- LATIN AMERICA
- MIDDLE EAST
- United Kingdom
- United States
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- iHaveNet.com: NFL Football
NFL 2014: Slice It, Dice It, Seahawks Chances are Grim (Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest)
By Steve Rudman, Sportspress Northwest
With five division games remaining, Seattle still has math on its side. But history works against the Seahawks, who wouldn't be a playoff team if the season ended today.
With their series of fourth-down failures Sunday in Kansas City, the Seahawks have placed themselves in an almost -- but not quite -- unique (also dire) position among defending Super Bowl champions. More on that tickler later.
First, at 6-4, the Seahawks stand three games behind the Arizona Cardinals (9-1) in the NFC West.
Since the Seahawks will confront the Cardinals twice in the season's remaining weeks, including Sunday at CenturyLink Field (1:05 p.m. on FOX), and also face 6-4 San Francisco twice (as well as Philadelphia and St. Louis), they mathematically still have an opportunity to win the division, or position themselves for a playoff run.
Good luck with that. Arizona has reeled off six wins in a row. After starting 4-4, the 49ers have won two in a row. Seattle has to face the Eagles in Philadelphia. St. Louis has already defeated Seattle and Sunday held Peyton Manning and the Broncos to a touchdown in a 22-7 win. If the playoffs started today, the Seahawks would be preparing for next spring's draft.
On the other hand, if the Seahawks win out, they will finish 12-4, a game worse than their 13-3 mark last year, which was good enough to edge the 49ers (12-4) in the NFC West race. A 12-4 record might be good enough to win the division this year.
But while the math still adds up for the Seahawks, they are in no condition either in terms of talent or health to make much hay over the final six weeks. History also trumps their chances.
Since 2002, when the Seahawks moved from the AFC West to the NFC West, there have been 96 division races spread across both conferences. The leaders entering Week 11 (Arizona in the NFC West), have gone on to win division championships 86 times -- 89.5 percent. So scratch any home-field advantage, even if the Seahawks reach the postseason.
Ominously for this year's Seahawks, every NFC West team since 2002 that led at the Week 11 mark went on to claim the division title, including six editions of the Seahawks: 2004 (6-4 at Week 11 to a 9-7 finish), 2005 (8-2 to 13-3), 2006 (6-4 to 9-7), 2007 (6-4 to 10-6), 2010 (5-5 to 7-9), 2013 (9-1 to 13-3).
The following (out of 96) division races were the exceptions, where the leader entering Week 11 failed to hold first place:
|2002||AFC East||Mia 6-4||NYJ 9-7||Miami missed; Jets lost divisional round|
|2002||AFC West||Den 7-3||Oak 11-5||Broncos missed; Oakland lost SB|
|2003||NFC North||Minn 6-4||GB 10-6||Vikings missed; Pack lost division round|
|2006||NFC East||Dal 6-4||Phil 10-6||Dallas lost WC; Eagles lost div. round|
|2008||AFC East||NYJ 7-3||Mia 11-5||Jets missed; Dolphins lost WC round|
|2008||AFC West||Den 6-4||SD 8-8||Broncos missed; SD lost div. round|
|2011||AFC West||Oak 6-4||Den 8-8||Raiders missed; Denver lost div. round|
|2012||NFC East||NYG 6-4||Wash 10-6||Giants missed; Redskins lost WC|
|2013||NFC North||Chic 6-4`||GB 8-7-1||Bears missed; Packers lost WC|
|2013||NFC South||NO 8-2||Car 12-4||NO and Car both lost in division round|
With five division games remaining, the Seahawks could, if healthy, join the list. But . . . no team that trailed a division leader by as many as three games entering Week 11 rebounded to finish in the first place.
In fact, only two -- 2008 San Diego Chargers (AFC West) and 2012 Washington Redskins (NFC East) -- even made up a two-game deficit to win a division race. The Chargers lost in the divisional round of the playoffs, and the Redskins were bounced by the Seahawks in the NFC wild card game.
