Playoff prediction: A take on how it’ll play out

December 11th, 2015 | Written by Rob Staton

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So there you go. Using the ESPN Playoff Machine you can predict the final four weeks of the season. That’s my attempt above.

I’ve deliberately blanked out each teams record. I don’t want to linger too much on how they make it. Instead let’s discuss why this would be a very intriguing post season if it played out in this fashion.

AFC Notes

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a very dangerous team. Todd Haley, for me, deserves another crack at a Head Coaching job. He’s re-launched Ben Roethlisberger’s career, created the most dynamic passing offense in the NFL and he’s propping up a defense that can be as useful as wet toilet paper.

According to Football Outsiders’ week 13 DVOA, the Steelers have the third best offense in the NFL this season. Only Cincinnati and New England are ranked higher. That’s pretty astonishing when you consider Roethlisberger’s only played in eight games so far due to injury. They’ve had to use a mix of Michael Vick and Landry Jones. Le’Veon Bell started the season with a two-game suspension, played six times and then tore his MCL (he’s now on injured reserve). Martavis Bryant was also suspended for the first four games.

Matt Hasselbeck recently revealed Andrew Luck likes to be coached hard (and admitted it’d helped him during his cameo this season). Luck enjoyed a very productive spell with Jim Harbaugh at Stanford. Haley can be difficult — but he might just be the ideal candidate to rejuvenate Luck’s career and make the most of all the weapons they’ve accumulated at Indianapolis.

If the Steelers can turn a game into a shoot-out, they can beat anyone. And who’d bet against them making a deep playoff run if it ends up like this?

Pittsburgh would start on the road against division rival Cincinnati. The two teams meet each other this weekend at Paul Brown Stadium. The Steelers are 4-1 in Cincinnati in the last five meetings.

Let’s say this projection rings true and they beat the Bengals. They’d then go to the #1 seed Denver. Cue another storyline. In 2011 the fancied Steelers were dumped out of the playoffs by a Tim Tebow-led Broncos team. Presuming Brock Osweiler starts, it’d be his first playoff game against one of the modern-day greats in Roethlisberger (and yes, that’s how he has to be considered). It’d be a chance for Pittsburgh to avenge the Tebow shocker — or a second opportunity to blow a big game in Denver.

In the other wildcard game it’d be a repeat of the 45-44 slugfest in the 2013 playoffs between Kansas City and Indianapolis. The Chiefs led 31-10 at half time before a famous comeback from Andrew Luck. It’s been a fairly miserable season for Luck and the Colts — can they turn on the magic here for what would potentially be another shot at the Patriots? Or would red-hot Kansas City progress?

At this stage it’s pretty hard to imagine a post-season without the Chiefs. They could easily win out to finish 11-5 after starting 1-5. Their remaining schedule is San Diego (H), Baltimore (A), Cleveland (H), Oakland (H). Which game are they losing? Andy Reid will be a happy man. Now, what about that sandwich?

If the Steelers and Chiefs are the two wildcard teams and if they enter the playoffs on winning streaks — would you favour them over the suddenly injured Pats, Osweiler led Broncos or Cincinnati and Andy ‘no playoff wins’ Dalton? I think I probably would. The Steelers, as the #6 seed, might be my pick if they make it to the post-season.

NFC Notes

Things are a little more predictable in the NFC seeding race. The Panthers might not finish the season 16-0 but their schedule is kind enough in the final four weeks to secure a safe passage to the #1 seed (Atlanta H, Giants A, Atlanta A, Tampa Bay H). The Cardinals are too good to blow the #2 seed — even if they still have to face the Eagles, Packers and Seahawks.

A bad NFC East team is going to squeeze through. Washington had a chance to take control on Monday night and blew it against Dallas — proving they’re more pretender than contender. The Giants lurch from a team that should beat the Patriots one week to miserable failure the next. They’ve also in previous years suddenly shot back into life whenever Tom Coughlin’s job appears to be on the line.

The Eagles were embarrassingly bad against the Dolphins, Buccs and Lions — yet somehow knocked off the Pats on the road last week. That could be the catalyst for a late charge, especially if they can avoid having to start Mark Sanchez in any more games. Their schedule — Buffalo (H), Arizona (H), Washington (H), Giants (A) — is more favourable than the other three NFC East teams.

