Playoff Scenarios: How Seahawks can clinch postseason berth

Jan 1, 2024, 2:22 PM

Seattle Seahawks playoffs...

Julian Love of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates with teammates after an interception on Dec. 18, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Thanks to a Week 17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Seattle Seahawks no longer control their destiny when it comes to making the playoffs.

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But the 8-8 Seahawks can still make it back to the postseason if they get some help this weekend.

Seattle heads down south for a Week 18 clash with NFC West rival Arizona. The Cardinals are 4-12, but are coming off a big win over Philadelphia.

When it comes to this final weekend of the 2023 NFL regular season, there are three scenarios for the Seahawks to make it to the postseason as the No. 7 seed in the NFC for the second year in a row, and one is far more simple – and likely – than the other two.

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Most Straightforward Path

The first path? The Seahawks would need to beat the Cardinals and have the Green Bay Packers, who are also 8-8 and currently hold the seventh final NFC playoff spot, to lose their Week 18 matchup with the Chicago Bears. The Packers currently are ahead of the Seahawks due to having a better record against NFC opponents than the Seahawks. The Packers are 7-5 in conference while the Seahawks are 6-5.

The Packers beat the Bears 38-20 in Week 1 and have not lost to Chicago since 2018. Additionally, the Packers have not lost at home to Chicago since the 2015 season.

If the Seahawks are going to make it back to the postseason, they’ll need the Bears to buck some trends.

Far Less Likely

There have been no ties in the NFL this year, so the odds of this happening are slim.

But if the Seahawks don’t beat the Cardinals, they have two paths to making the playoffs if they tie.

The first: The Seahawks tie the Cardinals and the Packers lose to the Bears and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lose or tie against the Carolina Panthers.

The other scenario? The Seahawks tie the Cardinals and the Packers lose to the Bears and the New Orleans Saints lose or tie against Atlanta Falcons.

Again, will these two scenarios happen? Probably not. But mathematically speaking, they are possible avenues for the Hawks to punch a ticket to the postseason.

The Seahawks and Cardinals will face off at 1:25 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 7. Listen to all the action live on Seattle Sports and KIRO Newsradio.

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