The Seattle Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday (Jan. 1) to improve to 10-5-1 on the season and clinch the No. 3 seed in the 2017 NFC Playoffs. The 25-23 victory for the Seahawks guarantees that the team will finish above the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers in the playoff standings. The Lions and Packers are both 9-6 heading into a Sunday night game that will decide the NFC North champion. Game time for that matchup is 5:25 p.m. PT on NBC.
The Seahawks now have a seven-game winning streak against the 49ers, including a 23-17 victory in the 2014 NFL Playoffs. During the 2016 NFL season, the Seahawks beat the 49ers 37-18 on September 25 and then beat them against 25-23 on January 1. This is the longest current winning streak that the Seahawks have against any other team in the NFL and improves the team to 3-0 at Levi’s Stadium. The Seahawks have still never lost a game at the new stadium of the 49ers.
Due to the Washington Redskins losing to the New York Giants earlier on Sunday, the Seahawks will now host either the Detroit Lions or Green Bay Packers in the first-round of the 2017 NFL Playoffs. The loser of the Lions vs. Packers game will become the No. 6 seed and then travel to play the Seahawks during Wild Card Weekend. The winner of the Lions vs. Packers game will clinch the No. 4 seed and host the New York Giants that weekend. The Giants have already secured the first NFC Wild Card spot and are also awaiting an opponent.
In the new NFL playoff brackets, should the Seahawks win the Wild Card game, the team will advance to play the Atlanta Falcons in the divisional round. The game will be played in Atlanta because the Falcons clinched the No. 2 seed in the NFC. If the Seahawks pull off an upset in that game, they will play the winner of the Dallas Cowboys and the other Wild Card winner. In that scenario, if the Cowboys get upset, then the NFC Championship Game would take place at CenturyLink Field.
The Seattle Seahawks now need to win four playoff games to be crowned the Super Bowl champions again. Had the team been able to keep the No. 2 seed that it held earlier in the season, it would have only taken three wins to become the champions. It’s possible that the final game of the season to be played at CenturyLink Field will be during Wild Card weekend. If the Dallas Cowboys do not get upset on their side of the bracket, then the team will be hosting the NFC Championship Game down in Texas.
The full 2017 NFL playoff schedule has not been released, as a lot depends on the game between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions. The Seattle Seahawks will host one of those teams on either Saturday (Jan. 7) or Sunday (Jan. 8), depending on how the NFC playoff brackets look. That announcement will be made later on Sunday (Jan. 1), along with the game times for all the playoff matchups. The Seahawks will then use the team website to let fans know about tickets and when the games are taking place.
During the regular season, the Seahawks lost to the Green Bay Packers (38-10), but did beat the Atlanta Falcons (26-24). The Seahawks didn’t play the Detroit Lions, New York Giants, or Dallas Cowboys as part of the 2016 NFL regular season. This creates possible scenarios of teams matching up for the first time this year. A small piece of good news for the Seattle Seahawks and their fans is that the team won’t be playing in any cold climates like Green Bay, Chicago, or Minnesota this postseason.
[Featured Image by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]