Seattle’s schedule sets them up to claim the #5 seed. Beating Baltimore (A), Cleveland (H) and St. Louis (H) should be enough (they own the head-to-head tie-breaker over Minnesota). The Vikings will likely take the #6 seed if they win their next two games, both at home, against Chicago and the Giants. For Minnesota to get to #5 they’re probably going to have to win out and hope the Seahawks lose at least one game. They finish the season at Green Bay.

If it played out the way I’ve predicted, we’d get a divisional playoff game between the Vikings and Packers. The safe pick would be Green Bay at home — and yet their playoff record at Lambeau since winning the Super Bowl in 2010 is only 1-2. Recent home defeats to Detroit and Chicago have taken away some of the Lambeau mystique. Even so, it’s hard to pick against Aaron Rodgers vs Teddy Bridgewater (even if he is well supported by Adrian Peterson).

The Seahawks’ match-up with whoever wins the NFC East looks tantalising. There is a chance, however, that the team who wins that division will do so carrying some momentum. Plus, the division winner gets the home game. So it wouldn’t be a gimme.

That said, Seattle has won handsomely in Philadelphia, New York and Washington since 2013. They win in Dallas this season. The match-up to avoid is probably Eli Manning and the Giants simply because it’s the more potent passing attack (a problem area for Seattle’s defense this season during the ‘Cary Williams days’). Manning also knows what it takes to win in the post-season. Plus there’s Tom Coughlin’s, “crap I’m going to get fired, better win another Super Bowl’ attitude to self preservation.

If the Seahawks won in the wildcard, they’d head to Carolina — a place they’ve won in each of the last three seasons — in what could be a classic post-season meeting. Equally intriguing would be a Aaron Rodgers vs Carson Palmer shoot-out in the other game. This is pretty much the dream divisional round for any neutral.

Think about the possible storylines too. Cam Newton and the Panthers potentially trying to orchestrate an unbeaten season. The Seahawks trying to avenge their two home losses this season (vs Carolina, Arizona). A possible meeting between the Seahawks and Cardinals in a NFC West show-down. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers heading back to Carolina after an agonising 37-29 loss a month ago. Or even a rematch of last years NFC Championship.

And on that note, let’s prepare for the Vikings to go to Philly for a place at the Super Bowl. Such is the 2015 NFL season.

86 Responses to “Playoff prediction: A take on how it’ll play out”

  1. Nick says:

    Rob, how far do you think this Seattle team can make it if they have to play 3 consecutive road games in the playoffs?

  2. Volume12 says:

    For me, I got Seattle @ ‘Zona in the NFCC and KC @ Cincy in the AFCC, but I could absolutely see Pittsburgh being there too.

    I gotta believe that Cincy finally wins a playoff game, on the other hand, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a team like Pittsburgh beat them. If that’s the case, surely it’s time for HC Marvin Lewis to let go, right?

    Not one team matches up better with Carolina then we do. 4-1 in 4 years against them, and in all honesty, if we woulda been closing out games in the 4th quarter like we’ve been known to do and should, Carolina would be winless against us these past 4 years.

    This year feels so damn similar to the 2012 year, but the big difference is, we now have a championship pedigree.

    Fun debate and read here Rob.

    • C-Dog says:

      I think Pitt is a very dangerous team right now, like Seattle. Probably the AFC wildcard that nobody will be overly joyed to play. If Cincy lost to them, I don’t think that spells it for Marvin Lewis, but if they don’t respond well in 2016, yeah, then maybe he’s definitely toast.

      • DC says:

        Pittsburgh is like Cinncinnati’s mean older brother. The Bengals have out grown their elder but still have a shattered psyche after getting beat up for so many years. This week could be for them what beating the Steelers was for us, their statement win of the season to date, with quite a lot hanging on the outcome.

  3. Ehurd1021 says:

    Got a question for anybody willing to give me there take?

    What do you guys think about Travis Jones and his future? Do you think he remains a position coach for the rest of his coaching carer or do you think someone (college or NFL) comes and plucks him as a DC one day. I cant tell if he has just gone unnoticed because of the fact that Seattle has had some very qualified assistance.

