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Seahawks clinch playoff berth, can win NFC West next week

The Seahawks are playoff bound for the third season in a row. (Getty)

It wasn’t pretty, but the Seahawks are 10-4 and more importantly are playoff bound after a 20-15 win over the Washington Football Team – and they’re now in prime position to win the division, too.

Recap: Seahawks beat WFT | Quick hits | Instant Reaction

For the third year in a row and the ninth time in 11 years under head coach Pete Carroll, the Seahawks will be playing playoff football when January rolls around after stopping a surging Washington team that had won four in a row and had the ball with under a minute left with a chance to take the lead.

The Seahawks at one point held a 20-3 lead, but the offense sputtered in the second half, especially the fourth quarter, and the defense allowed touchdowns on back to back drives to allow Washington to make it a one-score game.

But the defense had yet another game-ending sequence, recording sacks on two consecutive plays before quarterback Dwayne Haskins’ Hail Mary attempt on fourth down fell incomplete.

Entering Week 15, the Seahawks had the opportunity to clinch a playoff berth with a win or tie in their game against Washington or if the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears tied. Seattle went with the easiest option of the three, though it was anything but given with what occurred in the second half.

The win was critical not only to punch a ticket to the playoffs, but it gives the Seahawks a great chance of winning the NFC West in Week 16 after what happened to a division rival in Week 15.

The Seahawks entered Sunday in second place in the division as they and the Los Angeles Rams were both 9-4, but LA has a tiebreaker advantage due to an earlier win over Seattle. But while the Seahawks got their 10th win of the season, the Rams lost to the previously-winless New York Jets on Sunday and fell to 9-5.

If the Seahawks beat the Rams next week, they’ll have 11 wins on the season and would clinch the NFC West as Los Angeles would be unable to get to match that total. It would be Seattle’s first division title since 2016 and would mean the Seahawks would host a playoff game.

If the Seahawks lose next week, however, to win the division they would need both a win over the San Francisco 49ers in their regular season finale and the Rams to lose their Week 17 game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Follow Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

How big of a loss would it be if Schotty leaves Seattle for HC job?