BRADY HENDERSON

Playoff picture: Lions’ loss helps Seahawks’ bid for No. 2 seed

Dec 26, 2016, 11:01 PM
The Seahawks will get the No. 2 seed if they beat the 49ers next week and if Atlanta loses to New O...
The Seahawks will get the No. 2 seed if they beat the 49ers next week and if Atlanta loses to New Orleans. (AP)
(AP)

The Seahawks got some help in their bid for the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs with Detroit losing to Dallas on Monday night. A Lions loss in one of their final two regular-season games was one of three things that all need to happen in order for Seattle to get the second seed and the first-round bye that comes with it.

What’s still left: Seattle needs a win at San Francisco next week and a Falcons loss at home to New Orleans.

As unpredictable as the Seahawks (9-5-1) have been this season, beating a dreadful 2-13 49ers team shouldn’t be a problem. Seattle opened as nine-point favorites and has won five straight regular-season meetings over San Francisco by an average of almost 16 points. With a win Sunday, the Seahawks would be assured of finishing no lower than the No. 3 seed.

The other half of that equation won’t be as easy. Atlanta (10-5) opened as 6.5-point favorites over the Saints (7-8). The Falcons won by 13 points in New Orleans in their first meeting this season.

Those games both kick off at the same time – 1:25 p.m. PST – so the Seahawks won’t know if the No. 2 seed is still in play when they take the field at Levi’s Stadium.

The Seahawks have already secured a spot in the playoffs by virtue of clinching the NFC West. That means they’re assured of having at least one home playoff game, whether it’s in the wild-card round as either the third or fourth seed or in the divisional round following a bye if they climb back to the second seed.

As it stands now, Seattle is in control of the No. 3 seed behind Dallas and Atlanta. The Seahawks moved up one spot with Detroit’s loss while the Lions moved from third to sixth. If the playoffs began to day, Seattle would host Detroit in the wild-card round.

But the No. 2 seed is still in play for the Seahawks. As inconsistent as they’ve been of late and for the better part of the season, they might need it to have any realistic shot at getting back to the Super Bowl.

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Playoff picture: Lions’ loss helps Seahawks’ bid for No. 2 seed