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Seahawks Playoff Rooting Guide, Week 17: Who do you want?

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks
second time’s the charm
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

In the playoffs, also known as their divisional birthright, the Seattle Seahawks will face the NFC’s 6 or 7 seed first, unless everything goes right and it’s the 4 or 5. Bring them on, whoever they are —

Birthright? John, aren’t you being a little hypehomerbolic? There are other teams in the NFC West. The Rams and 49ers were JUST in the Super Bowl, where they both acquitted themselves well. LA set a scoring record and I turned the TV off when San Fran was ahead by two scores with six minutes left, so I assume they won.

Everything you state is factual and true. Check this out though:

  • Since realignment in 2002, the Seahawks have reached the postseason 14 times. No other divisional rival has been there more than five times.
  • Since 2003, the Seahawks have won the division exactly half the time. Nine crowns in 18 years.
  • Since 2005, wait for it, the Seahawks are, wait for it again, 14-10 in the playoffs. The rest of the NFC West, combined, is, wait for it one final time, 14-10 in the playoffs.

Conclusion: there exist other teams in the NFC West for the appearance of parity only. Good job Roger. Very convincing.

Who do we want? Who do you want? You already know who nobody wants to face. The frickin’ Seahawks, that’s who. As for me, I want to avoid the Packers for as long as possible. That’s the only team that keeps me up at night. Although as long as the Rams employ Aaron Donald, they’re in an annoying class of their own.

In order, I’ll take:

1. The Bears. Mitch Trubisky hasn’t played a playoff game and his recent four-game stretch of excellence (7 TD against just 2 INT, 8.2 YPA, 108 passer rating) feels like an anomaly within a career arc of mediocrity.

2. The Cardinals. The Seahawks have shown they can score on Arizona and keep Kyler Murray contained within the pocket when he’s at 100 percent, and he’s not at 100 percent although he’ll play Sunday in Los Angeles.

3. The Rams. Hasn’t Russell Wilson been punished enough in his career this year already? I’m aware Jared Goff’s broken thumb has forced Sean McVay to set his hopes on backup QB John Wolford, he of zero career NFL passes. I’m aware. I’m not sure how much of a downgrade Wolford is from the man who’s led the league in turnovers since the start of 2019.

4. The Buccaneers. I don’t fear Tom Brady if the Seahawks can put pressure on him, but losing to him feels gross, losing to him and Bruce Arians feels even grosser, and you know they’d find a way to pick on whoever Seattle’s weakest link is at CB on that particular day. Also they’ve scored only four points fewer than the Chiefs, so no thank you all around.

There’s a poll at the end for your opinion.

Rooting Interest, Week 17

As outlined all week on this site and other sites that theoretically exist, Seattle needs a win of their own and New Orleans and Green Bay both to lose in order to claim the 1 seed. Just a Saints defeat suffices to put the Seahawks in position to rise to 2. And even in case of a (gulp) loss to San Francisco, Seattle stays at 3.

Six games are listed, from least impactful to most. I left off Vikings-Lions because of the complete lack of playoff implications. Again and always, they’re arranged by FaIR Factor, which I can finally retire after today... unless... unless... unless the Seahawks vault into the top seed and we get to all watch wild-card weekend stress-free.

WAS @ PHI, Sunday 5:20 p.m. Root for: Eagles

Thus eliminating the pesky WFT defense from ever facing Seattle in the playoffs, although if it gets that far, good things have already happened to our blue-green men because it’s either the NFCCG or the divisional round after a beautiful bye for the Seahawks.

The final Week 17 game really only carries significance to those invested in the Giants and Cowboys. The winner of DAL-NYG will take the division if WFT stumbles in the evening.

FaIR Factor: 7 for Feasibility, 2 for Investment and Reward. 9/20

DAL @ NYG, Sunday 10 a.m. Root for: Gosh it hardly matters. Giants?

My weak rationale is that I don’t want Jerry Jones thinking the Boys can do without Dak Prescott, failing to retain him, then seeing him picked up by the 49ers. The brain shudders at what Kyle Shanahan could accomplish with a real quarterback running his offense.

Otherwise, who cares.

FaIR Factor: 8 for Feasibility, 3 for Investment and Reward. 11/20

ATL @ TB, Sunday 10 a.m. Root for: Buccaneers

And why not? Let’s get Tampa Tom cooking all the way past the Falcons into the 5th seed, the NFC East “champion” and the potentially top-seeded Packers in the divisional round. Not a lot of teams can win at Lambeau, but if anyone can, it’s a top 5 scoring offense with a quarterback who’s played a big game or two.

If TB and TB both lose, they could fall to the 6th seed and earn a date in Seattle. No thank you very much, for reasons outlined a few paragraphs ago.

FaIR Factor: 10 for Feasibility, 5 for Investment and Reward. 15/20

ARI @ LAR, Sunday 1:25 p.m. Root for: Cardinals unless Wolford is incompetent.

You’ll already have checked the schedule many times, but it bears repeating anyway: all the games that impact the Seahawks’ seeding start at the same time.

I’d rather not face the Rams defensive line again in January. Give me a gimpy Kyler Murray, good coverage on DeAndre Hopkins, and no brain farts on special teams, which is the recipe for dispatching the Cardinals again.

That being said — if Wolford can’t handle the speed of the NFL game, the Rams winning to claim the 6 seed and having to travel up here again isn’t a bad result at all.

FaIR Factor: 8 for Feasibility, 8 for Investment and Reward. 16/20

NO @ CAR, Sunday 1:25 p.m. Root for: Panthers

Alvin Kamara won’t play. After two positive COVID tests, he’s on the reserve list. His status is uncertain for the first playoff game as well. It’s hard to overstate just how enormous that news is. In the last three weeks, New Orleans’ touchdown makers are:

Kamara, 8

Taysom Hill, 3

Drew Brees, 2

Emanuel Sanders, Lil’Jordan Humphrey, Latavius Murray, Jared Cook, each with 1

That Saints offense runs, literally, through Kamara. Without him they could have trouble putting points on the board. #analysis

A Green Bay win eliminates the top seed from contention but a New Orleans loss is an invitation to get the 2. And maybe even set the Saints up with the Bucs in the first round, should the stars align with a LAR win and a TB loss. There’s a LOT to like about the Saints tripping up here.

FaIR Factor: 7 for Feasibility, 10 for Investment and Reward. 17/20

GB @ CHI, Sunday 1:25 p.m. Root for: Bears

A side bonus of a Bears win would be knocking the Rams-Cards loser out of the playoffs entirely. That’s a significant bonus on top of the obvious one, which is the opening of Door No. 1, behind which is hiding Prize No. 1, Seed No. 1.

Get it done, Bears, as our lifelong natural ally against fish. Down with fish, always. Except in cases of Dolphins vs. Patriots. Although dolphins are mammals anyway. Original point stands.

FaIR Factor: 7 for Feasibility, 10 for Investment and Reward. 17/20

You were promised a poll.


If the Seahawks have to play in the wild-card round, who would you rather see them face?

This poll is closed

  • 60%
    (1765 votes)
  • 2%
    (85 votes)
  • 27%
    (795 votes)
  • 8%
    (252 votes)
2897 votes total Vote Now