    Basically, how well do you think he has done here?

    • Volume12 says:

      Interesting question. Probably too early to say if he remains a position coach for the rest of his career. But, yeah, I cold see him as a DC somewhere.

      I think he’s done pretty damn well. But, Seattle’s scheme is so basic and totally built around the players to take advantage of their playmaking, speed, and athleticism.

      For example. A lot of people like to compare Seattle to New England, or say ‘NE does this or that, why can’t Seattle?’ Point is, Bellicheck’s D is based on scheme and minute details, whereas with Seattle it’s ‘this is what we do/are doing. See if you can beat us.’ It’s all on Seattle’s personnel to make plays and execute at a high level.

      So, it’s kind of hard to say.

    • david ess says:

      I think something to look at would be the possibility of Travis Jones going to ATL if the D coordinator position opens up. If I remember correctly Dan Quinn was the one who wanted to bring him up here to Seattle. I wouldn’t be surprise if something doesn’t up open here that he goes down to ATL. I think that was the rumor anyways when Quinn left. Quinn and Jones both were position coaches in Miami in 05-06. T. Jones was praised when he came up here for his hand technique he was teaching lineman at LSU IIRC.

  4. line_hawk says:

    I feel TB is the wild card (metaphorically) in NFC. They have a very easy schedule and can easily win out to a 10-6 record. Plus, they own the tie-breaker vs both Seahawks and Vikings (through a better conference record). Basically, if the Bucs win out (10-6), they get the wild card (since either Seahawks/Vikings will probably lose one more game to be 10-6).

    Also, hard to see Denver as No 1 especially since they still have to play both Pittsburgh and Cinci.

    Interesting read.

  5. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Of the 3 possible NFCe champs, I prefer SEA go to PHI. Let’s face it, none of them are likely to beat a SEA team peaking at the right time. But WAS is an injury trap, both because of shoddy FedEx Field and because they’re one of the hardest hitting teams out there. And NYG has been there, done that before. PHI on the other hand is a dumpster fire, notwithstanding their recent win over a decimated NEP team.

    ARI worries me more than CAR. Carson Palmer is the best QB in the League this year. Sorry Cam. CAR may have the best D, but their offense has been a “does just enough” type that won’t make it in the playoffs against the likes of a SEA or ARI.

    I don’t know that PIT has the defensive secondary to keep up with CIN’s arial attack. I’ve never been a fan of Dalton, still not, but he’s shown some grit this season. Heck, SEA abused him fairly well but he still came away with the win. KC is an enigma to me. They’re playing like the best team in football, but I’m in the “believe it when I see it” camp where they’re concerned. They’ll get by IND, but not sure they make it any farther.

    • Volume12 says:

      All good points.

      I’m in agreement with ya that ‘Zona worries me more than Carolina does.

      About KC. They just seem to be built for the playoffs this year more than they have in the past. I’m really liking the tandem of Charcandrick ‘SPARQ, oops meant NFR freak’ and Spencer ‘we shoulda kept him’ Ware at the RB position. They’re my 2nd favorite team anyways, so perhaps I’m looking at them through rose colored glasses.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        I like KC, partly because I like Andy Reid, and partly because they’re flat out balling right now. But they’ve broken many a heart before. They’re kind of like CIN in that way – good regular season teams who just don’t seem to have what it takes to win in the playoffs. The exact opposite of NYG and BAL.

        If KC does make it happen this year, it will be in large part because of the West-Ware RBBC tandem. I’ll say this: if ever 2 WC teams could advance all the way to the CCG, it’s PIT and KC.

        • Volume12 says:

          Did they ever break your boys heart. Back in the day when they had Montana, Marcus Allen, Willie Davis, Dale Carter, Neil Smith, and one of my all time favs, Derrick Thomas, losin’ in the AFCC to Buffalo was flat-out devastating!

      • C-Dog says:

        Ditto for me on the Arizona front. I think they are the most balanced team in the league, and one that Seattle would probably have to win in some form of a shoot out with if both teams meet and are healthy. Even if Seattle were to go into their home in the last game of the year and enact revenge with a win, really tough to do it again over a 3 week span. But if they did that, Man, I would absolutely love their chances in a Super Bowl victory because that says a lot.

