Seattle Seahawks Playoff Picture: Team Can Still Make 2018 NFL Playoffs

The Seattle Seahawks stumbled against the Los Angeles Rams on December 17.

Mike Davis Running For Seattle Seahawks
Steve Dykes / Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks stumbled against the Los Angeles Rams on December 17.

The Seattle Seahawks’ playoff picture is a bit out of focus now. Making the 2018 NFL Playoffs just got much more difficult for the Seahawks, but they have not been eliminated from postseason contention. The game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday (December 17) was about as bad as it could get. Coming into Week 15, the Seahawks just needed to beat the Rams to claim first place in the NFC West. Instead, the Seahawks got destroyed at home, putting the rest of the season in jeopardy and revealing some glaring weaknesses on the roster.

In the updated NFL standings, the Rams have improved to 10-4, while the Seahawks have dropped to just 8-6. It puts the Rams just one win or one Seahawks loss from clinching the division and hosting a first-round playoff game on Wild Card Weekend. The Seahawks still have to play the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals to wrap up the regular-season schedule and they need to win both games to even have a shot at making the 2018 NFL Playoffs. Even at that point, the Seahawks are going to need some help from other teams around the league.

This isn’t the position that Seahawks fans wanted to find the team in as they approached Week 16 of the season, but the team is now outside of the top six in the conference. For the Seattle Seahawks playoff picture to improve a bit, fans should start rooting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to beat the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night (December 18).

The easiest route to the postseason, if it can even be called that, is for the Detroit Lions to lose one game and the Falcons to lose two of their final three games. In that scenario, provided the Seahawks also win their two games, then the second NFC Wild Card team would be the Seattle Seahawks. If Detroit wins both of the games on their schedule, though, they would finish 10-6 and they would have the tiebreaker over the Seahawks. This means the Seahawks would lose tiebreakers to both the Lions and Falcons in the case of a three-way tie.

Here is where it could get very tricky. If the New Orleans Saints lost their final two games, they would finish the season with a 10-6 record. If Detroit, Seattle, Atlanta, and the Carolina Panthers all finished at 10-6 as well, it would create a mess with the NFL playoff picture. In that scenario, Atlanta would win the NFC South, Detroit would be the first NFC Wild Card team, and Seattle would be the second NFC Wild Card team. If Green Bay were to beat Detroit in Week 17, then Seattle would be the first Wild Card team and the Saints would be the second Wild Card team.

There are a lot of “what ifs” remaining in the Seattle Seahawks’ playoff picture. Yes, the team can still make the 2018 NFL Playoffs. No, it is not an easy road to the postseason. All Seattle can control is beating the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals and then hope that some of the other games also go according to the new plan. Anything short of that and the Seahawks might be available to participate in the Pro Bowl this year.

One last NFL playoff scenario is that if the Seahawks win their final two games and the Rams lose their final two games, then the Seahawks can win the NFC West. The Rams play against the Tennessee Titans and San Francisco 49ers, though, making that scenario very unlikely. The Seattle Seahawks’ playoff scenarios just became very muddled, so it would be hard to blame some fans for looking toward next season.