Seahawks playoff scenarios
December 24, 2020
With last week’s win over the Washington Football Team, the Seahawks have secured a place in the NFL Playoffs. Instead of going over this week’s matchup with the Rams, I thought I’d go through the various playoff scenarios for Seattle instead. The other teams to keep an eye on the next couple of weeks are the Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams, Arizona Cardinals, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Let’s start with the best case for Seattle. That would be clinching the #1 seed in the playoffs. For that to happen, Seattle has to win both of their remaining games, plus the Green Bay Packers need to lose both of their remaining games, and the New Orleans Saints need to lose one of their two remaining games.
For Seattle to get the #2 seed, they need to win the NFC West and finish with a better record than Green Bay or New Orleans, and Tampa Bay. They can do this by either winning both of their last two games or splitting the last two games of the season and getting help from other teams.
Here are the two ways that lead to Seattle winning the NFC West. Thanks to the New York Jets getting their first win of the season against the Rams last week, a Seattle victory over the Rams this week clinches the NFC West division for the Seahawks. Winning the division this week would be a best-case scenario as it would allow the Seahawks to know whether or not next week’s games mean anything for higher playoff seeding or if Seattle would be better off resting its players. If the Seahawks lose this week, the only way they can win their division would be to beat the 49ers in the final week of the season and have the Rams lose their last game to the Cardinals.
If Seattle loses this week and wins next week but loses the division to the Rams, they will likely become the #5 seed in the playoffs unless the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win both of their remaining games. If that happens then, Seattle drops to the #6 seed.
Next, let’s look at the worst-case scenario where the Seahawks lose both of their last two games. The key teams, in this case, are Arizona and Tampa Bay. If Seattle loses tie-breakers to both teams, Tampa Bay would need to lose both of its final games, and Arizona would have to split its remaining two games for Seattle to stay the #5 seed. Should Tampa Bay win one game and Arizona wins its last two games, the Seahawks would drop to the #7 seed.
Here is the current injured list for the Seahawks. The players listed as out for this week are Brandon Shell OT, Phil Haynes G, and Damarious Randall S. DeeJay Dallas RB is listed as doubtful with a grade 3 ankle sprain during last week’s game against Washington.