        • Volume12 says:

          Do ya’ll remember that MNF game, when we had Ricky Waters at RB, playin’ in KC, and the damn field was basically flooded? IDK why, but that was one of my favorite games ever. IIRC, LB Derrick Thomas had 5-6 sacks alone in that game.ks alone in t

          • C-Dog says:

            Was that the game that Dennis Miller was a part of the color booth and was saying how much he like Jon Kitna because the “kid had moxie?” If so, I remember it because I was saying back to him, “yeah, I like him too, but I’d gladly trade in a little of the moxie for velocity.”

    • Tien says:

      Agreed that AZ,, explosive offense along with a tough D, is much more dangerous than Carolina, which has a great D but a very mediocre offense. We just have to continue with our recently improved play and I feel good about our chances against any team.

      Pittsburgh, if they make the playoffs, is probably the team from the AFC that scares me the most. When that offense is on, they’re almost unstoppable and you can only beat them by outscoring them in a shootout. The challenge for Pitssburgh is that they probably have to beat both Cincinnati & Denver, a great D that could cause the Steelers problems, to have a realistic chance at a wild card. NE normally is the team to beat in the AFC but with all their injuries this year, I think they’re actually vulnerable. KC is playing great right now, especially on D, but it’s hard for me to fear any team that has Alex Smith at QB.

  6. Therick05 says:

    This is year is 2012 all over again, lets see some things
    -start 4-4
    -Russ played bad in the start and then shows up in the final part of the season
    -in the playoffs, we will play the NFC East, with the #5 seed, then go to the #1 seed from the NFC SOUTH, CAR=ATL, Cam=Matt, then (IF we win) we go to the #2 seed from the NFC West
    The DRAFT
    Bruce=Clark – red flags, “reach”, pass rusher
    Lockett=Russ – Undersized, 3rd rounders, loves God, loves his Father, 1st round talent, starter from day 1
    Glow=Sweezy – Nasty, “Cable” style, same position
    Tye=Lane – late rounder CB who plays nicklel
    Rawls=Kearse – UDFA who has starter caliber
    Lots of F grades on the draft, but in the end, SEA has One of the best drafts.

  7. C-Dog says:

    I just gotta air this out. Looking at these next 3 “winnable” games, the one this week, kind of has me nervous for the Hawks more than any of the rest. I know the whole Matt Schaub/Jimmy Clausen factor, but the Ravens have lost a lot of close games, there is still a lot of talent on their defense, they’re coach is still really, really good, and they got a roster full of veteran players who a few national sources picked as SuperBowl contenders, and will be playing for a lot of pride this weekend.

    This, IMO, could easily be a trap game. Hopefully, all the core players and youngsters for the Hawks see this, understand this, and will be coming out of the gates with the eye of the tiger, sharks smelling blood in the water, in a unified determination of will to continue rectifying the way they played earlier in the year.. ’cause I think there’s going to be some hitting going on from the Ravens. Especially with the the National hype machine focused on the Seahawks again.

    • Volume12 says:

      True, but, no ‘T-Sizzle’ aka ‘baby teeth’ aka Terrell Suggs, no Steve Smith, obviously no Flacco, no Forsett, an awful secondary, Kamar Aiken and Chris Givens at WR, if Seattle just goes out and converts on 3rd down, it’ll be a wrap. I got a feeling it’ll be one of those games where the score indicates it was a much closer game than it actually is.

      • C-Dog says:

        Yeah, that’s what I’m seeing. It also looks like a game in which in inferior opponent is going to play a really tough physical game that, if not taken seriously, a few Seattle players could get hurt. I really want to see them put away early, see T-Jack handing the ball to Fred-Jack by the 3rd quarter.

        • matt says:

          The Ravens win the award for “team most decimated by injuries”. Harbaugh has done a great job keeping this team in competition-GM Ozzie Newsome as well. I understand what y’all are saying about Baltimore being in close games, and being a physical team-both are true. That said they simply don’t have the personnel to keep up with our surging Hawks. Whether it’s Matt “pick 6″ Schaub or Jimmy”I’m way better holding a tablet” Clausen taking snaps won’t matter. Neither one can beat Seattle with a dearth of weapons. I fully expect us to win by 17+. The mojo is back!

