The last time the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers met in Carolina was the 2015 Divisional playoff round. Carolina, who does historically well at home, won the game 31-24 and advanced to the Super Bowl where they lost to the Denver Broncos. The Seahawks came into this 2018 Week 12 game against the Panthers as the underdogs but came out on top with a score of 30-27, thanks to a last minute field goal by Sebastian Janikowski.
The Seahawks now sit at the seventh seed in the NFC playoff race, one spot shy of making it into the post-season, with a record of 6-5. With five games remaining on their schedule, and one away game left, don’t count the Seattle Seahawks out of the playoff race just yet.
The Seattle Seahawks Are Still in the Playoff Race
A Few Simple Games and Two Tough Ones
The Seahawks have a fairly easy schedule remaining. Weeks 13 (away) and 15 (at home), Seattle faces their division rival, the San Francisco 49ers who currently sit at the bottom of the NFC West. The 49ers haven’t had the best of luck this season, especially after losing their starting quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, early in the season. Divisional match-ups don’t always come easy but the Seahawks look to have these games tucked under their belt.
In Week 14 comes a crucial game against the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings currently sit at the fifth seed in the NFC playoffs but with a record of 6-4-1, it’s anyone’s game. The last time these two teams met was the 2016 NFC Wild Card game when a missed field goal by the infamous Blair Walsh gave Seattle the game. The last time the Vikings won in Seattle was 2006. While the Vikings don’t seem like a very tough team, they are clearly still in the running and Seattle must win this game in order to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Week 16 will be a tough game for Seattle when they face one of the best teams in the league, the Kansas City Chiefs. Even though Seattle’s defense is currently tied at six in ESPN’s rankings, they might find it tough to stop the Kansas City triplets; Patrick Mahomes, Kareem Hunt, and Tyreek Hill. Luckily for Russell Wilson and his grooving offense with Chris Carson and Tyler Lockett, Kansas City’s defense is only ranked at 27 by ESPN. For both sides, this match-up will look to be an exciting game.
Seattle gets to close their season at home against the Arizona Cardinals who join the 49ers at the bottom of the NFC West at 2-9. In the past, the Cardinals have done well in Seattle but their team just hasn’t found the consistency they need to be a real threat. After Week 11’s blowout loss by the Los Angeles Chargers, the Cardinals confidence will be lacking for the remainder of the season.
Two teams close in range ahead of Seattle are the Vikings and the Washington Redskins. After losing their starting quarterback, Alex Smith, in Week 11 to a leg fracture, the Redskins have a good chance of falling down the rabbit hole to finish their season. Seattle would be lucky to knock down the Vikings and have the Redskins lose out.
While it would be important for the Seahawks to win out at this point, the Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs are two crucial games if the Seahawks want a spot in the playoffs. The Seahawks are in a race with the Panthers (6-5) and Philadelphia Eagles (5-6) for an NFC playoff spot while the Dallas Cowboys (NFC East division leader), Vikings and Redskins are hoping to keep their spots as the fourth, fifth, and sixth seeds, respectively. Seattle could very well go 5-1 to finish the 2018 season.
While the Seahawks have been knocked down in rankings since the before the season began, I still stand by my statement that they can go 10-6 at best. There is a lot of football left but the Seahawks can still sneak into the playoffs. They have drastically improved since missing the post-season in 2017.
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