Seahawks can make playoffs - but everything must go their way from here on in

SEATTLE - The Seahawks have some issues. That is apparent. Last night, the Cardinals most likely wrapped up the NFC West title. So, the question now becomes: Can the Seahawks still make the playoffs (Playoffs? Playoffs?)? The answer is yes. Absolutely. But they need to go undefeated the rest of the way. And here’s why.

The Cardinals now have a three-game lead over the Hawks in the NFC West with seven games to play. The Hawks will get another crack at the Cards in the season finale in Glendale. The Hawks could be in position for a wild card slot at that time, but it’s tough sledding.

As it stands now, Seattle, at 4-5, is the No. 10 seed in the NFC. The Cardinals, at 7-2, are the No. 2 seed, just behind Carolina at 9-0. The Vikings (7-2) are the 3 seed, and the Giants (the NFC East leaders at 5-5) are the 4 seed at the moment. The Packers (6-3) and Falcons (6-3) are the wildcard frontrunners.

The Seahawks are two games behind in the wildcard race. They are now one of six teams at 4-5: The Hawks, Rams, Redskins, Eagles, Bears, and Buccaneers are the NFC teams on the playoff bubble.

So, the Hawks need a lot of help. They need some teams to fall apart, as they catch fire.

Assuming the Seahawks can defeat the struggling 49ers at home this Sunday, they will be 5-5, as they host Pittsburgh (currently the AFC’s 5 seed at 6-4). The Steelers have a bye this week. They will be rested and ready when they come to town.

Let’s say the Hawks then beat the surging Vikings on the road, and run the table against Baltimore (2-7), Cleveland (2-8), and St. Louis (4-5). They would then be 10-5, which would set up a spectacular showdown in the season finale against the Cardinals, with a playoff berth on the line. Hey, we can dream.

10-6 is almost certainly not going to be good enough. 11-5 probably allows an NFC team to sneak in as a wild card.

So, with the struggles that we have seen offensively and defensively this season, could the Seahawks regain their swagger and run the table over the next seven games? Sure. Weirder things have happened.