NFL Playoff Projections: Seahawks win NFC West, Vikings ge

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NFL Playoff Projections: Seahawks win NFC West, Vikings ge

Postby aliciahuang » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:04 am

If you were hoping that Russell Wilson was going to miss out on the postseason for the first time in his career, we have some bad news for you: We don't think it's going to happen.

In our latest NFL playoff projection, but we have them getting in as the champion of the NFC West (Sorry, not only do we have the Seahawks punching their ticket to the playoffs, Rams). After the Seahawks dominating win over the Eagles on Sunday, it's become pretty clear that the regular season is just a 17-game preseason for Wilson and that his season doesn't actually start until the Seahawks are in the playoffs.

The other big winner this week was the Vikings, not only would they get home-field advantage for the playoffs, who might not have to leave Minnesota at all starting December 24. If the Vikings were to get the top seed in the NFC, but they also could get it for the Super Bowl, since that game is being played in Minneapolis.

let's get to this week's playoff projection and to see how everything else shook out. As always,Alright, we'll be including data from number-cruncher Stephen Oh of in these projections.

One more thing: We'll totally understand if Browns, Giants and 49ers fans all want to stop reading now since this story is about the playoffs and reading about the playoffs will probably only make you feel worse about the fact that your team is already eliminated from postseason contention. On the other hand, Bears, you can also keep reading and fantasize about what it would be like to the fan of a team that actually's still alive for a playoff berth.

this is a projection based on how we think the regular season will play out. If you want to see the current playoff standings,Womens Chris Carson Jersey,Note: Remember, click here to see Will Brinson's thorough breakdown of what the playoff race looks like as we head into Week 14.

1. Patriots (14-2), which is usually a bad thing for most NFL teams, AFC East champion: The Patriots will be playing on the road in each of their next two games, but probably not for the Patriots because they seem to prefer it. At 6-0 away from home, the Patriots are the only team in the NFL that's still unbeaten on the road. It's kind of starting to look like the Patriots are never going to lose again.

Remaining schedule: At Miami,Womens Tre Madden Jersey, Buffalo, at Pittsburgh, at N.Y. Jets (26-22 combined record)

2. Steelers (13-3), it will be interesting to see how the Steelers respond. If they play as inspired as they did during the second half of their 23-20 win over the Bengals, AFC North champion: After losing Ryan Shazier to a devastating injury on Monday, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Pittsburgh pull off an upset win over the Patriots in Week 15 and eventually clinch home-field advantage in the AFC.

Remaining schedule: Baltimore,Womens Terence Garvin Jersey, at Houston, New England, Cleveland (21-27 combined record)

3. Jaguars (11-5), SportsLine is giving them a 100 percent chance of making it, which means the computer doesn't think it's mathematically possible for them to be left out. By nature, AFC South champion: We have some good news for you Jaguars fans: The computer has officially punched your ticket to the playoffs. Although the Jags haven't technically qualified for the postseason yet,Womens Mark Glowinski Jersey, computers are smarter than us, so let's go ahead and pencil the Jaguars into the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

4. Chargers (10-6) AFC West champion: The AFC West is like a game of musical chairs that no one wants to win. There's only one chair remaining, the computer hates the Broncos. , and although that chair will be going to the playoffs, but the computer doesn't exactly feel the same way. According to SportsLine, the Chargers have a 33.4 percent chance of winning the AFC West, no one seems to want to sit in it. We love the Chargers to win the division, which is less than the Chiefs (52 percent), but more than the Raiders (14.7 percent). On a completely unrelated note

Remaining schedule: Washington, at N.Y. Jets, at Kansas City, Oakland (22-26 combined record).

5. Titans (10-6), only beat the Browns by three in Week 7 and only beat the Colts by four in Week 12 -- and all of that has to be mildly concerning for a team that's facing two bad teams on the road over the next two weeks. If the Titans slip up against in Arizona or San Francisco, wild card: The Titans have struggled against bad teams on the road this year -- they lost to the Dolphins in Week 5, we might end up projecting them right out of the playoffs.

6. Ravens (10-6), they still get to end the season with the Browns, wild card: The Ravens would have to almost implode down the stretch not to get to 10 wins. Even if they can't beat the Steelers on Sunday night, Colts and Bengals, which is currently the easiest strength of schedule for any team over the final three weeks of the season.

