The Seahawks punched their ticket to the postseason last weekend, but there is still a ton to play for over the next two weeks. And with that in mind, it's time once again to answer questions from you, the fans. As always, thanks to everybody who asked a question this week, and apologies if I couldn't get to yours this time around. If you want to ask a question for next week's mailbag, you can tweet me (@johnpboyle) or submit them online at Seahawks.com/SeahawksMailbag.
@dakofman asks, "If the Seahawks win out, are they the No. 1 seed?" On a related note, @ramdonomo asks, "What's the most likely way the Seahawks can get a first-round bye or homefield advantage during the playoffs?"
A: The Seahawks can be the No. 1 seed if they win out and finish 13-3, but that isn't a sure thing. Winning their next two would guarantee the Seahawks the NFC West and a first-round bye, but they could finish as the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in that scenario. If New Orleans and Green Bay both win out, creating a three-way tie with Seattle at 13-3, the Seahawks would win a three-way tiebreaker and be the No. 1 seed. But if Green Bay were to drop a game and there were a two-way tie between the Seahawks and Saint, the Saints would be the No. 2 seed because they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker having beaten the Seahawks earlier this year.
And while we're talking playoff scenarios.
Don Cassady from Sallisaw, Oklahoma asks, "If Seattle wins this weekend and San Francisco loses, will that give us the division crown?" Greg Von Stein from Puyallup also asks about this scenario.
A: Not necessarily. It's complicated, but there are tiebreaking scenarios involving strength of victory in which the 49ers win the NFC West with a 12-4 record over a 12-4 Seahawks squad, with those two teams splitting the season series. In other words, the Seahawks know they need to take care of business over the next two weeks and won't be as concerned about all of these hypothetical scenarios as we are.
Justin Collins from Boise asks, "I think Joey Galloway and Brian Blades in 1995 are the only Seahawks receiver duo to both have 1,000 receiving yards? What are the chances Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf make that happen this year?"
A: You are correct about Galloway and Blades being the only Seahawks receiving duo to reach 1,000 yards in the same season, and while Lockett (994 yards) is all but a lock to have his first 1,000-yard season, Metcalf (819 yards) would need a couple of big games to get there. It's certainly not out of reach, but it's not a given either. If Metcalf can have two big games to close the season, he could also threaten Galloway's Seahawks rookie record of 1,039 yards from that aforementioned 1995 season. Metcalf passed Doug Baldwin last week for the second most receiving yards by a Seahawks rookie.
If Metcalf can get 81 more yards, he and Lockett would be only the second receiver duo and third pass-catching duo to go over 900 yards in the same season, joining Galloway and Blades in '95 and Baldwin (1,128) and tight end Jimmy Graham (923) in 2016.
@LoganWeber5 asks, "Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?"
A: Heck yes, it is. This is quite the debate (seriously, google "is Die Hard a Christmas move?"), and I know there are some people who think that a violent action movie isn't a Christmas movie, but those people are wrong. Apparently Bruce Willis himself said it isn't a Christmas movie, but the screenwriter declared that it is, and, well, he wrote the darn movie.
The basic plot of the movie is that John McClane battles a bunch of terrorists who take hostages at… wait for it… a Christmas party, ergo, it's a Christmas movie. Glad we could settle that.
@YinzerHawks asks, "Peppermint or gingerbread flavored things?"
A: Gingerbread for sure. Though peppermint combined with chocolate is pretty solid as well.
@DejayMeyer asks, "Any serious injuries we have to worry about? Will everyone be back for Week 17 at least?"
A: It's impossible to know how injuries will look almost two weeks from now, but Seahawks coach Pete Carroll did indicate that a lot of the players who missed last week's game have a chance to be back this week. The one that seems like it could be a concern beyond this week is the high ankle sprain sustained by safety Quandre Diggs last week. As Carroll noted, recovery from those injuries can vary wildly, but it's not unusual for someone to have to miss multiple games with that injury.
@SethGoodtime asks, "What is the likelihood that the Week 17 game between Seattle and San Francisco gets flexed into prime time?"
A: Unlike the rest of the season when there is a Sunday night game scheduled ahead of time with the option to flex another game into that slot, the league waits to decide on the Week 17 Sunday night game to try to get the best matchup, and can make that decision on only six days notice to ensure it's a game with playoff implications.
Given that the NFC West would be decided by the outcome of that game if both teams can win this weekend, I'd say there's a pretty good chance that the Seahawks and 49ers play at night in Week 17, but that's not a sure thing. The Texans and Titans play in Week 17 and that could decide the AFC South, and while the Ravens have clinched the AFC North, their game with Pittsburgh could have playoff/seeding implications for both teams.
@brian_bbdogg509 asks, "Why haven't we seen John Ursua in a role yet?"
A: The Seahawks really like Ursua, a rookie out of Hawaii, but he has so far been the victim of a very deep and healthy position group this season—David Moore is the only receiver to miss a game this year due to injury, missing the first two with an arm injury. The Seahawks have carries seven receivers all year, a sign of how much they like that group, and with nobody really missing time due to injuries, Ursua has usually been inactive on gameday. Ursua did suit up in Sunday's game at Carolina, and with Josh Gordon no longer available due to suspension, there could be some trickle down in terms of playing time. And even if Ursua doesn't ever have a big role this year, he's still a player the Seahawks are excited about in terms of his potential for the future.
Game action photos from the Seattle Seahawks' Week 15 matchup against the Carolina Panthers.