Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 12/11/12
NFC Playoff Race Heats Up After 14 grueling weeks of NFL football the Seahawks are on the cusp of returning to the post season, and this time not as the laughing stock of the NFL like in 2010. With 8 wins the Seahawks will turn in their best regular season since 2007 at the very least but after the success of the first 13 games finishing 8-8 would be a huge disappointment. If the playoffs started this week the Seattle would be preparing to play the Giants at the Meadowlands in a wildcard game this weekend. But with three games to play and there are a variety of outcomes that I will be watching for as week 15 plays out. There are a few things to note as far as tie breakers go with the Seahawks and they are both good and bad. With wins against Green Bay*, Chicago, Minnesota and Dallas the Seahawks would have the upper hand on these teams. However the Seahawks have a 1-3 divisional record and if they need help from a tie breaker on any teams they haven’t played we could run into an issue. There are still  two more divisional games remaining but if we are able to win those final two games within the NFC West I’m not too worried about needing a tie breaker. Who are the teams that I will be watching closely going forward? The first one that jumps out to me is Washington who have a few things going for them. They are arguably the hottest team in the league right now coming off huge wins against the Giants and the Ravens and are just one game back of a wild card spot. Also, the Redskins are 3-1 in the division which would jump them over Seattle in the event of a tie. St. Louis is an intriguing team to watch out for as well. The one thing that might end the Ram’s late season run at the playoffs is that tie against the 49ers a few weeks ago. One more loss and they would only have 7 losses but would only be able to win 8 games. With Russell Wilson leading the way the Seahawks are on the cusp of returning to the post season. They also have three tough games against the Vikings, Tampa Bay and of course Seattle to end the year. That being said they are undefeated in the division and no one should be sleeping on the Rams just yet. Dallas and Minnesota are just one game back but as mentioned before losses against the Seahawks theoretically puts Seattle two games clear of them. Other then the wildcard picture the NFC West is still  up for grabs but the Seahawks will need some help this week. The 49ers are sitting pretty at 9-3-1 with the two seed in the NFC West. However they will travel to Foxboro this Sunday to take on the Patriots who looked nothing short of scary against Houston on Monday. A loss in New England combined with a Seahawks win on the road would even the teams up in the win column, setting up an epic prime time battle on the 23rd. To take this optimism one step further if the Seahawks can win out they would finish at 11-5 and with the tie Breaker on Green Bay the two seed is not out of reach. There is a big game between the Bears and Packers this week which may theoretically end that dream but at this point is still within reason. Another race to watch will be the NFC East. The Giants have a one game lead on the Redskins and the Cowboys but with games against Atlanta, Baltimore and Philadelphia and the Redskins holding the current tie breaker with a 4-3 division record that could go down to the wire. All of this being said the Seahawks have three games remaining and only one against a team with a winning record. They control their own destiny in the playoffs. I have said in past articles 9-7 may be good enough which still may be true, however I would sleep a little better at 10-6. I will be glued to my TV all day Sunday to see how these scenarios play out this week. If you are  Seahawks fan you will want to be cheering for Cleveland over Washington and Pittsburgh over Dallas (I know that hurts) Minnesota plays St. Louis and who ever loses that we can eliminate from our radar. Should be a great finish to a dramatic season. Here’s to hoping we are still talking about the 2012 Seahawks in 2013. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE SEAHAWKS PAGE IN OUR CLUBHOUSE SECTION!
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