NFL playoff standings have a second team clinching a spot in the postseason. The Seattle Seahawks won the NFC West on Thursday night (Dec. 15), easily beating the Los Angeles Rams 24-3 at home. The win not only improved the Seahawks to 9-4-1 on the season but ensured that the team could not be caught by the 6-7 Arizona Cardinals within the division.
Both defenses were sharp in this Week 15 rivalry game, with the lines of each team completely shutting down the opposing running game. The Seahawks bounced back from losing to the Green Bay Packers last week to only allow 183 total net yards by the Rams. Michael Bennett and Kam Chancellor each came up big for the Seahawks, but also got banged up in the one-sided game. Chancellor was able to return to the field, but Bennett was taken off to go through the league's concussion protocols.
In the updated NFL playoff standings, the Seattle Seahawks (9-4-1) are now half a game behind the Detroit Lions (9-4) for the second seed in the NFC. In the Week 15 NFL schedule, the Lions have to travel to play the New York Giants. The Giants are battling for a Wild Card slot in the conference and have looked really good in recent weeks, including another victory against the Dallas Cowboys coming in Week 14.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the NFL experts are predicting that the Giants will beat the Lions on December 18, causing the NFL playoff standings to shift a bit for the NFC. That would drop the Lions to 9-5 overall and into the No. 3 seed in the conference. It would allow the Seahawks to pass them in the standings again with just two more games left on the regular season schedule. A Giants victory would also improve New York to 10-4, possibly allowing the team to also clinch a spot in the 2017 NFL Playoffs before the weekend has come to a close.
The Seattle Seahawks have just two games remaining and have at the very least clinched a home game during the postseason. The fans will get to see playoff action again at CenturyLink Field, with that game either taking place during Wild Card Weekend or in the divisional round based on how the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons also finish the year. In the current playoff scenarios, the Seahawks need to simply win one more game than the Lions in the final three weeks. That would guarantee the second seed and a first-round bye in the 2017 NFL Playoffs.
The Seahawks get a home game against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 16. The game is on a Saturday (Dec. 24), giving the team a primetime slot on Christmas Eve. The Seahawks then wrap up the regular season with a road game against the San Francisco 49ers on January 1. There is going to be a lot of scoreboard watching by Seahawks fans over the next 15 days, especially since the team still needs the Lions to lose at least one more game. Getting the first-round bye could be crucial for the banged up Seattle Seahawks if the team wants to fulfill more Super Bowl aspirations.
Full 2016 NFL Playoff Standings
AFC Playoff Standings
1 - New England Patriots (11-2)2 - Kansas City Chiefs (10-3)3 - Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5)4 - Houston Texans (7-6)5 - Oakland Raiders (10-3)6 - Denver Broncos (8-5)
7 - Miami Dolphins (8-5)8 - Baltimore Ravens (7-6)9 - Tennessee Titans (7-6)10 - Indianapolis Colts (6-7)11 - Buffalo Bills (6-7)12 - Cincinnati Bengals (5-7-1)13 - San Diego Chargers (5-8)14 - New York Jets (4-9)15 - Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11)16 - Cleveland Browns (0-13)
NFC Playoff Standings
1 - Dallas Cowboys (11-2)2 - Detroit Lions (9-4)3 - Seattle Seahawks (9-4-1)4 - Atlanta Falcons (8-5)5 - New York Giants (9-4)6 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5)
7 - Washington Redskins (7-5-1)8 - Minnesota Vikings (7-6)9 - Green Bay Packers (7-6)10 - Arizona Cardinals (5-7-1)11 - New Orleans Saints (5-8)12 - Carolina Panthers (5-8)13 - Philadelphia Eagles (5-8)14 - Los Angeles Rams (4-10)15 - Chicago Bears (3-10)16 - San Francisco 49ers (1-12)
[Featured Image by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images]