Seahawks playoff scenarios, 5th seed in their control


New Seahawks playoff scenarios have Seattle solidly entrenched as the 5th seed in the NFC, even if they lose again.

I have a new addiction; it’s the ESPN Playoff Machine!  Every Sunday now I start to get the itch. It begins about halfway through the 1:00 PST games…the results are tantalizingly close, but too early to punch in…and then Monday rolls around, and it’s time! Once again I used the Machine to choose how I think every single game will go the rest of the season.

With only three weeks remaining, and so many teams locked in close divisional races, the playoff results can sway on one or two key outcomes. Such is the case in the NFC North in this week’s scenarios.

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But first we look at how the Seahawks stack up, and I think you’re going to like it.

Here are their various scenarios heading into Week 15 in the NFL.


Obviously this is the best case scenario and would result in the Seahawks locking down the #5 seed in the conference. Based on my individual game picks, here’s how the NFC would stack up overall:

  1. Carolina (16-0) *Bye
  2. Arizona (13-3) *Bye
  3. Green Bay (10-6) *NFC North Champs
  4. Washington (8-8) *NFC East Champs
  5. Seattle (11-5) 
  6. Minnesota (10-6)

Seattle would travel to Washington for a first round match up with the Redskins, while Minnesota would play at Lambeau for the second straight week. Their week #17 meeting on that same field will be for the division. A Vikings win in that game and you can simply flip-flop the two in these playoff rankings.

In this case, the Hawks would be looking at a trip to either Carolina or Arizona in the second round, depending on how the other wild card game goes.


Absolutely no change, no matter who that 6th loss would come against. Even if the Vikings beat Green Bay in the final week, this doesn’t change a thing. Seattle stills gets the 5th seed and travels to face the winner of the NFC East in the wild card round.


This is where things have improved. Last week, 9-7 was a bad outcome for the Hawks. But after losses by the Bucs and Falcons, their claim to a wild card spot improved. Even if you pencil in losses to the two remaining NFC teams (Rams and Cardinals) the Seahawks still make the playoffs, albeit as the 6th seed. This obviously would eliminate the possibility of a home game, and would mean they open on the road against the winner of the NFC North. That likely means a first round trip to Lambeau Field. This would be about the worst-case scenario you could conjure up for them, but at least they would be in the dance.

No matter how you slice it, it’s still remarkable to see how much the Hawks have improved their standing in the last two months.

Next: Seahawks churn roster prior to Browns game


  • In the AFC, my picks result in New England getting the #1 seed and Denver in at #2. Houston wins the AFC South at 8-8. Pittsburgh and Kansas City are the wild cards.
  • Carolina goes 16-0.
  • Two division winners at 8-8 (Washington and Houston). Par for the course in the Year Of Parity.