Seattle Seahawks playoff scenarios took a hit during the loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday, Dec. 24, but the team still has a shot at securing the No. 2 seed in the NFC. The Seahawks had been in a great position to nab home field advantage and a first-round bye in the 2017 NFL Playoffs. The 34-31 loss to Arizona put a dent in that goal, as the team drops to No. 4 in the updated NFL playoff standings. All hope is not lost, though, as the Seahawks have playoff scenarios that would allow the team to recover in Week 17.
The first step to taking back the No. 2 seed in the NFC is a Week 17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Then the Seahawks need the New Orleans Saints to beat the Atlanta Falcons. That’s not all that needs to happen, though, as the Seahawks also need the Detroit Lions to lose one of their final two games in the regular season. The Lions play against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday, Dec. 26, and then against the Green Bay Packers on January 1. Having the Lions lose both games would be even better, as it would guarantee Seattle remains ahead of them.
While the latest Seattle Seahawks playoff scenarios take control out of their hands, fans should be relieved to find out that there is still a shot to avoid playing on Wild Card Weekend. The updated NFL standings have the Seahawks slated to play the New York Giants in the first round of the playoffs. The Giants are the top Wild Card team, just ahead of the Packers in the race to the postseason. That could shift based on the Week 17 NFL scores, but they are currently the two Wild Card teams in the conference.
If the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions win their final games, then the Seattle Seahawks are the No. 4 seed. The team still gets to host a first-round playoff game, with the winner of that game going to play the No. 1 seeded Dallas Cowboys the following weekend. If the Falcons win in Week 17 and the Lions lose one game, the Seahawks take the No. 3 seed by beating the San Francisco 49ers. As the No. 3 seed, the Seahawks would then host the second NFC Wild Card team, which is currently the Green Bay Packers.
There are going to be a lot of people around the state of Washington rooting for the Dallas Cowboys on Monday and then the New Orleans Saints next Sunday. Not only does a bye mean that it takes one less victory to get to the Super Bowl, but it also gives teams an extra week to rest up following the end of the regular season. That’s exactly what the Seahawks could use, as the team has really been beaten up over the past few games. Having already lost Earl Thomas and Tyler Lockett for the year, players like Kam Chancellor, Thomas Rawls, and Russell Wilson could use some rest to prepare for the postseason.
No matter what happens against the San Francisco 49ers on January 1, the Seahawks will get to host at least one game in the 2017 NFL Playoffs. That’s the privilege that comes along with being the NFC West champions again, no matter how many close games the team has lost this season. Can this Seahawks team overcome a bevy of injuries and emerge as the Super Bowl champions again? Or will the star players that have been lost to injury be too much to survive? The Seattle Seahawks playoff scenarios may have taken a hit, but the team still has a 1-in-12 shot at becoming champions again.
[Featured Image by David Ryder/Getty Images]