Seattle's 6-4 record can also be viewed through this nutshell:
- Since 2002, 60 teams sported a 6-4 record entering Week 11.
- 30 of the 60 missed the playoffs.
- 19 lost in the wild card round.
- 5 lost in the divisional round.
- 4 lost a conference championship game.
- 1 (Oakland in 2002) lost the Super Bowl.
- 1 (New York Giants in 2011) won the Super Bowl.
To paraphrase Lloyd McClendon: No ice cream for the Seahawks this year.
Good news, bad news
By rushing for 204 yards at Kansas City Sunday, as an encore to their 350 last week against the New York Giants, the Seahawks matched the franchise record for consecutive 200-yard team rushing games, done twice previously.
Seattle further matched the club mark for most total rushing yards in those games with 554, also the Seahawks' total in games Dec. 9 and Dec. 16, 2012.
In their history, the Seahawks have rushed for 200 or more yards in a game 44 times. Only five times, including Sunday, did they fail to win. Two of the five defeats, Dec. 19, 1993 vs Arizona (30-27), and Oct. 29, 1995, also vs. the Cardinals (20-14), came in overtime.
Prior to Sunday, according to Elias Sports Bureau, a defending Super Bowl champion gained 200 or more rushing yards in a game 95 times. The Seahawks not only became the 96th, but the first since the 1985 San Francisco 49ers to lose such a game. That 49ers team actually lost two that year, including a 28-21 loss to Minnesota (49ers rushed for 217 yards), whose defensive backs were coached by Pete Carroll.
KC's Charles joins all-opponent team
Aside from their three fourth-quarter flops on fourth down, the Seahawks lost Sunday because they couldn't contain Jamaal Charles, who ran for 159 yards and Kansas City's first two touchdowns.
Charles ran for 173 yards and a TD in a 42-24 victory over the Seahawks Nov. 8, 2010, and is now one of three opposing backs with two games of 150 or more rushing yards against Seattle. Denver's Terrell Davis had a pair in 1998, and San Francisco's Frank Gore exceeded 200 yards in 2006 and 2009.
Follow Steve Rudman on Twitter at @SportspressNW
- NFL Teams Prepare For Final Stretch
- Arizona's No. 3 QB draws No. 1 Seahawks 'D'
- Left for Dead, Seahawks Defense on Historic Run
- Can Johnny Football Succeed in the NFL?
- Which NFL Coaches Will Be Fired After This Season?
- NFL Players Under Most Pressure in Week 16
- Will Marcus Mariota Make an Easy Transition to the NFL?
- Can Mark Sanchez Lead Philadelphia to the Postseason?
- Larry Fitzgerald on Facing Richard Sherman: 'It's All Business Between the Lines'
- Who to Start and Sit in Fantasy Football Week 16
- Pros and Cons of the NFL's Expanded Playoffs
- Playoff Scenarios for Week 16
- NFC Playoff Picture With Two Weeks To Go
- AFC Playoff Picture With Two Weeks To Go
- Week 15 Preview: 24 Teams in Contention
- Suffocating Seahawks 'D' Rising at Right Time
- Week 15 TNF Preview: Cardinals vs Rams
- AFC Playoff Picture - Week 15
- NFC Playoff Picture - Week 15
- NFL Power Rankings Week 15
- What to Expect from Johnny Manziel's First Start
- Goodell Not Worried About His Legacy
- Making Sense of the AFC North
- NFL Season Enters Final Quarter
- Thursday Night Preview: Cowboys vs Bears
- December Playoff Push
- AFC Teams with Playoffs in Sight
- What to Look For Week 14
- Could the Cowboys Miss the Playoffs?
- Are Cardinals in Danger of Missing the Playoffs?
- Which QB Gives Browns the Best Playoff Shot?
- Why the Seattle Seahawks Will Win the NFC West
- NFL Head Coaches Are Worth More Than You Think
- Patriots vs Packers Preview
- Broncos vs Chiefs Preview
- Best of the AFC North Football
- Is the NFL Playoff System Broken?
