By taking down the 49ers 43-16 on Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks have won three straight and sitting at 7-5 overall, they've set themselves up nicely for a playoff spot in the NFC.
In addition to winning their own games, other contenders have helped by playing poorly over the past few weeks. As it stands right now, the Vikings occupy the sixth and final playoff spot in the NFC following a loss in New England. The Seahawks and Vikings play each other this Monday night in a huge matchup with big playoff seeding implications.
Currently just behind the Seahawks and still in the race are the Vikings, Buccaneers, Packers, Panthers, Eagles and Redskins. Out of those five team, only the Buccaneers and Eagles won this weekend and the overall prognosis for those teams doesn't look great.
The Packers just fired head coach Mike McCarthy and seem to be in a tailspin. The Panthers too, are sliding backwards and have also made a few coaching changes after losing a fourth straight game. To put a bow on that, the Seahawks own the tiebreaker over both of those teams with head-to-head wins.
Last night, the Redskins lost a second quarterback for the season and they seem dead in the water with Mark Sanchez at the helm. As for the victorious Eagles, they now sit at 6-6. The defending Super Bowl champs become the Seahawks’ most fierce competition if Seattle beats Minnesota and Philadelphia stays hot.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play musical quarterbacks with Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick and still must face the Saints and Cowboys down the road. Yet, they somehow cling to life at 5-7.
In reality, everything seems to be falling into place for Seattle to snag a playoff spot. The five seed is certainly a possibility and would be preferred, as they would play the division winner with the worst record in the Wild Card Round.
The Seahawks got a lot of help recently and they also helped themselves. It’s time to finish the job. A win against the Vikings would almost surely secure them a spot, so long as they take care of business against the lowly 49ers and Cardinals in coming weeks.
Even a few scenarios exist where the Seahawks make the playoffs at 9-7, but Pete Carroll's team can't leave that to chance.
With things trending up in Seattle this season, the Seahawks need to take advantage. A favorable down the stretch with three of their last four games at home puts the playoffs within reach and the Hawks are at the steering wheel of their own fate.