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      At the risk of putting words in your mouth, I think the worry is due to lingering doubts from how SEA was playing earlier this season – losing games they absolutely should have won.

      That team is gone, replaced by one that has the familiar Seahawky mentality. One thing PC doesn’t do is coach downward trending teams.

      But I take your point – don’t sleep on the Ravens.

      • C-Dog says:

        Yeah, the play of the first half of the season definitely factors in. And you are very right about how PC team’s typically play in December. I just look at the Balt roster and think, man, there’s some pretty decent vets on that D that would love to serve some humble pie to this upstart Seattle offense, and virtually nobody is giving them a chance in this game. Do not sleep on them.

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          As long as they come away with the win and without any injuries, I’m hoping it’s a true battle. The kind of game that tests their mettle. Similar to the PIT game, but more complete on both sides of the ball.

        • cha says:

          Feel-wise it reminds me of the game against the NYG Week 15 2013, the so-called “SB walk through” game. An East Coast trip vs a battered opponent that could be overlooked on the way to the playoffs.

          Won 23-0 on 5 Manning INTs.

  8. Volume12 says:

    Rob has me crackin’ up. He said, ‘Now, what about that sandwich?’ Ha!

  9. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Li’l tidbit for those who thought Bevell was held back from BYU:

    SheilKapadia: Bevell could’ve pursued job. It was his call. Carroll says he doesn’t believe in blocking assistants. https://t.co/qZirzONVXb

  10. cha says:

    I’m fascinated that Arizona barely beat Minnesota last night. I know it’s just one game, but if Minnesota changes two play calls (Norv Turner’s legacy it seems), they beat them a week after getting roundly embarrassed by the Hawks.

    Bridgewater throwing for 350+ yards? A battered defense holding the Cards to 3 second half points?

    There’s definitely some room there for Arizona to be beaten.

    • cha says:

      auto correct – thirteen second half points

    • sdcoug says:

      What’s mind-boggling to me is that every time I watch AZ play, the opposing team (including the Hawks) always seems thoroughly surprised or unprepared for AZ blitzing

    • C-Dog says:

      Tough to say, though. Arizona might have gotten lulled into thinking it wasn’t going to be much of a challenge, and the Vikes could have been pretty fired up to show that their beat down from the Hawks was a fluke. The 49ers also played Arizona tough as well, though, the week before. So, I definitely get what you’re saying.

  11. Volume12 says:

    Does E. Kentucky OLB/DE Noah Spence signing with the same agent as Beast Mode and Sherm mean anything? Or is it irrelevant?

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      You mean in terms of who picks him? Irrelevant. Which isn’t to say he won’t be a Seahawk. Though I don’t think he will be.

      • Volume12 says:

        That’s what I’m thinking. But, does his agent try to sell him to Seattle?

        He’s a much better LB than he is DE. I like him, somewhat, but by no means is he a 1st or 2nd rounder like I’ve seen him in some mock drafts.

        • CHawk Talker Eric says:

          I prefer any of Willliams, Striker, Killebrew, or Ngakoue.

          • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

            If Seattle wanted to go to a more attacking / blitzing type of team… Striker and Killebrew
            If Seattle wants to stand pat or keep playing what they have played the last few seasons… Killebrew, or Ngakoue look like nice fits. Grab a guy like Sheldon Day in round 2.. and you are cooking with oil by reloading the defense at 3 spots in first 3 rounds.

          • Volume12 says:

            As do I. Prefer any of the 4, but just some food for thought.

            I’m continuing to stand pat on the ‘Tim Williams’ hype train.’ Dude is only going to get better.

            • Ukhawk says:

              Love to see a write up on Williams though he has not declared yet. Whilst he appears the best natural pass rusher that could come out this yea (barring Charles Harris), I think he goes later based on his limited book of work, previous suspension, chat from Saban about him playing “with more disciple” plus he’s rumoured to be a only a 4.75 guy. Love his get off, bend, flexibility, power, and losing speed though.

              Think he could eventually develop into something special

              • CHawk Talker Eric says:

                His get off is special. Almost Aaron Donald special.

              • Volume12 says:

                Looks much faster than a 4.75 guy to my eye. I suspect he’ll run in the 4.6 range if he does declare.