- Will the NFL Do Anything About Richard Sherman Calling Out the League?
- Is Rex Ryan's Future in Coaching or Television?
- Thanksgiving Football Preview
- Record 16 Teams With at Least Seven Wins
- AFC Playoff Picture - Week 13
- NFC Playoff Picture - Week 13
- Should Gruden Have Benched RGIII?
- Who's the NFL's Top Four Teams?
- Odell Beckham Jr. Makes Catch of the Year
- The Greatest Catch I Ever Saw
- 21 Teams Fighting for Playoff Spots as NFL Enters Week 12
- Cardinals On Top Of NFL Standings
- Battle For Tightly-Contested AFC North Continues
- Slice It, Dice It, Seahawks Chances are Grim
- What To Look For Week 12
- Is Tom Coughlin's Job on the Line?
- Is Jamaal Charles the Best Running Back in the NFL?
- Seahawks Playing for Their Postseason Lives vs Cardinals
- 3 Trades to Make to Prepare for Fantasy Football Playoffs
- Will Gruden Coach Washington Next Season?
- Adrian Peterson Suspended for the Season Without Pay, Appealing Suspension
- Eli Manning Should Have Been Benched
- Does RGIII Have a Future with Washington?
- Federal Drug Agents Launch Surprise Inspections on NFL Teams
- Playoff Races Heating Up as NFL Season Rolls On
- AFC Rookies Making an Impact
- NFC Rookies Making Their Mark
- What To Look For Week 11
- What If Tom Brady and Peyton Manning Had Switched Teams?
- Could the Green Bay Packers Miss the Playoffs?
- Inside the NFL's Replay Command Center
- Are the Cardinals Still Contenders Without Carson Palmer?
- NFL Enters Second Half As Playoffs Race Intensifies
- AFC Midseason Projections
- NFC Midseason Projections
- Teams Plot Ways to Beat Peyton Manning
- Elite NFL Players on the Decline
- Can Colts Make Super Bowl Run on Passing Game Alone?
- The Arizona Cardinals Are the NFL's Best, Right?
- Are the New England Patriots Now the AFC's Top Team?
- Are the San Francisco 49ers Done?
- Why the Cowboys Are Fake Pretenders
- Impact Rookie Receivers
- Why Rex Ryan Will Be Fired
- Was Jay Cutler a Mistake?
- Red-Zone Efficiency Key To Victory
- Why Seattle Can Still Make the Playoffs
- Peyton Manning Breaks Career TD Passes Record
- Matt Ryan & Joe Flacco
- Philip Rivers' Record-Breaking Streak
- Best 2-Minute QB's Without a Super Bowl Win
- Lions' Defense Sets Team Apart This Year
- Who Is the Dirtiest Player in the NFL?
- Are the Cowboys the NFL's Best Team?
- Most NFL Fans Think Goodell Should Keep Job
- The Most Underutilized NFL Players
- Tight Ends On Record-Breaking Pace
- A Look at Aaron Rodgers
- NFL's Best Young QB
- The Great Football Debate
- Rex Ryan's Return Unlikely
- Will 49ers Part Ways with Jim Harbaugh?
- De Marco Murray Rushing Into The Record Books
- How Many Turnovers Are Too Many for a Young QB?
- QBs Off to Efficient Start
- Cardinals & Eagles Flying High
- Will New NFL Conduct Policy Exact Real Change?
- Special Teams Game-Changers
- NFL Comeback Wins
- Goodell Digs Himself Deeper
- Did Roger Goodell's Press Conference Do Enough?
- Death Of The NFL?
- Is This the End for RGIII?
- Emmitt Smith on the Running Back's Changing Role
- Best NFL Records, Past 10 Years
Article: Courtesy Sportspress Northwest
"NFL 2014: Slice It, Dice It, Seahawks Chances are Grim