How Week 17 will decide Seahawks’ first-round playoff opponent

Dec 29, 2015, 4:21 PM | Updated: 4:22 pm
The Seahawks will return to Minnesota for their first playoff game if the Vikings beat Green Bay next week. (AP)

The Seahawks will return to Minnesota for their first playoff game if the Vikings beat Green Bay next week. (AP)

The Seahawks are guaranteed a playoff berth.

But then we already knew that. Just where the Seahawks will be playing, however, remains very much up in the air after their six-point loss to St. Louis. In fact, Sunday’s games didn’t eliminate any potential sites for Seattle’s wild-card game.

There are three possibilities that will be depend on the outcome of two games in Week 17: Seattle (9-6) at Arizona (13-2), 1:25 p.m. and Minnesota (10-5) at Green Bay (10-5), 5:30 p.m.

Scenario one: Seattle at Minnesota

This happens if:

• Minnesota beats Green Bay. That’s it. The outcome of Seattle’s game at Arizona would have no bearing on the Seahawks’ seeding.

The rationale: The Vikings would win the NFC North by virtue of a better division record than the Packers and be seeded No. 3. The Seahawks would be seeded No. 6 regardless of the outcome of their game in Arizona. Even if the Seahawks were to beat the Cardinals, they would lose a tiebreaker with Green Bay for playoff seeding by virtue of the Packers’ head-to-head victory over Seattle in Week 2.

Scenario two: Seattle at Washington

This happens if:

• Green Bay beats Minnesota
• And Seattle defeats Arizona

The rationale: The Packers would win the NFC North and be the No. 3 seed. The Seahawks and Vikings would finish tied at 10-6 for the two wild-card berths, but Seattle would win the tiebreaker because of Seattle’s head-to-head victory over Minnesota in Week 13. Seattle would then be seeded No. 5 and play at Washington while Minnesota would be seeded No. 6 and play at Green Bay.

Scenario three: Seattle at Green Bay

This happens if:

• Green Bay beats Minnesota
• And Seattle loses to Arizona.

The rationale: The Packers win the NFC North and earn the No. 3 seed while the Seahawks would be seeded No. 6 because they would have one fewer win than Minnesota. The Vikings would therefore be the No. 5 seed and play at Washington.

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How Week 17 will decide Seahawks’ first-round playoff opponent