 p.m. Root for: Chargers.

Only because they need it. AFC West rivalry corollary does not apply. Because imagine being a Chargers fan. (Don’t.)

FaIR Factor: 4 for Feasibility and Investment. 1 for Reward. 5/20

DAL (3-9) @ CIN (2-9-1), 10 a.m. Root for: Cowboys

For the same reason we root for the Eagles upthread: divisional chaos.

FaIR Factor: 3 for Feasibility and Investment. 2 for Reward. 5/20

At least we know things won’t break as badly as last week... because how could they?

P.S. Rams-Patriots would’ve been the biggest game but Thursday got in the way. Unlike the Pats, who showed their belly in the second quarter, received a snuggle, and took a contented nap after halftime.

Go Hawks.