Seahawks plan to stay out of the tank

The subject of today’s story on the Seahawks was the whole idea of whether Seattle would be better of losing to keep a high draft pick. It’s a touchy subject around a pro football team, the whole idea of not doing everything possible to win the football game so it’s no surprise the whole idea had very little resonance with coach Mike Holmgren.

The bigger surprise for me was that going back the past four seasons, there isn’t much evidence that racking up losses at the end and improving draft position usually does not correlate with success the following season.

I started by assembling all the teams that had nine or more losses after Week 13. These are the teams that have no realistic — and in most cases no mathematical chance — at making the playoffs. Now it seems fair to start with the simple question: Once the goal of the playoffs are gone, are you better off losing more games and getting a better draft pick? Here’s a look at how the teams that were 4-9 in Week 14 of 2007 fared over the final three weeks compared with their success this season. It’s worth noting that the 49ers are included, but it should be noted they had traded away their first-round pick in this year’s draft to the New England Patriots.

Team After Week 14 Final 3 games Current record Next year
Chiefs 4-9 0-3 4-12 2-11
Raiders 4-9 0-3 4-12 3-10
Rams 3-10 0-3 3-13 2-11
Dolphins 0-13 1-2 1-15 8-5
Ravens 4-9 1-2 5-11 9-4
Falcons 3-10 1-2 4-12 8-5
49ers 3-10 2-1 5-11 5-8



OK. Now that’s a start to the answer. But there’s also the reality that a high draft pick doesn’t just pay off in the next season and in fact might not really pay off until the following years.So I’ll widen the net as I start going back.

Team After Week 14 Last 3 Final ’07 ’08
Raiders 2-11 0-3 2-14 4-12 3-10
Browns 4-9 0-3 4-12 10-6 4-9
Cardinals 4-9 1-2 5-11 8-8 8-5
Lions 2-11 1-2 3-13 7-9 0-13
Bucs 3-10 1-2 4-12 9-7 9-4
Washington 4-9 1-2 5-11 9-7 7-6
Texans 4-9 2-1 6-10 8-8 6-7



I think this will be an interesting discussion to continue over the course of the day, and I’ll keep adding charts.