With week 14 in the books, the Seattle Seahawks are hitting their stride at the perfect time. They now lead the NFL in total defense (yards per game), passing yards allowed and are third against the run. On offense they are the league’s number one rushing team (yards per game).
In Sunday’s win against the Eagles, it was clear that this defense could once again shut down any offense it faced, even the leagues fastest. The Legion of Boom and entire Seattle defense held Mark Sanchez to 96 passing yards, reduced LeSean McCoy to 50 yards rushing, and the Eagles leading receiver (Jeremy Maclin) only had 21 receiving yards.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers stand in the Seahawks way of getting the #1 seed in the NFC playoffs.
As the NFL season winds down, the elite teams have risen, to take their best shot at the 6 playoff spots in each conference. In the AFC, the Patriots, Bengals, Colts and Broncos lead their divisions while the Steelers and Chargers round out the two wild card spots. In the NFC, the Cardinals, Packers, Eagles and Falcons lead their divisions with the Seahawks and Lions rounding out the wild card positions.
With the way the Seahawks have played in the last three weeks, they are a favorable pick to make the playoffs, but there are a few scenarios where they could receive a higher bid than the number five seed:
Seahawks can claim the number one seed if: the Packers lose one more game and Seattle wins their remaining three, along with some luck from the tiebreaker.
Seahawks can claim the number two seed if: the Packers win the rest of their games and Seattle wins the rest of their games.
Seahawks can win the NFC West if: they win their last three games, most importantly their December 21 matchup with the current division leaders, the Arizona Cardinals.
Looking ahead, the Seahawks must take on the 7-6 49ers next week, the 10-3 Cardinals in two weeks and the 6-7 Rams in week 17.
In order to win these last three intra-division games, the Hawks must continue to do what they’ve done the past three weeks:
- Run the football early and often
- Play stifling defense and force turnovers
- Protect Russell Wilson in the pocket
If the Seahawks can continue their winning streak from three games to six then they will 1) have their longest winning streak of the season and 2) be in a great position for home field advantage throughout the playoffs.