Realistically, the form guide tells you the Seattle Seahawks’ playoff hopes are as good as done after a pitiful 30-24 loss to the Carolina Panthers. A 6-3 start has given way to a 7-6 record, with all three losses coming to teams with a combined record of 16-23. They have surrendered 111 points over the past four games to mostly underwhelming offenses and have shown zero signs of any defensive improvement similar to what they had in late October and early November.
With games against the San Francisco 49ers (9-4), Kansas City Chiefs (10-3), and New York Jets (7-6 but have a top-10 defense) all on the horizon, it looks more likely than not that the Seahawks will end up being a sub .500 team after all. I suppose this would be less upsetting if the Seahawks hadn’t looked genuinely good at the halfway mark of the season.
The playoff odds are fading but not sharply just yet.
FiveThirtyEight says the Seahawks’ postseason chances sit at 55%, while odds of winning the division are just 8%. That seems awfully generous given Seattle’s gauntlet of either elite defenses or elite offenses over the next three weeks.
If you watched the ‘Sunday Night Football’ halftime show, NBC’s playoff forecast model had Seattle’s playoff probability at 42%, which feels a little more appropriate than the stronger FiveThirtyEight odds. Entering Sunday their chances were at 64%, so that’s a big drop.
In the middle of playoff berth probability is the paywalled New York Times model, which dipped the Seahawks from 64% to 48%.
As I noted last week, that tie between the Washington Commanders and New York Giants was an absolute killer. Seattle would still be in a playoff spot right now over the Giants on a head-to-head tiebreaker, but now that’s gone by the wayside and the Seahawks have to finish with one more win than either the Commanders or Giants to make the playoffs. That the Commanders and Giants play each other next week means the loser figures to have their postseason hopes in a bit of peril.
The only tiebreaker the Seahawks have that’s favorable is over the Detroit Lions, who are 6-7 and winners of five of their last six. I’d say if any team is likely to get into the postseason from the outside looking in it’s the Lions.
But if the Seahawks do beat the 49ers on Thursday against all the odds? Then the postseason talk could be back on the table. At the moment, they’re out of it and Sunday’s results played out real unfavorably for the Seahawks in terms of returning to the playoffs.