BRANDON GUSTAFSON

The 3 ways the Seahawks can clinch a playoff berth this week

Dec 17, 2020, 2:58 PM
Seahawks playoffs...
The Seahawks could wrap up a third-straight playoff appearance in Week 15. Getty)

It’s more likely than not that the Seahawks are playoff bound for the third year in a row and the ninth time in 11 seasons under Pete Carroll, and they could wrap things up as soon as this Sunday.

Hawks on pace with the last two champs, but are they back on track?

When the Seahawks take on the NFC East-leading Washington Football Team, there’s a chance they could end Week 15 knowing that they’re heading to the playoffs, and there are a number of ways how – though one is much more likely than the others.

Currently, four teams have punched their tickets to the 2021 playoffs. The Kansas City Chiefs have won the AFC West and the Pittsburgh Steelers clinched a playoff spot and can win the AFC North with either a win, a Cleveland Browns loss or if both they and the Browns tie in both their games. In the NFC, the Green Bay Packers have won the North while the New Orleans Saints are heading to the playoffs and can win the South with either a win, a Tampa Bay Buccaneers loss, or if both they and the Bucs tie their respective games.

Seattle (9-4) has three clinching scenarios for Week 15, though two of them are rather unlikely as they require ties. ESPN’s Adam Schefter provided playoff-clinching scenarios for the entire league this week.

The first is the most simple: With a win over the 6-7 Washington Football Team, the Seahawks will be back in the postseason yet again.

The second also involves Seattle’s clash with WFT, which would require a rare tie. The Seahawks haven’t had a tie since 2016 and there’s been just one tie in the NFL this season.

The third scenario involves the game between the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings, who are both 6-7 entering the final three weeks of the season. If the Seahawks lost to WFT, they would need the Bears and Vikings to tie in their divisional matchup, which would take both of those teams out of the running to catch Seattle in the standings.

If none of the above happens, then Seattle would likely have to rely on a win over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 16 and/or some help from other games next week depending what happens this weekend. The Week 16 clash with the Rams in Seattle will likely determine whether the Seahawks win the NFC West for the first time since 2016, as well.

Speaking of the Rams, who are also 9-4 entering Week 15 and hold a lead over the Seahawks in the NFC West thanks to a head-to-head win in Week 10, they can also clinch a playoff berth this weekend.

The Rams play the winless New York Jets, who the Seahawks beat 40-3 last week. Like Seattle, Los Angeles can clinch a playoff spot with a win, a tie or if Chicago and Minnesota tie. That makes it likely that the NFC West has two playoff teams once again, which has been the case for the last three years. And with seven playoff teams in each conference this year, it’s possible the NFC West has three playoff teams as the Arizona Cardinals are 7-6 and currently hold the conference’s seventh and final playoff spot.

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The 3 ways the Seahawks can clinch a playoff berth this week