Remaining schedule: At Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, at Cleveland, Cincinnati (19-29 combined record, tied for second-easiest remaining schedule).

Tiebreakers: The Titans finished ahead of the Ravens due to a head-to-head win over Baltimore back in Week 9.

Chiefs (9-7): At this point, the Chiefs have a 56.9 percent chance of making the postseason, the computer might be the only thing on earth that still likes the Chiefs chances of making the playoffs. According to SportsLine, which is higher than both the Chargers (35.9 percent) and Raiders (16.3 percent). Even the computer might give on the Chiefs if they lose this week and that's mainly because it would give the Raiders a season sweep over Kansas City, which means Oakland would take home the division title if the two teams were to finish the season tied for first.

1. Vikings (14-2), Cardinals (2014) and Texans (2016). No team has ever won the game in their home city. , NFC North champion: With the Super Bowl being played in Minnesota this year, just getting to the playoffs when your city is hosting the Super Bowl is nearly unprecedented. Only seven teams in NFL history have made the playoffs in a season where their city was hosting the Super Bowl -- the Dolphins (1970, 1978, 1994, the NFL's road to Minneapolis might actually go through Minneapolis if the Vikings can earn home-field advantage. Forget home-field advantage though, 1998), Buccaneers (2000)

Remaining schedule: At Carolina, at Green Bay, Cincinnati, Chicago (23-25 combined record)

2. Eagles (13-3), the Eagles are all of the sudden in a precarious position after losing to the Seahawks on Sunday. If the losing streak continues in L.A. this week, NFC East champion: After rolling to a 10-1 start, the Eagles could end up choking away a potential first-round bye.

Remaining schedule: At L.A. Rams, Oakland, at N.Y. Giants, Dallas (23-25 combined record)

3. Saints (12-4), the computer, which is apparently pacifistic and doesn't like animal violence, NFC South champion: Although the final four weeks of the regular season could turn into a dogfight in the NFC South, doesn't see that happening. According to SportsLine, the Saints have an 82.8 percent chance of winning the division which is more than quadruple the Falcons (9.2 percent) and Panthers' (8 percent) chances combined (17.2 percent).

Remaining schedule: At Atlanta, Atlanta, N.Y. Jets,Womens Sheldon Richardson Jersey, at Tampa Bay (23-25 combined record)

4. Seahawks (12-4), the Seahawks should probably just change their names to the Seattle Russell Wilson's because he's basically been willing them to victory every week. If Wilson can somehow will the Seahawks to a win in each of the next two weeks, NFC West champion: At this point,Authentic Tre Madden Jersey, Seattle will be in the driver's seat to take home the NFC West title and Russell Wilson seems like a guy who likes driver's seats.

5. Rams (12-4), all three teams would have been from California. The 49ers (2013) and Raiders (2016) are the other two teams to get stuck with a wild-card recently after finishing the season with 12 wins. ,Authentic Bobby Wagner Jersey, wild card: Finishing 12-4 is usually a good thing in the NFL, we have the Rams hitting the road and playing a wild-card game in Seattle, despite finishing the season with a 12-4 record. If the Rams did finish 12-4 and end up with a wild card, but it could turn out to be a bad thing for the Rams. In our projection, they'd be just the third team since 2012 to accomplish that, and somehow

6. Falcons (10-6),Womens Bobby Wagner Jersey, things are slightly different this time around because the NFL schedule-maker was apparently taking crazy pills when he put together the final four weeks of Atlanta's season. Not only do the Falcons have the toughest remaining schedule, wild card: The reason we're not writing off the 7-5 Falcons is because they were also 7-5 last year then ended the season on a four-game winning streak that they rode all the way to the Super Bowl. Of course, but they're the only team on the projection list that will be closing the season with four straight games against divisional opponents.

Tiebreaker: With three teams at 12-4, we're projecting the Seahawks to beat the Rams in Week 15, which would give Seattle a season-sweep over Los Angeles and therefore, Authentic Terence Garvin Jersey,the tiebreakers actually get a little complicated here. First,Authentic Mark Glowinski Jersey,Womens Paul Richardson Jersey, the division title. After that, the Saints would take the three spot over the Seahawks due to best win percentage in common games.

As for the final wild card spot, the Falcons finish 4-2 in the NFC South, the Falcons would take it over the Panthers based on best win percentage in division games. In our projection, while the Panthers finish 3-3.

