With Week 17 in the books and the postseason on the horizon, fans across the league can begin looking ahead to the playoffs, coaching vacancies, pro days, or the upcoming draft.
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, however, you certainly have a lot to be excited about.
The Seattle Seahawks (12-4) wrapped up the regular season yesterday with a 20-6 win over the Rams (6-10), securing the NFC West title, a first round bye, and home field advantage in the process. With 13 days of rest before their first playoff game, the 12th Man can turn their attention to the rest of the league and the Wild-Card games that will ultimately determine who makes the trek up to CenturyLink Field on January 10th.
Here’s the important playoff info for Seahawks fans:
- As the No. 1 seed, Seattle’s first game will be in the Divisional Round against the LOWEST remaining seed.
- If No. 6 Detroit beats No. 3 Dallas next weekend, the Lions would be Seattle’s opponent, regardless of what happens in the other Wild-Card game.
- If No. 3 Dallas wins at home against No. 6 Detroit next weekend, the Cowboys would travel to Green Bay for the Divisional Round, leaving the winner of No. 5 Arizona vs No. 4 Carolina as Seattle’s first playoff foe.
At first glance, it would appear that by not playing Dallas and Green Bay in their first match up, the Seahawks will avoid the biggest threats in the NFC playoffs. Here are some numbers, however, that tell a different story:
- Seattle’s four losses have come against teams who finished in the top half of the league in scoring defense. Detroit’s defense currently ranks 3rd, Arizona 5th, and Carolina 21st, though the Panthers have only allowed 14.8 points per game since their bye in Week 12, second fewest of any playoff team during that stretch.
- Detroit leads the league in rushing defense, giving up just 69.3 yards per game on the ground. In games where Marshawn Lynch fails to run for 69.3 yards or more, the Seahawks are 4-3.
- At 7-8-1, the Panthers are just the second team in history to make the playoffs with a losing record. The first team to do it? The 7-9 Seahawks team from 2010 who upset the defending champion Saints in Seattle.
- In their last two HOME games versus the Seahawks, the Cardinals are 0-2, giving up an average of 34.5 points per game. In their last two games at CenturyLink Field, Arizona is 1-1 against Seattle, allowing an average of 14.5 points per game.
- Since 2012, Seattle is 6-5 in games where they score 17 points or less.
Yes, the Seahawks have avoided opening against Green Bay or Dallas, but their biggest threat may be right around the corner.