                IMO he’ll have a tremendous 10 yard split.

                If he gets turnt at the combine, he’ll be a 2nd round pick.

                • Volume12 says:

                  Keep an eye on Boise St’s Kamalei Correa. Tenacious, powerful, high motor, good football IQ, a terrific player.

  12. Adog says:

    Seattle at Carolina for the nfcc game. Carolina played well in the divisional round last year…they are hungry. It will be a game where Seattle will fall behind in the first half due to being on the rd and emotional buzz of the home team, but of they can keep it close…I see the Hawks winning the game in the 2nd for two reasons. 1 their defense will force turnovers 2. The zone blocking will wear down a older Panthers d.

  13. CharlieTheUnicorn says:

    I’m standing by my SEATTLE VS PITTSBURGH in SB 50 pick. Both are getting hot at the right time.
    New England should get healthy by the playoff time, but if they are the 3 seed, then they might not make it due to injuries, they need a bye week in the worst way.

    I like the Bengals. The defense is good and the offense is very good… but they just seem to shoot themselves in the foot every year. Do you trust a ginger?

    The Panthers need to lose a game soon, otherwise I think they will crack in playoffs trying to pull off the unbeaten season. A far superior Patriots team in 2007 cracked when it mattered most. Thye are more or less healthy, so they have that going for them.

    I kind of like the Bucs to sneak in the playoffs. They play some weak opposition, while the Vikings play some tough teams. IT would not be bad for the league to see a rookie QB make the playoffs his first season. Winston has far outdone what I thought he could do year #1.

    • Volume12 says:

      Would TB have the tie breaker over Seattle if they finished with the same record?

      Bucs are gonna be dangerous next year. I think we play them in TB too.

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        Depends on the record and how many conf/out of conference losses. SoV / SoS etc etc

        The Vikings vs Packers game week #17 could be huge. It might decide the NFCN and WC spot. A loss by the Vikings might knock them all the way out of the playoffs and allow the Bucs to sneak in.

    • C-Dog says:

      Hey, no Ginger bashing on this board. Not that I am one, or even care, but Jimmy Graham is one, and he’s a Hawk.

      I’m hoping that Carolina is saving it’s one loss for the playoffs, it will be more enjoyable that way. Bucs are kind of a scary team right now, and deserve monitoring.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      IMO losing a game would be the worst thing for CAR. All the games left on their schedule are “should” wins. Losing one of them, the first loss of the season, could shake their confidence. They’re a team that hasn’t had to rebound from a loss, let alone a tough loss.

  14. Trevor says:

    Seattle Remaining Games 2016

    Sea 34 Bal 10
    Cle 7 Sea 38
    Stl 17 Sea 27
    Sea 24 Ariz 17 (Palmer does not play) they have already clinched
    Sea 31 Phil17
    Sea 24 Car 21
    Sea 27 Ariz 24
    NE 27 Sea 28

    Hawks win 7 straight including Super Bowl 50 and revenge last years defeat when Haus$ kicks an FG as time expires.

    • nichansen01 says:

      I will be disappointed if the Hawks don’t put up more than 40 points on Cleveland…

      • CharlieTheUnicorn says:

        I seriously doubt they will. They will play a controlled game. Get the victory and keep injuries to a minimum. Only if the defense and ST chip in could it get out of hand. I’ll settle for a solid 30-7 type of score.

  15. lil'stink says:

    A solid, but unspectacular, win over the NFC East winner in the wild card game. A 2 score win in Carolina in which Russell Wilson does the Cam Newton Superman celebration following his 4th quarter touchdown run to seal the game. Russell’s post game conference consists solely of him saying “We’re on to Arizona” and, of course, “Go Hawks”. We go into Arizona and beat them like a drum. The camera catches a dejected Carson Palmer, sitting alone at the end of the bench, staring blankly into his helmet as his team loses by 24 points. Doug Baldwin wins the SB MVP in a dominating performance where he has 2 receiving touchdowns, makes what many will say is the most amazing catch and run in SB history, and has a touchdown on a blocked punt return.

    You heard it here first.