Panthers (10-6): For the third straight week, we're still projecting them out of the playoffs. Although the computer is giving the Panthers the sixth-best postseason odds in the NFC -- behind Philly (100 percent),Authentic Paul Richardson Jersey, the computer loves the Panthers and for the third straight week,

Minnesota (100 percent), New Orleans (97.4 percent) and Seattle (74.3 percent)-- we still think they're going to miss out on the playoffs due to a Week 17 loss to Atlanta. Based on our projection, the Rams (97.4 percent), the season finale between Atlanta and Carolina will be a de facto playoff game with the winner going to the postseason. The Panthers might also have to face Aaron Rodgers in Week 15, which could add another obstacle to their playoff push.

The Aaron Rodgers factor: One thing that's impossible to account for in these projections is Aaron Rodgers. We have no idea if he's going to return this season, especially if the Packers beat the Browns on Sunday. Rodgers has said he'll only return this year if it makes sense and it will definitely make sense if the Packers are in playoff contention, which will happen with a win on Sunday. If the Packers don't beat the Browns, but it's starting to look more and more like that's a distinct possibility, they don't deserve to be in the playoffs, so it's almost fitting that Rodgers' return basically hinges on this week's game against Cleveland.

Also, which means he's now healthy enough to play, Rodgers will be running the Packers' scout team this week, which means every team in the NFC playoff race should be rooting for the Browns this week.

You can see our wild-card round projections below. As things stand now, three of the four wild-card games would be a rematch from the regular season.

Issues with his left knee cost the former No. 2 overall pick most of the 2016 season, his last with Jacksonville. He was diligent and cautious in his recovery from the major knee procedure after signing with the Seattle Seahawks during the offseason in the hope of being completely healthy when the regular season started.

just five games into his tenure with Seattle,And despite all those precautious, Joeckel was back in surgery to have even more repairs done to his knee.

" Joeckel said. "The knee feels better now than it did before it. I knew it would be tough coming back from everything I did to the knee last season. It was a little tougher than I thought. Now I feel good,"I didn't expect to have another surgery in the middle of the season but I'm glad I did, ready to go and excited to build on it each week."

Joeckel will see his former team this week with the Seahawks travelling to Jacksonville for a matchup that has major importance for both teams. The Seahawks significantly improved their playoff hopes by knocking off Philadelphia last week and remaining one game behind in the NFC West, while the Jaguars are tied with Tennessee on top of the AFC South.

they won 15 total games. He was deemed a bust after being one of the top picks in the draft,It wasn't that way when Joeckel was playing in Jacksonville. In the four seasons Joeckel was with the Jaguars, yet struggling with injuries and performance during his time in Jacksonville.

but I enjoyed my time there. Good buddies I played with,"I enjoyed it. Jacksonville was a great place to live. We didn't win a lot of football games," Joeckel said. "I'm excited by the opportunity I have in Seattle and happy to be here."

but was clearly a needed procedure. Joeckel said he felt the knee deteriorating with each game and trying to handle the load of playing.,Joeckel had surgery in early October as the Seahawks were going into their bye week. What was thought to be a short recovery ended up costing Joeckel five games

trying to build on that my knee just felt more and more tore up a little bit.","It just was getting worse each week, picking up the load each week," Joeckel said. "Coming back trying to get use to the load

He returned two weeks ago in Seattle's win over San Francisco and with a new left tackle next to him. The combo of Joeckel and Duane Brown at left tackle seems to have stabilized some of Seattle's issues protecting quarterback Russell Wilson and provided some life to a running game that's been otherwise lackluster all season.

scoring defense and has recorded 45 sacks.,It'll be another major challenge for Seattle this week against Jacksonville's defense that's tops in the NFL in total defense

" Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.,"They cause you all kinds of problems

Shead had developed into a starting cornerback opposite Richard Sherman prior to his injury. Seattle now has three weeks to decide whether to activate Shead off PUP and add him to the active roster or place him on injured reserve for the season.,After starting his career as an undrafted free agent

Shead's return could be a boost for a secondary that has lost Sherman and safety Kam Chancellor for the season to injuries.

that's what I know. So I have to go out and prove myself again.","I'm just ready to get out there and be able to help this team as much as possible, anywhere we need it, and I expect to earn my way back on the field. Nothing was ever given to me," Shead said. "I expect to earn my spot back
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