Seahawks playoff scenarios: Seattle can clinch in 2 different ways Sunday
Update: The Seahawks can move into the NFC’s top spot with a win over the Rams on Sunday night after the 49ers beat the Saints earlier in the day. Full details here at this link.
The Seahawks are 10-2 and have a chance to clinch a playoff berth as soon as this Sunday in Week 14.
After a 37-30 primetime victory over the Minnesota Vikings last Monday night in Seattle, the Seahawks get another primetime matchup on Sunday, this time a tough road game against the defending NFC champion Los Angeles Rams.
Seattle is one of six teams in the NFL – and one of two in the NFC – that can secure a playoff spot this weekend. Unlike those other five teams, the Seahawks need no help to earn their second straight playoff bid.
For the Seahawks to assure they will be playing come January, it’s simple: They need to beat or tie the 7-5 Rams on Sunday Night Football.
The last time the two teams met was in Week 5. Seattle pulled out a 30-29 victory at home in a game that came down to a missed field goal at the end of regulation.
At 10-2, Seattle currently is tied for the best record in the NFL and holds the No. 2 seed in the NFC. If the current seeding holds through the rest of the season, Seattle would have a first-round playoff bye and would host at least one playoff game.
The other two 10-2 teams in the NFC, the New Orleans Saints and the San Francisco 49ers, are on the opposite end of tiebreakers with the Seahawks, which could play a big role in playoff seeding at the end of the season.
The Saints, who are the only team in the NFL that has secured a playoff spot through Week 13, beat the Seahawks in Seattle earlier this year, and thus sit atop the NFC. The 49ers, meanwhile, lost to the Seahawks in Week 10 in overtime, and currently hold the conference’s fifth seed.
Oh, and the 49ers and Saints meet Sunday.
For the 49ers to clinch a playoff spot this weekend, they need to beat the Saints and the Rams need to lose or tie with the Seahawks. If San Francisco and New Orleans tie, the Rams would have to lose for the 49ers to secure a postseason berth.
Because the Seahawks and 49ers currently have the same record, the division likely won’t be settled until towards the end of the year. It may even take until the two teams square off a regular season finale in Week 17 in Seattle.
Seahawks fans have another reason to be invested in that game on Sunday. A Saints win would give Seattle a leg up in the division even before their game against the Rams that night as the 49ers would have three losses to Seattle’s two.
If the 49ers win, however, the Saints would have three losses, and if the Seahawks were to beat the Rams, Seattle would hold both the division lead and the NFC’s No. 1 seed, which comes with home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jim Moore says Seahawks fans should be rooting for this scenario on Sunday even though it would allow the 49ers the chance to sneak into both the division title and the NFC’s No. 1 seed with a win over the Seahawks in Week 17.
As always, the Seahawks-Rams game will be broadcast on both 710 ESPN Seattle and 97.3 KIRO FM. Coverage begins with the pregame show at 2 p.m., with kickoff set for 5:20. For more information on how to listen to the game, visit this link.
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