  16. nichansen01 says:

    My super bowl prediction at the beginning of the season was Steelers vs Seahawks. I had a dream of watching the game in Levi Stadium, the Seahawks were down late in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks defense stopped the steelers just outside of field goal range. The steelers elected to punt. Jermaine Kearse cuaght the punt and started running in what looked to be a promising return. Then the strangest play I had ever seen occurred… Jermaine Kearse THREW the ball as he was about to get tackled… a trick play that is soooo illegal. The ball was intercepted and ran back for a touchdown. Steelers won.

    Of course it was all a dream…

  17. nichansen01 says:

    For some reason I really want to see Tampa Bay in the playoffs.

    If Hawks go 3-0 and the cards 0-2 (must win packers and possibly? Ready to streak? Eagles), week 17 will be for the division. Winning the division probably means a trip up to Greenbay in the divisional round…

  18. Volume12 says:

    Houston WR DeMarcus Ayers staring to pick up steam. An extremely dynamic receiver that has the production, and overcoming adversity/the odds background. Only a jr., but I’d be willing to bet that teams are hoping he declares.

  19. EranUngar says:

    I will keep my prophecies to myself since they are more “Fan dream” than actual evaluation.

    I will only admit to the following – I have been on edge since the MIN game. There was this vibe to the team that i have not felt in a long time. Making assumptions based on the the last 4 games by the offense and the last game by the defense is usually a recipe for heartache. But…

    We have won the SB with a great defense and a solid offense. We got their again with pretty much the same attributes. The offense we see in the past few games is way better than solid or efficient. They are very good bordering on elite. If they are able to sustain this level of play and if the defense is finally back to full suffocating form and will not revert back to their 4th quarter meltdowns…

    Then we are actually watching the best Seahawks team on both sides of the ball that has ever played.

    It scares me because it feels so tangible when a month ago it felt like the next draft is all we have to look for.

    I’ll just take it a game at the time watching for continuity and will reserve my crazy dreams for a later stage.

  20. Wall UP says:

    It’s great to see all the the positive post about the potential playoff run. Great post guys! Everyone agrees that there starting to roll right now. Just remember PC & JS & Co are high on their guys and have stuck with them to this point. They’ll just get better after a 3peat SB appearance.

  21. AlaskaHawk says:

    This has been interesting posts from everyone. It feels like Christmas with peace and harmony restored by the Seahawks Santa.

  22. Therick05 says:

    Rob, What do you think about Rashad “Hollywood” Higgins? Any projections where he would go in the draft?

    • nichansen01 says:

      secound round highest fourth round lowest… It’s hard to know before the combine though.

    • Volume12 says:

      A poor man’s Tyler Boyd. Still was productive this year without Jim McElwain at the helm and Garrett Grayson at QB, but didn’t come close to putting up the numbers from last year.

      I like ‘Hollywood’ personally. Think he’s be good value in the 4th round, big time personality, has that ‘Seahawky’ background or upbringing, good length, great YAC guy, has a backyard football style that would fit well. I do question his route running however.

      Also, keep in mind, that when Seattle drafts a receiver before the 4th round, they seem to target the WRs that account for 35-40% of their team’s receptions, and 35-40% of their team’s total offense.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Little bit concerned about his frame. Also, production dropped off with the loss of the QB and the brilliant Head Coach. Modest value with some upside.

  23. DC says:

    We do have the chance to do something historic this season. If Seattle wins the Super Bowl then there will be no denying the greatness of this 4 year run. The storyline will be that we were one play away from a threepeat. On the other hand, if say New England won again this year… Well, I hope they don’t.

    What makes the playoffs so much fun this year is that of the 12 teams that are going to make it, all but the AFC South & NFC East Champs look to have a legitimate chance of winning it all. It’s going to be fun!

  24. AlaskaHawk says:

    My Super Bowl prediction is a rematch of Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. The Broncos because of their great defense and good offense, and they will have home field advantage for most of the playoffs. Playing at mile high is at least a 7 point home field advantage.

    Seahawks because I have faith. But also if we end up #5 then the first game against NFC East should be easy. We will be playing significantly better when we meet Carolina. And Arizona Cardinals is going to be an outright dogfight which we have to win.

    • nichansen01 says:

      My prediction as of right now is Steelers Seahawks… steelers panthers is my other top prediction…